Question time

Welcome to a small interview with two of our longest serving players. 

First up, our skipper, James Alvarez..

So James, or Eliy as ‘they’ like to call you, you’re Boca’s longest serving player, you’ve been there through the highs and lows, from Michael Benitiez to James Makepeace. What do you think of the way Boca have transformed itself from what was known as a ‘friends’ club to now being a side who look to attract players from far and wide?

Boca’s transition was inevitable. Although it was disappointing to see close friends leave the club, I now believe it was necessary for the club to evolve and adapt to the increased demands of Gibraltarian football.

At the beginning of the season there were some doubts about how Boca would react to what seemed to be an avalanche of Boca fan favourites leaving the club. Fortunately Boca are blessed with hard working board members who put in endless hours to secure fantastic signings to ensure the club remained a force to be reckoned with.

Despite a very slow start to the season, with an underwhelming first round of results, a no-nonsense approach to transfers dealings in the recent transfer window, helped filter out the players unable to commit, and bringing in arguably better players who were desperate to get minutes under their belt. We have now obtained a 75% win rate since the turn of the year and have climbed 4 league places.

Do you think the influx of players from outside the circle of friends have taken the quality of football up a notch?

Yes. Since ‘abandoning’ the friendship philosophy, I would say it had no option but to get better. With no prerequisites or guidelines with regards to our transfer policies, the transfer pond became an ocean. Members of the current squad brought along friends of theirs for trials, who then brought their own friends, who in turn brought their own friends, and so on and so forth. The pool of potential signings grew significantly.

Did it mean more to win a big game when surrounded by a side full of friends? Or is the camaraderie in the side equal to previous years after victory?

A very good question. I used to think so! And initially keeping it as a club of friends seemed like a great idea and worked well in our first season, but as each season went on, it seemed to lose its magic a little. I have no explanations to why it happened, perhaps the fact everyone was overly comfortable with each other allowed our discipline to falter.

This may be why, with the players we have now, with our new transfer specifications and regulations, the camaraderie of the squad has never been better on and off the pitch. Despite the fact most of us belong to different social groups outside of football, we all seem to share a great bond. The new lads who have come in have gelled really quickly. Almost as if we have all known each other and played with each other for years!

 

And now secondly, Kunal Budhrani…

There were rumors in January that you handed in a transfer request with the likes of Pegasus and College 1875 on high alert. Can you confirm or deny this?  

Hahaha I guess I can avoid the question for only so long. The short answer is ‘yes’ I did in a manner of speaking hand in my transfer request. As we entered the January transfer window we were going through the worst run in Boca history, we were hemorrhaging players and and we had a lot of players on our books who were not showing the commitment expected and required from a Boca player. One of players actually opted to play 5 a side rather than be our 11th man on the pitch Clapping hands sign🏾Clapping hands sign🏾Clapping hands sign🏾 unbelievable Jeff! So I kindly asked the powers that be to bring in some players that would fight for our club or sadly, I would stop fighting for us.

You’ve been known to show your displeasure at those Boca players who left the side to seek pastures new, the likes of Karl Sene and Neil Robba. Do you not think they should be allowed to try and progress their careers? 

I’ve never criticised any player for leaving Boca and as an ambitious person myself I encourage everyone to aspire and achieve big. I’ve criticised players for giving up on our club when they’ve not given their everything and then left for our direct rivals. That’s not career progression. They then go around talking shit about us. In fairness to Kai and Neil, they both left quietly and respectfully and everyone over here appreciates that. But Rick and Karl, who often declared “I AM Boca”are often heard talking smack about Boca. Sene going to olympique is like Giggs moving to City. Then again, as a Real Madrid fan, he is used to their best players being poached from rivals.

How is the banter off the pitch with the ‘new look’ Boca?

Since the shuffle made in January the atmosphere has been brilliant! Ivan, Angel and Matthew have settled in nicely – top blokes! Always cracking jokes – that Angel is a bit a devil hehe dirty bastard. A few of the lads knew and played with the likes of Carl Ramagge and “John” Ronco – they are both fantastic characters who seem like they’ve been at Boca for years. There’s a lot of fight and spirit about the team and the boys are enjoying life at the moment on and off the pitch.

Out of the new players brought in this summer, which would you say has had the biggest impact on Boca’s style of play? 

I think juanjo finding fitness after Christmas and the gaffer ingeniously sticking him in the centre midfield, together with Carl Ramagge in who is a massive massive signing (in January) were vital in allowing us to play our style of football. We’ve always had creative players, Kevagn, Toni, Ahmed, before them Tzach, Sene, Rick but players like Carl and juanjo who are intelligent, relentless work horses – they are the engine of the team. A good engine is hard to find.

 

Thats all folks, thanks for reading. 

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A bout of Amnesia

Why Hello there, we’re back, and so soon, you’re very welcome.

This weeks fixture saw us take on Mons Calpe, unfortunately however for those of you looking forward to a nice long read, we’ve had a few technical issues. Firstly, lets break down the starting 11. It read as follows, Vatvani (Gk), Xemi (Rb), Ilias, Crawford (Cbs), Nyall (Lb), Sean, Norman (Cms), Yitzi (Rw), Rick (Atm), Bitton (Lw), Hamza (CF). Those eagle-eyed among you will notice a few surprises in that 11, most notably in goal. Pippo was unfortunately unavailable due to an illness (unconfirmed reports he had issues with his teeth after a botched dental visit. Further unconfirmed reports also state however that this did not prevent him eating cake on the day of the match) You guys know us though, we wouldn’t want to drop anyone in it or spread rumours. (Man the fuck up Pippo 🙂 )mean girls

Our usual second keeper and skipper Eily was also unavailable due to his commitments with the Gibraltar U19 squad in Ireland. So that’s how we ended up with Vatvani in goal, quite simply, because he stepped up and volunteered, which he must be commended for. Other noticeable absentees were Sene who was also missing through injury, along with the trio of suspensions Bear, Cheese and Seb. Boca had a depleted squad which could be easily seen as you glanced at the bench to see only 3 substitutes available. With Skip away and Sene the usual stand in also missing, the armband for the day was passed onto Mr Robba. Nyall later admitted on Twitter he very much enjoyed leading the team out. What better way to mark this occasion then than with another throwback picture to Nyall back in the day. (Sorry again :D, and an added sorry to our injured Podi) Neil

As for the game itself, this is where the technical issues begin. The first goal came rather predictably as a long shot/cross floated over Vatvani, who was unable to do anything but parry into the top of the net. This however was as bad as it would get (for him personally) as he largely performed very well considering the circumstances. Half time came along and Boca trailed by one. As for the second half? Well…we seem to have blacked out and completely missed the rest. We do apologise, we hope it won’t become a recurring problem. As a little apology and since he didn’t embarrass himself as much as expected in the game itself, here’s a little picture of stand in keeper wearing what he termed himself as “An awesome hat”. We’re not so convinced, you guys decide.

VatvaniForza Boca!

Movember, Moblogging

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, by not so popular demand, we’re back! Gibraltar’s forgotten local team…

Boca NRFirstly, considering its been such a while I would like to give a warm welcome to our new summer recruits, Ilias Rahmouni, Jamie Napoli, Matthew ‘Cheese’ Grech, Tzach Bitton, Yitzi Marrache, and last but not least, Paul Podesta (Get well soon!). Welcome to you all, and advanced apologies now for the inevitable time when our shotgun gets aimed at you. Fear not however, as no matter how bad it gets you’ll never be Trevor Bellend’Dor Garcia! Treva >> 😀

Welcome back to the rest of you, strap yourselves in while we take you on a journey of our season so far.

It began way back on Augest 19th, yes, that long ago. (We’ve slacked just a little). Boca began the season against Gib Scorpions and the chosen first 11 read as follows. Pippo (Gk), Xemi, Bear, Crawfo (Cbs), Cheese (Rwb), Nyall (Lwb), Sean, Sene, Rick (Cms), Seb, Podi (CFs). Boca began the season with the back 3 formation that had been flirted with at times last season and gave debuts to both Cheese and Podi. The first big chance of the game fell to Scorpions after a great effort from outside the box struck both posts before falling safely into Pippos hands. Boca had to wait till just before the half time whistle for their first real chance. Debutant Podi beautifully turned his defender before playing a great pass into Seb who’s shot smashed off the crossbar. The whistle blew, 0-0 at HT. Scorpions began the second half the better side, firstly forcing Pippo into an outstanding save before themselves having a shot smash onto the crossbar. After a few changes, seeing Vatvani replace Cheese, Napoli make his debut replacing Rick, and Sols coming on for Nyall, Boca finally had their break. Seb was brought down inside the box and the ref pointed to the spot. Penalty Boca! Podi had the chance for a debut goal, stepped up and struck the ball low to the bottom right. GOAL. With only a few minutes to go Boca had the lead. Problem being a few minutes is more than long enough for a goal and Scorpions grabbed an equaliser after a deep free kick was touched in at the back post. The full time whistle blew. An opening day draw, something that would soon sound familiar.

The next game came along on September 21st vs Europa Point FC (Can they point to Europa on a map though?) Boca once again began with the 3 at the back formation. Starting 11 – Pippo (Gk), Xemi, Bear, Ilias (Cbs), Vatvani (Rwb), Crawfo (Lwb), Tzach, Rick (Cms), Cheese (Rw) Sene (Lw), Podi (CF). This game is one Boca will want to forget so we won’t dwell on it for long. Boca never really got going and found themselves a goal down at half time. The second didn’t get much better and game ended 3-0. The 3rd goal being one of real quality after a run from inside his own half and a neat finish past Pippo.

Games then began to come thick and fast as on October 6th we took on another set of new comers Angels FC. This time around Boca began in a more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Pippo (Gk), Vatvani (Rb), Eily, Crawford (Cbs), Nyall (Lb), Bear, Napoli (Cms), Sene (Rw), Tzach (Atm), Mont (Lw), Podi (CF). This game will be remembered mostly for the final 10 minutes. After a close and tight match with little in the way of chances one of the more extraordinary thing’s I have witnessed on a football pitch took place. Boca won a free kick on the right wing which upset a number of the Angels players. Many of the Angels players had become increasingly frustrated throughout the match as they struggled to communicate properly with the referee. (#keepitlocal). Frustrations finally reached boiling point after the award of the free kick and one Angles player found himself given his marching orders for complaining. This further incensed the Angels team and a second player found himself sent off seconds later, again for something he said. The fun was not over however, as Boca still waited to take the free kick a third, yes a third Angel’s player was sent off arguing with the official. Angels found themselves down to 8 within a couple of minutes as players completely lost their heads. Unfortunately Boca did not have long enough to take advantage of this capitulation as the final whistle blew soon after, another solid point. This game also brought about some very bad news for the club. Podi picked up a cruciate ligament injury and as such will miss the remainder of the season. We wish him well!podi

Our next fixture game the following week, October 13th vs Leo FC. This fixture also presents me with the opportunity to bring out the double barrelled for the first time. Prior to kick off Nyall decided to share a prediction with players and fans alike, “Today I will score a penalty”. Not happy to just score any sort of goal, Nyall predicted exactly the kind of goal he was gonna get, bold claim. Luckily for him the first hurdle was overcome, he was in the starting 11. Pippo (Gk), Ilias (Rb), Bear, Crawford (Cbs), Nyall (Lb), Sols, (Dm), Cheese (Rw), Tzach, Rick (Atms), Karlo (Lw), Seb (CF). Boca began brightly and were soon controlling the game and creating some opportunities. Then came the first bit of drama, as if someone was smiling down on him from the heavens, Boca had a penalty! Nyall had his chance, the hard part was over, his bold claim surely about to come true. This is where the fairy-tale ends though folks as the muppet smashed the penalty onto the bar. Admitting later after the match that the nerves got the better of Mr Robba after such an outrageous claim, and Boca missed the chance to take the lead. Nyall was left like feeling quite the clown. Boca continued to boss the half but failed to make the breakthrough, 0-0 at half time. The second half continued much like the first and Boca soon had the lead. Karlo might not be the tallest but he crept into the box unmarked from a corner and powered the header home. Boca continued to press for the second and Hamza who had come off the bench was guilty of missing two great chances to put the game to bed. Soon Boca were punished, Leo with a rare attack managed to squeeze a shot in past Pippo at his near post. In truth this game could have, and should have ended 6 or 7-1. However unlike Oliver Twist Boca look like they constantly fail to finish their supper. Boca would have to look at the positives however after such a great display, except you Nyall, not you. (Sorry mate :D)Nyall

November the 4th then soon came along, Boca still looking for the first win of the season. 5th game in & Cannons were the opponents. The starting 11 read Pippo (Gk), Vatvani (Rb), Eily, Ilias (Cbs), Crawford (Lb), Bear, Rick, Napoli (Cms), Karlo (Rw), Hamza (Lw), Seb (CF). Boca began where they had left off from the previous fixture and took early control of the game. Boca twice had the ball in the net in the first half however both were ruled out for offside. The first a delightful finish from Seb after a chipped ball over the defence. Half time came and Cheese was on to replace a very unhappy Karlo. The second half continued in much the same vain with Boca pushing for the opener. As the time ticked by however the sense of desperation began to creep into the play as the thought of yet another draw grew. Soon the tension showed as half time sub Cheese was given his marching orders and shown a straight red after some verbal’s with the defender. With the gloom setting in and barely minutes to spare Boca finally found their breakthrough. Vatvani who’d been a constant threat down the right floated a cross into substitute Tzach. He took a touch and just as the chance looked gone, swivelled to place the ball past the keeper. Boca finally had the goal, & finally had a win!

With the win and some much needed points finally on the board Boca had their sights set on October 12th, the ‘OV Classico’ vs Brunos Magpies.  The starting 11 read Pippo (Gk), Vatvani (Rwb), Eily, Bear, Xemi (Cbs), Robba (Lwb), Rahmouni, S.Grech, Napoli (Cms), Tzach, Seb (CF). Notable absentee from the team was one Mr Stuart Crawford missing his first fixture of the seasonCrofooo. Many were surprised by this decision, however we can reveal a very justified reason. Crawfo had been away for the weekend and missed vital training sessions, what was his excuse you ask? Well, Lady Gaga, that’s what. Crawford had been caught by the Paparazzi attending her concert, a shameful act we know. When questioned about this unacceptable behaviour Crawford simply had no Poker Face and could not deny his actions. His excuse was simply that the choice was out of his hands and to avoid a Bad Romance with the misses he simply had to attend. Despite us in no way condoning this behaviour we do slightly understand, after all, it wasn’t really his fault, he was just Born This Way.

Onto the match itself (this is where the humour ends). Shotguns loaded and set to auto. Barely two minutes in and Bear was in the book, judged to have fouled a Magpie up near the half way line. Magpie fans immediately called for a red for being last man, some Boca fans weren’t even sure it was a foul, none of it mattered, he was given a yellow. Barely 10 minutes later Bear gave away another free kick, this time he was judged to have handled the ball, the referee took a lenient view and no second card was shown. The Magpies soon had the lead. Boca allowed the ball to bounce and allowed the Magpie striker to pick up the ball & turn at the defense. He knocked the ball past Bear who was clearly reluctant to make a tackle due to the booking and his shot beat Pippo who will also be disappointed with the save. Boca after a shaky start were not behind for long. The ball broke to Nyall on the edge of the box and he curled a right footed screamer right into the top left corner. You’re now forgiven for the penalty miss Mr Robba, beauuuuty of a goal. Just before the half time whistle Bear gave away another foul this time shoving the Magpie striker to the floor. Somehow the referee let him off with yet another warning but Bear was now seriously walking a tight rope. Any sort of foul next he’d be off, a half time sub was needed. As the teams returned for the second half Boca indeed made a sub, however Bear was not coming off. His partner at the back Xemi was replaced by Karlo.

Why? Why? Why? It seemed everyone, and I mean everyone could see leaving Bear on was a disaster waiting to happen, except the man in charge. The answer lay with Xemi himself. Rumours soon began to spread that he himself had asked to be subbed off feeling fatigued (unconfirmed rumours). The self-claimed fittest member of Bear facepalmthe squad? The half marathon runner? Tired after a couple of jogs in 45mins? Even after a half marathon at the weekend it just doesn’t sound right, especially considering the circumstances. Xemi should have either been told to sweep up the sand beneath his feet falling from between his legs and continue, or two subs made at the break. Within minutes of the restart Bear chopped down the striker and was sent to the changing room, leaving the fans wondering quite how it was let to happen. Not the best of game for the trio, mares all around.

Weirdly as the half progressed despite being a man down Boca began to take control and probably looked the most likely to score. After some great work by Karlo down the left wing the ball was cut back to Seb who saw his shot saved by the keeper. Clearly frustrated with the miss Seb attempted a Chris Smalling (we have no idea why anyone would want to be Smalling either) as he tried to block the keepers kick. Despite not managing this either he found himself in the book, yellow card. Boca continued to push forward looking for the winner and substitute Rick looked most likely to create. Despite the control Boca failed to create a clear cut chance and soon Seb was made to pay the ultimate price for his Smalling impersonation. After giving away a foul on the half way line he was shown a second yellow and sent off. Boca down to 9! One more for the match’s muppet list. Going back to the beginning of last season our very rough (very rough) make that 10 red cards in about 30 matches. Fear not though folks, Karlo says we’re not a dirty team, promise. The final whistle blew, 1-1. Four draws out of 6 for Boca, we’re a sharing team, points for everyone.

So that’s that folks, the season so far. I’d like to end this blog with two reminders. Firstly about the newest member of our social media team this season, Boca Snapchat. (bocajrngib). ADD IT!!! Honestly, it’s fantastic! Credit to everyone’s favourite B15L for the idea and excellent running so far, unrivalled coverage! Secondly, many would have seen by now, but as yet none have found it in their hearts to donate. Several members of the Boca team are taking part in Movember, please, if you laughed even once during this blog (you bloody better have) then donate. However small, it all helps.  www.mobro.co/bocagib

Thank you & Forza Boca!!

Devastated Podesta confirms our fears.

As the news of Paul Podesta’s injury has filtered through to all the different methods of Social Media this week, we at BocaHQ caught up with the main man to ask how he was doing, and how soon we could see him gracing the hallowed turf of Victoria Stadium again.

When you did it, did you instantly feel it could be bad or did the length of time sidelined surprise you?

It happened in the draw against Angels, I was twisting and heard a pop in my knee. I tried walking it off but was still really painful for the rest of the game, but I didn’t realise how serious it would actually turn out to be at the time.

Whats the prognosis on the injury?

Well, 3 weeks after the game, my knee locked up again and kept giving way, the doctor had to send me for an MRI which showed that I have a complete tear in the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. I have to see and consult with the specialist on 4th November about a possible operation. 

Do you have an expected return date/time-frame?

Once the operation is done, it could be between 6 – 9 months before I can kick a ball.

We heard of rumours of a goal match bet with a rival player, has the bet now been called off by mutual agreement?

I haven’t spoken to this rival as yet but I would gladly pay him if he wants. Under one condition though, that next year it’s double the wager just so I can win back my money. 😉 

It was tough start to the season for the lads, do you feel the lads will be able to cope and gain positive results without you?

Of course the lads can cope without me, they showed it against Leo. The only thing is that Hamza needs to start putting his chances away. 😉 

Will it be easy for you to watch the boys in action while you’re on the sidelines? And will you be attending games as a fan?

Football is my passion and it’s hard to think that I won’t kick a ball for the next 6-9 months, so as you can imagine it will be hard for me to watch live games, but rest assured I will always back Boca for the win and be supporting them every time.

We all at BocaHQ, as well as the fans and his team-mates would like to wish Paul a speedy recovery and we hope we can see him wearing the famous FC Boca Juniors Gibraltar #14 shirt very soon.

FORZABOCA

Captain Alv-tastic ready for the off!

Oh hey guys, with manager Julian Berllaque signing a new contract and as a result, dismissing rumours that Tim Sherwood had taken the Boca hot-seat, and after a summer of big changes in the Boca camp, the gaffer and his troops got their season underway on the 19th August (blog will follow). There were some big comings and goings throughout the summer, but with one of the most controversial episodes of the summer, more than the Luis Suarez bite, was the raging debate over the fan of the year award. Vishal Kainth refuses to accept he lost and he has since been seen outside BocaHQ with a placard asking for a vote recount, we’re pretty sure that’s not going to happen, but its funny to give him hope that there might be.

The Boca media team caught up with our Club Captain James Alvarez over a coffee and asked him a few quick questions about what the Boca-rones can expect from the upcoming season. He was happy to oblige and we thank him for that!

So what are your expectations for the new season?

I like to take it game by game. It’s a new league with many new teams and with ”segunda” certainly being the most competitive league in the world (in my opinion) it would be disrespectful to blatantly state that I think we are going to win it or get promoted. But we are certainly aiming to fulfill our potential and primarily play good football. Hopefully the results will follow and for the league standings to match the clubs ambitions! The sky is our limit!

How have the new signings adapted to training with their team-mates?

The new signings have literally been a blessing. Transfer windows have been a filtering system for us each year, those lacking the Boca attitude have needed to pull up their socks or move on, and each signing we’ve brought in we have made sure they are of that strong Boca mentality. What’s great about this year is that everyone wants to train, if you don’t train (whether you have good excuses or not) you could easily lose your place! No ones place in the team is safe which wasn’t the case last season! It’s a great motive to push yourself and keep yourself fit and on form! So I reckon when the lineup gets released there will be a few surprises!   
With this being your first appearance of the season, do you think rustiness and sharpness will be an issue?
I’m certainly not known for my composure or technical ability (something I’m working on) so I pride myself on my leadership skills and tough tackling. No nonsense, a poor man’s Wes Brown! So rustiness from a lack of games won’t affect me too much. My first game will hopefully be a solid one. Iv had 3-4 technical sessions to help battle any rustiness and sharpness and I’m feeling pretty good! Gaining my fitness back after 3 weeks in South Korea but after 4 weeks of training (and making sure I do my own training if I miss a team session) I feel ready to be called upon whenever I’m selected!   
Finally, a prediction for your finishing position this season? And will we finally win a trophy?

I predict crowd pleasing football with a team that will allow the gaffer to impart his philosophy of passing football, from defense to attack, with a never-say-die attitude. I hope this style of football in conjunction with our performance and effort levels will reward us with a well deserved first trophy! Lifting Boca’s first trophy (more so as captain) would be the proudest moment of my life!

FORZABOCA

End of the road for the gaffer or still life left?

So gaffer that’s the end of our season, with the results in the past 2 months ensuring that you’re spending another year in Gibraltar’s 2nd Division, how would you sum up the season as a whole?

When I took over this job, I had not set any objectives. Just to go game by game and keep improving with every one. We started very strong with some good wins, which instantly allowed us to think that this could be our year. Unfortunately there was a dip in form, which regrettably knocked our confidence. It’s been a long season and we’ve done well to keep committed to the cause. Even when results weren’t going our way, the players’ reaction was positive and exactly what I wanted. We’ve had a good finish to the season, unbeaten in the last 4 games. We’ve been playing good football, the type I encourage my players to play and the only thing we have been lacking is goals, which is something we’re looking to improve on next season.

When and why do you think the season tailed off after a good chance of promotion?

It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact reason why it went sour. We had injuries to some important players, which obviously didn’t help. Changes in the calendar affected continuity when we went over a week or two, without playing a game. It made things that bit more difficult for the players. The lack of training facilities didn’t help either. Considering the fact that we have not had as many technical/ball sessions as we would’ve liked to, I’m very happy with what we’ve done. Credit also has to go to the other teams; it has been a very competitive season with a good few teams fighting for the top spots.

What positives apart from our brand spanking new kit can you highlight?

Probably the toughest challenge I thought I would have was to get the players to respect and listen to my instructions as I’m only just a couple of years older than most of the squad. So that has been a major highlight on a personal level. The players have responded well and have played the type of football I have wanted, regardless if they thought it was the best decision or not. As a club, I think we have progressed immensely, both on the field of play and off it. The commitment the players have shown this season has been great and I hope it continues on to next season. Social media has also had a great influence this season. With more interaction than probably any other club locally, it has been a success in getting the fans feel closer to the club and it shows the direction the club want to go in.

If you had to pick one moment from the season that you will remember for a long time what would it be?

There are a couple of moments that come to mind. Our first game against College Pegasus, for example. Going down to 10 men because of an injury and then winning it with a stunning chip from Trevor in the last minutes was a great way to grab our first win. Then the epic 4-3 win against Sporting Glacis is another match that comes to mind. We fought hard to come back from behind and deserved to win in the end. Credit to them though, they really stepped it up after going a man down. Although, I must admit that the 5-1 win against Mons Calpe in the Cup is the one that always springs to mind. They’re a very good team and they’ve had an incredible first season. So to beat the League runners up in that manner was a great feeling for the players and for me too.

What is your response to rumours that Alan Hansen, Tim Sherwood and Alan Shearer may all be travelling to Gibraltar this summer to meet the board to potentially take the manager’s hot seat? Are you issuing a hands off warning or are you prepared to walk away?

I suppose there will always be rumours when you manage a big club like Boca. I want to stay at this club for as long as possible. I feel right at home here. Now, if the board sees best that I should step down, then so be it. I will always want what’s best for the club, regardless if it’s me who is managing it, or someone else. I feel as if I’ve done enough to earn at least one more season as Manager, and I guarantee that next season will be more successful than this last one.

We at BocaHQ would like to thank the gaffer for his hard work on the training ground and the touch-line with all the lads. And of course we appreciate his efforts every time we have asked for an interview. Heres to many more interviews with players and the staff in the coming years.

FORZABOCA

 

Late roar from Lions denies Boca win.

A nicely chipped ball through and a lobbed finish was the only incident to cheer at the game which wasn’t the most entertaining but did provide 2 good goals and a tightly contested match. There were a few glimpses of great quality in the game but it was mostly a scrappy affair where both sets of players knew this game was almost a dead rubber and not a lot hinged on it. Fear not though people, there’s no such thing as a dead rubber here at BocaHQ, we won’t give you a nice comprehensive run-down of the game because lets face it, it wasn’t the best and I was quite busy having a cigarette, but we’ll it a whackedy good go!

The game was scheduled as the late kick off of the day with Olympique and Leo playing before us and at around 8:04, the 22 players and officials made their onto the pitch. The stands even featured a decent amount of Boca-rones who were winding down their day with a cheeky Boca game. Our starting eleven was Phil, Vatvani, Eily, Bear, Crawford, Nali, Sols, Sean, Xemi, Montero, and Seb in a 5-3-2 very similar to our last game. The game started off very quietly, Bear even got bored and wanted a sweet liquidy treat (or his sugar level was low) mid-way through the half and asked the fans to sort him out with a Coke or Lucozade. The highlight of the half was the gaffer being soaked by a Lucozade that was thrown from the stands after he failed to catch the bottle. The game meandered along with Boca struggling to string passes together and Lions – despite not creating any clear-cut chances – were playing the better football. 

As a lot of the fans were losing hope of any entertainment coming soon, our fears were allayed as Sols played a wonderous chipped ball over the top which Seb ran onto, as the striker was being closed down, he deftly chipped the keeper and the ball made its way into the back of the net. Seb had a celebration to match the quality of the goal and was also almost flattened by a jumping Sols who was justifiably delighted with his own contribution to the goal that gave Boca the lead, against the run of play, at the break.

Okay so maybe Sols’ pass wasn’t from the right and Seb’s finish wasn’t like that, but how can I not post a video of Becks when I’m talking about people crossing and scoring.

Boca started the 2nd half very brightly with Paul bombing down the right straight from the off, and beating a couple of defenders before laying the ball off to Sean who saw his shot blocked for a corner. Boca had improved on their first half performance but neither team was the stand-out better team, Boca had to be careful of that as one attack could easily see them lose their lead. Lions were beginning to lose their discipline and soon had 2 players in the book, one for a foul and Nali and another for what looked to be a painful challenge on Seb. Both of our lads recovered to play on as no lasting damage was done from the challenges. Boca were living dangerously and Lions almost made them pay with one of their players strolling towards the edge of the box, he went on unchallenged and smashed a shot that flew just over the bar, another reminder to the lads to not lose concentration. At the other end, Mont was having a good game himself and he was linking up well with Seb, a poor touch and some good positional defending denied the lads 2 big opportunities at goal, which would eventually come back to haunt us. Sols was even heard saying ”c’mon lads, lets not let this f***ing slip” – nice one lad!

Lions finally got the goal they craved as another unchallenged run towards the box resulted in a shot which whizzed past Pippo and rippled the net. It was a very save-able shot but it was in and Boca were pegged back! The gaffer decided to bring Karlos off for Mont who had a very solid game and he also decided to bring on the self-confessed ‘game-changer’ in Bill to try and knick the game late on. 5 minutes after the subs were made and with no major incidents occurring, the ref had decided he had seen enough and blew the full-time whistle to bring our 2013/2014 campaign at ‘home’ to end. It wasn’t the best of 1-1 draws witnessed but it was probably the fair result as each team had their separate spells of dominance in an even game.

Man of the Match this week was a tough one, there were a fair few contenders for it and we cant pick, so you guys can decide between: Bear for actually managing to put in a performance and trick us into thinking he cares for Boca as we understand he is on the cusp of his ”dream move” to Brittannia. Sols for putting himself about and enjoying a good game with a cheeky assist thrown in, Seb with a great finish for the goal and some good link up play, Txemi as he was everywhere on the pitch making his presence felt and Paul who used his pace well (for once) and was a constant threat on the wings.

So that’s it, our campaign at ‘home’ comes to an end, it could have been better but also could have been so much worse. We witnessed the lads beating the Magpies 5-0 but also saw horrible losses to Mons Calpe and Brittannia. We hope the lads can improve on their performances in front of the ‘home’ fans to try and push for promotion next season. Our next and final game of the season will be our visit to Leo on Sunday at 16:00. For those w***ers who haven’t made an effort all season unlike us, this could be your last chance to see some of the lads in action, but I guess you’re all off to Tarifa or some nonsense like that, in which case f*** you, get away from our club and never come back!

FORZABOCA