Antonio Tapia, formerly head coach in two spells, has returned to Malaga to run the club’s academy.
The 58-year-old fills a vacancy left void since the death of Manel Casanova and the departure of Miguel Calzado (to Real Betis) a few months ago. Both were academy directors, the latter taking sole charge during the period that the former was taken ill.
Former coach Tapia, who had recently been working as a school teacher, is a student of the game and has always had strong links to youth football throughout Malaga province. Now his role will focus on the coordination of all of Malaga’s youth teams and imposing a philosophy.
Tapia, who lives in Fuengirola, takes over an academy that has changed much. Now, with a much greater budget and higher expectations, the club is expecting the esteemed production line which in recent years has spawned the likes Samu Castillejo, Juanmi, Pablo Fornals, Javi Ontiveros and Samuel Garcia to continue.
The Baena-born coach, who played for Malaga’s second team Atletico Malagueno in the late 1970s, enjoyed two spells as coach of the Boquerones, first replacing Gregorio Manzano midway through the 2005-06 season after gaining promotion to Segunda with the reserves, but only lasting a year in the post despite reviving the side’s fortunes. Malaga were later relegated that year.
On their return to the big time in 2008, Tapia was appointed once more and almost led the side to the Europa League with an eighth-placed finish. He then moved on to spells with both Real Betis and Tenerife.