Leeds United great lands first managerial role as Marcelo Bielsa ambition comes to fruition

Pablo Hernandez of Leeds United waves to fans
-Credit: (Image: Jon Super - Pool/Getty Images)


Leeds United legend Pablo Hernandez will begin his managerial career ahead of the 2024/25 campaign after being named the new head coach of CD Castellon B.

The Spaniard departed Elland Road in 2021, calling time on a five-year stay in Leeds. During his spell at the club, he won promotion to the Premier League as part of the side managed by Marcelo Bielsa, and became a fans favourite over the course of 175 total appearances.

He returned to his homeland to play for Castellon in the third tier of the Spanish football pyramid, before eventually calling time on his two-decade-long career. Over the past season, the 39-year-old has acted as an advisor and ambassador, though it has been announced on Wednesday he is to change roles and make the step into management.

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Hernandez will head Castellon's B team, who play in Spanish fifth tier, as confirmed in a club announcement. He will be assisted by Sergi Ripolles, who previously took the same role under Alejandro Jimenez, who will in turn move to the club's youth A team.

As he was completing his playing career, the former attacking midfielder was in the process of achieving his coaching and sporting director qualifications, as per Spanish outlet Relevo.

And before it in 2018, he spoke of the knowledge gained from what was then just a short time playing under Bielsa, hoping to emulate his methods in what has evidently been a long-standing desire to enter management post-retirement.

"Of course my idea is this (to go into coaching)," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post via HITC. "I learn a lot with Marcelo. In my career I have had a lot of managers and I try to take the good things from each. I am 33-34 next year, and I always say the same; 'I know I have a lot of experience but I know I can learn and I know I can improve'."

Last season Castellon B finished 14th out of 20 in group six of their division, which is made up of teams located in the Valencian region.