‘See and compete’: Gale seeks veteran leadership in Galan

WINNIPEG – José Galán’s football resumé is long and extensive. As the old saying goes, he’s made more stops than The Rolling Stones.

And he can now add Winnipeg to his long list of football addresses after the 33-year-old midfielder officially signed a multi-year contract with Valour FC on Monday.

Valour boss Rob Gale was looking for a veteran presence for the middle of the park, especially after losing Josip Golubar in early May with a knee injury that ended his Canadian Premier League season.

“When you look at our league and having young Canadians, people like Raphel Ohin, they need experience, but they also need people with experience help them through, to learn from and see and compete with on a daily basis,” said Gale at a press conference introducing his new signing. “We wanted to nurture that talent we already have and bring in pieces.”

Enter Galán, who joins the squad from Saudi Arabian club Al-Jabalian FC (Saudi Second Division) where he spent the 2018-2019 season. He began his pro career in 2005 with Atlético Madrid’s C team (4th tier Spanish division) before joining CD Toledo (Tercera Division), followed by a stint with Almería B (4th tier Spanish division) where he played until 2010.

Galán then joined his youth club, Cultural Leonesa, and later suited up for Chainat FC in the Thai Premier League. He has also played for Pro Duta FC (Indonesia) and SKN St. Pölten (Austrian Football First League) as well as for teams in Jordania, Romania, Cyprus, Finland and Hong Kong, before landing in Saudi Arabia.

And while Valour FC did their homework before adding Galán, he did some research on Winnipeg, too.

“I feel really excited to be here in Canada. I wondered about playing in America for a long time. I also asked (Valour defender) Adam Mitter, who I met in Asia, about the team, about the league, and everything was positive.

“It’s a league which is developing a lot and improving.”

Asked about the number of teams he has played for in his career, Galán added:

“I have to admit I have this mindset where sometimes I could have stayed for longer in one club, but I have an offer for another one and maybe this place is amazing.

“But now I’m married and would like some stability and Canada is a great country and this stadium, the facilities and the people that work for the club, it is the right place to stabilize. This is my dream. We’ll see if it can happen.”

Galán described himself as a player who can play any spot in the midfield and could adapt to either a defensive or offensive role.

Valour FC opens up its Fall Season schedule with back-to-back road matches, beginning Wednesday against FC Edmonton (9:00 p.m ET. 7:00 p.m. MT/OneSoccer), followed by a trip to Hamilton for a Saturday meeting with Forge FC.

Valour FC will be without Michael Petrasso and Ali Musse for the upcoming trip, but Gale hopes to have them available soon.

And when the Valour FC boss was asked about what he would like to see different from his side in the second season, he didn’t hesitate.

“Wins. First and foremost. Just win,” he said. “We want to get rewarded for the football we play and that means we have to be better in both boxes.

“We’ve talked a lot about that in here… we need that killer instinct. We need to put teams away when we’re on the front foot and not give away goals or opportunities at the other end. That’s why we’re looking at adding the pieces that we are, to make sure we can do that and take all of the positivity, but get better – the same as any other team in the league would want to do.

“One team won it, six teams aren’t happy. Everyone will be trying again to get that right in the fall season, so we’re no different.”