Barça B’s season came to an end when promotion to Segunda was within eyesight again. If last summer they lost by 2-1 in the final, now it was in a penalty shootout in the semis. This should not taint, though, what has been another magnificent campaign under Garcia Pimienta.
For years, the board considered that competing and developing talents were separate matters. That’s why they always signed countless players which had no future at the club and frustrated the progression of many academy boys. With Pimi, however, competition and talent development go hand in hand, and the youngest products have to take on responsibilities.
Sometimes inexperience is felt. After the exits of key players like Monchu, Riqui, Ronald Araujo, Jorge Cuenca, Sergio Akieme or Dani Morer, the culés started the term with many newly-promoted gems from the Juvenil A, leading to the youngest Barça B ever, with an average age of 19.8. This while competing in a super challenging competition, in rough pitches and against veterans desperately battling for the few places of promotion.
The reserves began with only 4 points out of a possible 15. But Pimienta kept betting on a marked identity and results came, especially with Alex Collado’s return from injury. The improvement was massive and, before the play-offs, they had 5 wins in 6. From Collado, Jandro or Arnau Comas, to teenagers like Nico, Konrad, Mika or Peque, Barça B are the representation of all work done at La Masia. Despite not obtaining promotion, results even exceeded expectations and these were a consequence of a clear way of doing things.