Some of you might remember the passionate arab Valencia fan Emran in Israel. For those who don’t, here’s an introduction. Emran Badran, a 26 year old from the small village of Ain-Ansala, got known last year for building a Valencia academy on his own. Coaching a bunch of hopeful kids he didn’t just name the club Valencia. He had kits made with the proper Valencia badges, and plan to expand to five youth teams, all built on the mother club’s GloVal principles.
He also dream to construct a proper ground with grass turf, and spectator stands. In the design, the stairs where the players enter is modelled on the ones at Mestalla. Emran still lack funds to finish this project, and hope that the financial injection after Peter Lim’s arrival can catapult Valencia CF to open an academy in Israel through their GloVal International program.
And his chance to meet the decision takers has arrived, as he touches Valencian ground for the first time tomorrow the 9th of April for a two week stay along with his friend Kahled, who will serve as an interpreter. No matter how that goes, he’s sure to have a memorable stay in the capital of Turia, and it’s rumoured he’ll get his story on VCFPlay. Also, the club has arranged tickets for him for the derby against Levante. Badran is already quite known in Israel and the large Arab community of Valencia fans thanks to his agent and founder of Israel’s Valencia CF fan group, Tal Anon.
To get a feel for the passion of Emran and his team, Happoel Valencia, just look at this video of Happoel Valencia.
Q: Hello Emran, you will achieve your dream and land in Valencia this week. How do you feel now?
A: I’m very excited. I have waited many years to be in Valencia, it’s been my dream since I was a little kid when I started to support VCF.
Q: Tell me, please, about your “sentiment” to Valencia CF. It seems like you’re an unusual fan and quite creative for a fan from a foreign country.
A: I started to cheer Valencia CF in 2000, when they played against Hapoel Haifa in Israel. My village is small, and I figured this village needed a serious football team. Since I love VCF so much, why not take it one step further and found a VCF club in my own village?
Q: I know your dream is to coach in VCF academy one day. How do you plan to reach it?
A: It’s a long way till there. There is a still long way till I’ll reach the top and there’s a lot to do. I will continue to do my best and try to reach the top. But I hope I one day will have the pleasure to walk in Mestalla’s corridors.
Q: Before you’re boarding the plane to Valencia and achieve your first dream, what about your team? How are things going over there?
A: My team is quite successful. Since we entered the spotlight with interviews, articles and headlines in the Valencian websites, my players got a lot of motivation and we’re doing well in the league. My hope is to continue developing Hapoel VCF Ain Al-Sahla. We are training in bad conditions – on an asphalt surface which isn’t the ideal for football, and for that we need to build a new ground for real professionals. But we need some money to do that.
Q: Last question – after you’ll land in Valencia, what’s the first thing you’ll do?
A: There are a lots of things to do! First, I will be very excited and happy, of course. I’m going to see the derby against Levante, the away match against Barça and more, but the best thing is that I’ll finally meet all the Valencian people who’ve helped me on Facebook, Twitter and the other social networks, face to face.
A VCF pennant with a picture of Kempes on it was gifted to me from my grandmother in 1981. Little did she know it generated a lifelong love, and a journey with many joys and heartbreaks. Sailor, father, freelance journo and vice president of Penya Chescandinavia. Live in Valencia. Sail in Norway.