As the 2019 Liga MX Femenil Clausura drew closer to the start of the Liguilla, Santos Laguna made a charge up the Group 2 table. Ultimately however they fell short, ending the season in sixth place and out of the Liguilla by just six points. I spoke with Santos Femenil manager Jorge Macías about his side’s previous campaign and what the future holds for the team.
“We had a good tournament,” Macías told me in a phone call. “Beyond surpassing expectations, we came close to qualifying to the Liguilla and that obviously always marks a good present for the club. Our objective always is to make the Liguilla, but I thought the growth the team showed through the course of the season, as well as the arrival of our new players was a determinant factor in coming close to reaching this objective.”
I asked how big the contributions of Mexico U20s Wendy Toledo, Alexxandra Ramírez, and Joseline Hernández were, however Profe Macías refused to single out any one player. “Every one of the girls contributed a big part to this team, all 26 of them.” Macías continued by saying “In addition to their quality, our internationals get to share that dose of experience with the rest of the team, and that works as a sort of incentive and motivator for them to keep doing what they already do well here, which is generating a good sense of union and good practices.”
“In general,” he said, “it’s the group we have that makes it possible for these girls to have a chance to be part of national team. Ultimately, our aim is to not only provide players for the U20 team, but the senior national team and the U17s.”
When asked what it meant to have a women’s league in Mexico and how Santos was developing women in sports, Macías said “It was always clear to me. From my prior experience with universities, I would observe that there wasn’t a space reserved for women in Mexican football. Now that there is and it is growing rapidly, it’s obviously a joy to be a part of it.”
“At the same time,” Macías continued “the club has done an excellent job with our players not just in the sporting aspect, but in the social aspect. With ‘Guerreros de Corazón’, our girls actively participate to the benefit and sustainable development of society and win by serving, like our motto says. Furthermore, you visit our club offices and it is full of women, and that is representative of what we do inside the club. Having women play an integral part in the development of the league is crucial in creating a social voice not just inside the field but outside of it.”
Looking ahead to next season, Macías has plenty to build on. “As for what comes next? We need to keep working with the quality we have and continue helping these girls develop in their professional careers. This will give us the momentum to keep growing, have better tournaments, and eventually make the Liguilla. In turn, this will give us the possibility to reach our final objective, which is to win a championship.”