Spaniards' 'no' to Zico

GUERNSEYMAN Ryan Zico Black's reign in Spain is over before it had begun.

GUERNSEYMAN Ryan Zico Black's reign in Spain is over before it had begun. The 25-year-old former professional and Northern Ireland under-21 international is back in the UK after his dreams of carving out a new career abroad turned sour.

He has described his Spanish experience as 'an absolute mission' and 'a real experience'.

'It's been something else and the coaches think I'm crazy,' he said.

He is disappointed about how he had been treated and how clubs were unprepared to give an English player a chance to show what he could produce.

'It's like racism, but not black and white. They don't like the English and want to keep their teams Spanish,' Black claimed.

'I wanted to see it for myself and I did not think it was as bad as what my friend had told me.

'In England there have always been foreign players on trial and they have been given a chance to train but in Spain there seems no point hanging around. I'm glad though that I have been out there and seen it for myself.

'It is cliquey and they want to keep it Spanish - you did not feel welcome when you went into the changing rooms and they did not want to know if you were English speaking.'

Black had been around up to eight clubs over three weeks to try and get signed up without success and most did not even allow him the opportunity to train.

'I know a bit of Spanish but nowhere near enough,' he said.

He spoke to an English coach and chairman at a Spanish fourth division side, Javea, and trained with them.

'It went really well and the coach said he was really impressed,' he said.

'They offered me a deal but with the cost of transport and training four times a week and my petrol costs coming out I would be coming out with next to nothing.

'Javea offered me a contract but it was not feasible to stay with the money they were offering - I can't live off that sort of money,' he said.

He believes the standard of Conference football in England is probably higher than the Spanish third division.

'A lot of the teams have all-weather pitches with little stadiums and they don't get big crowds - just a couple of hundred. In Spain it seems there is La Liga and then the little leagues where there is not a lot of money being put into them,' said Black.

'The average wage is poor and you realise how good the English structure is and even the non-league structure is well run.'

The Guernseyman is now back home and trying to secure a contract with a Conference North team for this season.

He played for his former team Lancaster City on Saturday as they made the best possible start to their Unibond North season with a 2-1 victory against league favourites FC United of Manchester.

The opponents were formed after Manchester United fans objected to the Glazier takeover of the Old Trafford club.

In first-half stoppage time he swung in a left-wing corner which Ian Stevens nodded home before a crowd of more than 2,000.

He was involved in their decisive goal in injury time when his long clearance down the left found a player who crossed for Jimmy Love to make it 2-0.

'I only got back on Thursday and did not expect to be playing and have said I would play for them for four matches on a non-contract basis to see how I get on,' said Black.

'I think I will probably just be playing a few games and then moving on.'

He also featured on Tuesday away to Chorley and was booked in a 4-0 defeat.

Several Conference teams have been in touch with him about possibly signing a contract.

'I'm confident of getting something permanent sorted out in the next few weeks - the next move is a big one for me and I need to get somewhere where I can settle in.'