At 22 years old, Joaquin Fenolio He says he is in the best moment of his career. The scorer of Provincial Ovalle He is one of the figures that keeps alive the illusion of a city that longs to return to professional football.
“It’s been a great year so far. I think I’ve found the maturity and solidity that I was missing a bit. It has been a great experience, we are doing an excellent campaign personally and as a group”, he says in a conversation with AS Chile.
The northern squad was, by far, the best team in the regular phase of the Third Division A, so it is the great candidate to keep the title and the ticket to the Second Professional Division.
For Fenolio, Provincial Ovalle meant giving his career a new boost. The attacker always stood out in youth, to the point of being the top scorer in the minor series of O’Higgins and Universidad de Chile, a club that bought him when he was only 16 years old. However, he had no opportunities in the first blue team and had to leave. Sports Valdivia and Independent of Cauquenes they received him in professionalism before embarking on the ANFA football adventure.
– At what level did you find yourself in the category?
– With a strong division, which is quite intense, with a lot of friction and football is more physical than tactical. They hit you more and the tricks are many. If you get hit, you have to stop and continue fighting for the next ball. There is a lot of attitude, strength, claw. The good thing is that more and more people are looking at this division. This year the level is being valued much more. Playing Copa Chile served us a lot (N. de la R: Provincial Ovalle faced Unión Española in that tournament). They are showcases that regularly do not exist.
– You previously mentioned that you found maturity in Provincial Ovalle. What does she mean?
– It has to do with football and personal maturity. It has helped me a lot to come here, to be alone and see that somehow I have to get ahead.
– What was the first thing that struck you when you came to play in Third A, considering that you were trained in clubs with much more comfort?
– It is a very different reality to be in the U and to be in Third. However, this team gives you everything to get ahead. That has helped us a lot to carry out the campaign we have done. It is a club that is well involved in the project to be promoted.
– In the regular phase they have been the highest scoring team and the least beaten…
– We take it in a good way. We are a fairly offensive and solid team. We have the mentality of winning everything because in the league everything starts from scratch.
– Does the pressure grow to be the team to beat if you take into account the performance of the regular season?
– I think we are one of the favorite teams to be promoted for what we have done so far, but I repeat: everything starts from scratch and against the best in each area, which makes it more even.
– Previously you talked about going to Ovalle alone. Was it difficult for you to adapt?
– It cost, because I have a daughter who is far away. It is a double effort that I am making, it is a motivation to get ahead. I work hard so that she does not lack anything. In Ovalle I live with two companions and it has served me a lot, because we are very united as a group. In addition, the club behaves excellent. Everything he promises he fulfills and that makes one dedicate himself only to playing. We have one of the best fields in the division and a lot of people go to the stadium. The city is very passionate about football, about the three teams that there are, so it’s an extra motivation.
– Is it the best moment of your career?
– I think so. I am very happy with what I am doing here. We have to continue like this, because I can say that it is the best thing that has happened to me in my career.
– What goals do you have?
– The main thing is to get promoted and then go out as a top scorer in the division. Then I would like to return to professionalism and play in elite football, which I know I will achieve. I would like to reach First Division and be a scorer wherever I go. Obviously every player dreams of playing for the National Team, but you have to go step by step.
The passage of Fenolio through O’Higgins and the U
Phenolium started his career in O’Higgins, where he stayed until he was 16 years old. At that time, the U went to look for him and finished his training at the Centro Deportivo Azul.
“For me it was a big surprise. They told me: ‘Joaquín, he bought you the U, you have to show up on that day‘. He surprised me, but that meant she was doing the right thing. That a team like the U take notice of you is wonderful,” she says.
“When you arrive at a club of this magnitude it is immediately noticeable. The quality of players, the infrastructure. It was a dream that I was living,” he says.
– He arrived very young from Rancagua to Santiago. Was that transition difficult?
– At the beginning it was difficult for me to change the city. Little by little I had to settle down. Suddenly I thought about what it meant to have left my home, but with the support of my colleagues, one doesn’t feel so alone. It never crossed my mind to go back, because being a footballer is the dream of my life and nobody is going to take it out of my head.
– In the inferiors of the U he also did well.
– Yes. At first it was difficult because it was a different scheme, but later I adapted and it went very well.
– Did you have the thorn of not having had opportunities in the first team?
– Yes. I would like to play there again at any time. Obviously there is that thorn of not being able to play there and my dream is to return one day.
– Did you identify with the U?
– Yes Yes. It is that one becomes part of what the club is when he spends several years of his life there.
– Does the current moment of the club suffer from a distance?
– It’s more a bit of annoyance for the things that are being experienced. It upsets to see that the equipment does not come out ahead. I do remember having suffered a lot last year in that game with La Calera. A big club cannot be fighting not to be relegated.