Castillo, Moravia succeed together
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Moravia head coach Bernal Castillo (pictured) is a candidate for a 2017 CONCACAF Women’s Football Coach of the Year award. (Photo courtesy of UD Moravia)

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Success has become a trademark of Costa Rica’s Moravia, winners of back-to-back Central American Women’s Inter-Club Championship titles in the competition’s first two years.

But news of his nomination for CONCACAF women’s football coach of the year has caught Moravia coach Bernal Castillo off-guard.

“The nomination took me by surprise, but I think it is a reward for the effort made all this time. I owe it to my girls, to the dedication and patience they’ve had with me,” Castillo said. “It’s extraordinary to be nominated. I'm the first coach nominated from the Costa Rican women's league. It's very rewarding, for me, the club and those that led me to that achievement, as I mentioned before, my players.”

Castillo credits the work of his players and their dedication to train four times a week as a key to Moravia’s success and, in turn, improving the overall level of women’s football in Costa Rica.

“Moravia has helped in the growth of women's soccer, by gradually professionalizing the players, making them fulfill more training roles and working more professionally,” commented the 46-year-old, a former player and lawyer by profession. “Being competitive, other teams to look for how to be more competitive and therefore raising the level.”

That dedication to the day-to-day work has led Moravia to consecutive Central American titles, beating Guatemala’s UNIFUT and UNAN Managua in the 2016 and 2017 finals, respectively.

It is what Castillo calls part of the club’s DNA.

“The achievement of being two-time Central American champion is because of the work commitment and satisfaction that this group of players have, who have given themselves to the club, who love women's football and therefore seek to be better day by day,” Castillo expressed. “It is this club’s belief in being the best and competing to be first in the competitions that we have to participate.”

The ultimate goal for Moravia – a three-time Costa Rican champion -- is to become a professional club in the future. And though he’s seen unparalleled success, Castillo, and his players, aren’t resting on the previous accomplishments.

“Personally, continue studying, preparing, with the goal of being better day by day,” Castillo said of his goals going forward. “As you become successful, greater will be the responsibility and the demand,”

That formula has yielded great results and there’s no reason to change now.