With the 2016 Gibraltar Rock Cup getting underway today with two games, we’ve racked our brains together to try and predict the outcome of the two games on today.
Ahead of the upcoming season, we continue our series of interviews by talking to Boca Juniors manager Julian Berllaque, and getting his views of the upcoming 2015-16 season for his team.
Reflect on how last season went (what you achieved, what you didn’t, any big talking points etc..)
Last season was full of ups and downs. We started off really well with draws against two of the top teams, Gibraltar Scorpions and Angels FC and it seemed it would push us towards big things. Unfortunately, our biggest signing Paul Podesta suffered a bad knee injury in our third game, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Then things went a bit downhill from there in all honesty. More injuries followed, players then started losing interest and commitment. We probably weren’t prepared for the jump in quality from one year to the next. Luckily we managed to end the season on a high grabbing a few wins and many goals with only 14 players to choose from. So we can say it’s a season we have learned a lot from and because of it we have realised we’ve needed to up our game for this year.
How preseason has gone?
Pre-season has been a difficult one as we didn’t manage to decide the squad until a few days before the deadline. We haven’t had much time to arrange many friendly games either because of this. We had a lot of interest in the first few sessions, but with all due respect to those who came to trial with us, we weren’t sure their quality was going to improve the squad with what we had the previous season. Luckily we managed to get some great players in at the and we’re looking forward to the start of the League this Monday against an improved Cannons FC
How the team looks going into the new season, any new signings, players to look out for and especially players which have left?
We lost four key players at the start of this pre-season. Three of those players have gone to sign for another club, and I wish them the best of luck. However, we’ve been lucky to replace them with experienced players, some who have played in Premier too, so we’re hoping not to miss them too much. I don’t want to say what players everyone should look out for, as I’ll be giving other teams a slight advantage if I do… but I’m sure everyone knows who we’ve signed and where we’ve strengthened. I’ll be honest, when we lost those players we weren’t sure in what direction the team was going and at times it seemed we weren’t going to manage to have a competitive squad. But thanks to the massive effort from the Boca Committee and many of the players, we were able to attract all these new signings and the morale has gone up drastically. If everyone can keep fit and committed, I really do believe we have a squad that can compete with the top teams. We definitely have a better squad than last season and we cannot wait to begin this new season!
What goals do Boca have for this season or what they hope to achieve?
Our main goal is to improve on last season. We know the quality in the league has improved and we will have to adjust to that. Just because we have a better squad this season, does not mean we are going to do better. We will have to work hard in training throughout the season to ensure that we do not get a repeat of last season. Everyone who has signed seems committed to the cause and all we can do is hope that with the hard work in training, we reap the rewards on game day. I do not like setting goals in terms of where we aim to finish on the table, but I do hope we are closer to the top than the bottom of course. I really do believe we have the squad and the quality in it to fight and challenge the bigger teams, so we hope to upset a few of them.
Boca Juniors kick off their season against Cannons on the 21st September, with a 20:30 kick off. We thank Julian for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him all the best ahead of the upcoming season.