Big interview - Colunga wants to rediscover the hunger after leaving his comfort zone

Adrian Colunga enjoys that winning feeling at Swindon on Tuesday

Colunga, pictured here in action for Sporting Gijon, made a name for himself in Spain's top flight

Colunga gets off the mark at Swindon on Tuesday

Bump! Albion's new Spanish striker might learn some lessons the hard way

First published in Sport by

Adrian Colunga admits his move to England has surprised a few people back home.

But Albion’s new striker is convinced he can put the spark back into his career by playing in the Championship.

Colunga has admitted he fell a little out of love with football during a tough time at Getafe.

Which is why he has dropped from top flight back home to second tier overseas after accepting a two-year challenge at the Amex.

Colunga is an established Liga BBVA player but his club in the Madrid suburbs were ready to get him off their wage bill.

At the same time, the player himself had reached the age of 29 and felt, while he had a good career, he was going around in circles.

He talks about wanting to feel like a footballer again.

When pressed on what means, he talks about hunger and excitement – maybe a bit of risk too.

He had chatted briefly to Albion’s Spanish connection when they played Getafe in a friendly last summer so he knew about the club.

And the rest, after a few phone calls and some thought about what was best for his wife and four-month-old daughter, fell into place.

Colunga told The Argus: “Brighton were clearly very keen to sign me, which I liked.

“The training ground and the stadium are impressive, the support is incredible.

“Lots of things came together.

“I felt I wanted to rediscover maybe we should say my love for football.

“People talk about “seeking a new challenge” and that is exactly what it was.

“I wanted to feel like a footballer, to feel important in a place where they really wanted.

“I had all that a bit in Spain but I was just going around in the same circles.

“Yes, it’s a great league, but it didn’t excite any more as much as the chance to come here for something new.

“I knew about Brighton. We played against them in a friendly with Getafe last year and I played in the second half.

“I remember chatting a little to the coach Oscar that night, Bruno as well and I could see they were happy to be in Brighton.”

Two excellent contacts of The Argus based in Spain – one a report, the other a players’ agent - have admitted to mild surprise that he has come to the Championship.

Colunga had offers back home and said: “Yes, I know it’s a decision which has surprised people in Spain.

“They’re saying “Why are you going abroad and to play in the second division.”

“They say I’ve made my name in Spain, I’ve got my niche there.

“But that’s exactly why I’ve done it. I’ve had aims as a footballer in Spain and I’ve pretty much fulfilled them.

“I’ve played in the first division and scored some goals, I’ve set up goals, I’ve played in European competition, I’ve been a professional for eight years.

“But I like to be hungry for new targets in football.”

Colunga accepts life in England will offer a footballing education.

He knows he can score goals, beat defenders, bring others into play and run all day.

But it all has to be done within a structure.

He added: “We’re a different club to a lot here in England.

“We play with the ball on the ground a lot.

“We build from the back.

“Swindon did that too on Tuesday. I really liked them.

“I’m not saying the rhythm of the game is higher or lower than in Spain, it’s different.

“The other day I watched the game in Brighton and Bolton were very direct.

“There were always spaces on the pitch.

“There are different tactical concepts here in terms of things like putting opponents under pressure on the ball.

“That is maybe where I am going to struggle to start with but I’ll learn as quick as I can.

“Everything else is good. Physically I feel good.

“I’d like to thank all the coaching staff here because I know the language has been a barrier.

“But I hope to start giving interviews in English in two months’ time.

“I aim to learn the language quickly.

“I’m really pleased and I’m going to give it my all.”

Comments (5)

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9:13am Sat 30 Aug 14

Singing Seagull, Indonesia says...

What an intelligent guy! So much for all those naysayers who spout on and on about footballers only ever being in it for the money.

Hope you get a place in the starting line-up AC, and let's see some of that hunger from you!

UTA!!
What an intelligent guy! So much for all those naysayers who spout on and on about footballers only ever being in it for the money. Hope you get a place in the starting line-up AC, and let's see some of that hunger from you! UTA!! Singing Seagull, Indonesia
  • Score: 27

9:21am Sat 30 Aug 14

Max Ripple says...

Funny thing is we seem to have picked up a couple if intelligent thinking footballers this season. Holla and Colunga. Both players have said they were bored or unsettled with football back home and wanted new challenges. Certainly Brighton seems to be an attractive place for some people to come to. I welcome both these guys and hope they have great impact.
Funny thing is we seem to have picked up a couple if intelligent thinking footballers this season. Holla and Colunga. Both players have said they were bored or unsettled with football back home and wanted new challenges. Certainly Brighton seems to be an attractive place for some people to come to. I welcome both these guys and hope they have great impact. Max Ripple
  • Score: 25

12:01pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Aldrington Halt says...

I agree, intelligence is the key to finding that key pass to setup a goal or finding the space to run into..Some great signings here welcome AC!!
I agree, intelligence is the key to finding that key pass to setup a goal or finding the space to run into..Some great signings here welcome AC!! Aldrington Halt
  • Score: 2

1:03pm Sat 30 Aug 14

PR2222 says...

My prediction is that if Colunga plays regularly, he will score more goals for us than Leo did
My prediction is that if Colunga plays regularly, he will score more goals for us than Leo did PR2222
  • Score: 1

8:35pm Sat 30 Aug 14

gatonegro says...

Maybe moving from a club in the shadow of Madrid and Atletico, with home crowds only around 9-10,000, isn't so surprising. Bienvenido a Adrian!
Maybe moving from a club in the shadow of Madrid and Atletico, with home crowds only around 9-10,000, isn't so surprising. Bienvenido a Adrian! gatonegro
  • Score: 0
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