We at BocaHQ caught up with the gaffer over a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of churros! Here’s what he made of his 2013 experience and what his aims are for 2014 and beyond. Enjoy!
First of all Julian, Happy New Year. We heard that the lads were training over the holidays. How did the festive training sessions go? Were you impressed with the numbers and efforts put in?
Hi, Happy New Year to you too and of course to all the Boca fans reading this. You heard correctly… training sessions did carry on through the festive break. I felt that we needed to keep up the fitness levels for the remainder of the season. It would have been silly to stop all the hard work we have put in so far, and many of the lads were happy with that. The Christmas break is always full of food and parties, which is understandable, so it was crucial for us to sweat out all the Turkey and trimmings. Numbers could always be better, but I do understand that during these dates players have commitments to attend. Those who did take the time to come and train gave everything they had… I expect nothing less from them. This team has a great attitude and I hope it carries on throughout the remainder of the season. Great effort from the lads!
We have a vital few games coming up, initially against Lions, then the Cup to start the new year in the best way. What can fans expect in both those games? 3 points, progressing to the next round, and a giant killing too much to ask?
I like to take it game by game and not put too much pressure on the players. Right now we’re concentrating on what could be our toughest game yet, against Lions Pilots. They were on a great run before the break, even beating promotion contenders Mons Calpe and are now level on points with us, so we cannot take this game lightly. We will work hard to try and gain those vital 3 points in order to keep close to the top of the table. When the Cup game comes against Sporting, we’ll take that head on and try to get through to the next round. We already played them in the League and beat them 3-0. This will be a completely different game and I’m sure they will try and get their little piece of revenge. First of all, Lions Pilots.
Can you confirm any comings or goings in this transfer window? And have you identified any targets to sign in January?
Right now, all I can confirm is that Nick Cortés is being released. He has decided to step down himself and he can tell you his reasons himself, if he wishes to of course. Everyone at BocaHQ thanks Nick for his efforts and wish him all the best for the future, we still hope you’ll remain a Boca fan. We have a couple of targets we’re looking to hopefully bring in, I’m sure one of them is someone who you know already. Apart from that, I’m very happy with the squad I have for the remainder of the season.
There is alot of talk that fan favourite Weevs could be coming back home to Boca. Are you prepared to go on record that you have made an approach for him?
You see, I had a feeling you knew (smiles and winks) I gave the gaffer the wink and the gun, I think its almost a certainty that Weevs comes home now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc_RSBMFT7g (RIP Uncle Phil.) Everyone knows that Weevs is always welcome back at Boca. He knows that the door is open for him to come back and play with us, but I will not approach him without having spoken to his current club first. If and when he decides to play for us again, it will of course be done in the right way. The ball is in his court now.
Is there any more news for anyone on the injury front? Has the break been long enough for JJ to be back in action soon?
JJ unfortunately is still out. He had a session with us not so long ago and took a knock so he’s still not ready to get back into action. I’m sure it won’t be long though, he’s been doing a lot of training on his own and I know he can’t wait to get back into the squad. Good news is Maurice is back and ready to be part of the squad after a few games out, so we’re very happy to have him back fighting for a place. Apart from that, we have a fully fit squad who can’t wait for the season to kick back into action, as I’m sure our fans will agree.
2013 was a big year for yourself personally with being given the 2nd most important job in Gibraltarian football, tell us your aspirations for Boca in the upcoming year?
My aspirations for this year remain the same as when I first took over this job… to work hard for this club, to be the best it can be and to not become complacent because of our results. The team and I know that we will have to work even harder than last year if we want to be at the top. We’re slowly coming into the business end of the season so all the points we gain now, will be crucial at the end of the season. It would be great to finish amongst the top 3 in my first season, but we’ll take it game by game and not concentrate too much on where we or the other teams are in the League Table. Once the League and Cups finish, we can then look back and analyse if we could have done more or not.
Can we expect a trophy? And by doing so, cost Vishal £200 quid?
It would be great to win a trophy this year… but the team knows to achieve that we have to train hard and improve in certain areas of our game. It is easy to say “We want to win a trophy” but we have to show it by working hard in training and every game we play. Obviously the Division 2 Cup is the one we would love to get our hands on, as it’s the most feasible one and that is what we will try to do. We will have a tough game against Mons Calpe or FC Hound Dogs in our first round but we will try and do our best as always and who knows, maybe add our first piece of Silverware in the Club’s history. Open top Bus parade on the cards perhaps… one can dream. Should we start making bookings and designing the bus in our Gold and Blue colours people?
We would like to thank the gaffer for his time and look forward to interviewing him again very soon.