10 de Julio de 2020. 4:04 pm.
He's been a part of "The Academy" since he was 10 years old and now, Edyairth Ortega is fulfilling his dream of playing for Atlas' first team.
Ortega, having recently returned from TM Futbol Club in Tampico, sat down and dove into what his experiences with Mexico's second division were like as a stepping stone to his return to a first division club.
“Going to Tampico made me change a lot, from my personality to my mentality," he said. "I managed to play almost every game and I feel happy because I was able to learn many things from my teammates and the games."
He reflected on the intensity and demands imposed on the second division's style of play.
"(The games) are very difficult, with a lot of physical contact, and they make you learn much more. They demand the best of you in each play," he said.
As has been the case with the rest of the global soccer community, "La Jaiba's" competitive inertia came to a hault when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but Ortega says he feels fortunate that he's being given the opportunity to return to Atlas despite the setback.
“It was difficult, because it takes away your physical form, it is not the same to train at home," he commented.
"Now that I'm back, I feel happy. I really missed the field, the ball. It takes a little more time to adapt with the group, but I feel very happy because I am doing what I love again, and little by little we will be able to get together more.”
Now, as as first division players training under the command of Rafael Puente, Ortega is optimistic for a new chapter.
“I see this as a new opportunity. I've come back stronger, better mentally, and I feel very good to be accompanied by many experienced teammates and foreigners. From day one I felt comfortable with the team. (We're) very united, happy, everyone is even, they give the best of themselves."
Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of the new challenge he's facing is that he is living out his childhood dream to play for the team he joined at 10 years old.
“(Atlas FC) represents my childhood. There are the colors that were loved by my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father, who taught me little by little. Like them, I fell in love with these colors and wanted to play with Atlas. They did not have the opportunity, but thank God I was able to fulfill my dream and theirs. It's a very nice thought to debut on the team you've always wanted."
Atlas FC Communications