With every new season a sense of great hope and expectation will sweep through a clubs fans, and this season is no different. A couple of new faces in the squad, some older faces with a seemingly improved attitude, and of course, as shown above, a brand new badge! (which may I say looks rather ‘pilot’. Thanks must also be given at this point to Steven Pardo for the badge design) Without wanting to get carried away, there seems to be a positive feel around the club. Pre-season has began early with the realization that last years squad fitness was not up to standard. Familiar faces from last years team have already fallen by the wayside as this new look Boca are claiming to bring a more serious and committed attitude to the cause, a move welcomed by the supporters trust.
With the clubs first friendly behind us, a 1-1 draw with new team on the block Hound Dogs, what better way to discuss mine, and the fans hopes and views for the new season. With a new season, new badge, and new attitude the fans will be going into this season with much greater expectations. The pressure will be on the squad to improve on last years 5th placed finish. Whispers in the wind can even be heard about a push for the title! If this is to occur, even with the new faces, some of the old guard will need to step up their game.
This brings me nicely on to one Mr Trevor ‘M’encanta Demasiao’ Garcia. Some at this point may feel I am being unfair, after all, he was lasts season Top league scorer! If the team is to take the step to the next level however than every player will have to make improvements, so where better to start than with our goal hope. Too often last year Boca’s number 10 seemed to want to be the new Mario Balotelli, this may seem a strange comparison, but bear with me. All to often when he receives the ball, his head will drop and he will head straight for goal. His game has become one dimensional. Severely lacking in any sort of build up play, he can begin to frustrate his teammates and often be called a selfish player, much like Super Mario. As his name also suggests, Mr, M’encanta Demasiao, like Mario has been known to enjoy the party lifestyle a little too much, and his commitment has often come in for criticism. I would like to encourage him to study the style of one Dimitar Berbatov to help improve his game. Again, this is likely to cause criticism from some quarters, so let me explain. Berba may not be a prolific scorer, but he is an elegant player, always looking to involve his teammates. He also manages to achieve this with minimal sprinting, something Garcia will be pleased to hear. If he could add the passing ability and build up play possessed by the Bulgarian he would become a better player for it.
The second player I wish to see some improvements in is Mr. Stuart Crawford. Despite openly saying he would prefer the left back position, (the position he undertook for the friendly against the Hound Dogs, grabbing Boca’s equalizer and only goal of the game and making a mockery of last years 2500/1 price that was being placed on his head to be the first scorer), he has often taken his place in the center of the defense, and to be fair to Crawford, he rarely lets the team down. He has been known however to admit having a dislike for both a good, crunching tackle, and claims to have a lack of heading ability. A center back who doesn’t want to tackle and cant header? It sounds disastrous! If he finds himself occupying the same position this season fans would like to see him attempt to relish the role more, get stuck in, enjoy a tackle! After watching numerous matches last season it also became apparent that his heading ability is nowhere near as bad as he makes out, and it is in fact a lack of confidence. Fans want to see Crawford find his inner animal (hopefully not a pussycat) and bring a mean streak to his defending.
Lastly, there are concerns among fans about the future of last seasons Fans player of the year, Stefan Borge. Mr versatile won the award, by being just that, versatile. Playing in every position except center back (including goal) he quickly became a fans favorite. However this season with increased competition for places, and without a position to call his own, his place in the team may be under threat. Although his versatility will ensure he is one of the first names in the squad, it may also prove his downfall for a regular starting place. We hope the number 19 can begin to focus his energies into one position, make it his own, and regain his player of the year status.
Despite all this, the view for the new season is a very optimistic one. Not too much can be read into the first friendly, with fitness yet to reach anywhere near its peak, new faces still needing time to settle in, and the level of opponents being largely unknown. Anticipation is beginning to grow, and quite frankly the season cant come soon enough. The future’s bright, the future’s Boca!
Co-Chief of the Boca Gibraltar Supporters Trust