Time to say goodbye

It's been a long and enjoyable ride for me these past years keeping up with the blog. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and El Bergantin Pirata will no longer be maintained. This is a sad decision for me to take but I have come to realize that I am unable to keep up with the regular updates and information that this blogs needs. When I started this page, I set myself two objectives: first, to strenghten my commitment as a fan to my wonderful club and second, to tell the non-Spanish speaking world about the past and present of the Club Atletico Belgrano. Looking back over these two years, I am satisfied that I have been able to achieve both to some extent.

I didn't want to just vanish so, although this final post comes rather late, I am waiving you all goodbye. I have enjoyed reading comments and interacting with football fans from Argentina and also from Belgium, Italy, Portugal and other places where people don't know much about Argentine football beyond Boca and River. I am also grateful to people that constantly encouraged me to keep with the blog. Those that maintain a blog or a webpage will know about the personal effort involved and I hope they understand this decision. Finally, I would also like to thank people that suggested ways of improving the page.

Belgrano is a great club. Its greatness is not only firmly rooted in its 100 years of history but also in the rock-solid devotion of the fans. The fans have carried out through bad patches in our history and will continue to carry us through whatever circumstances are laid upon us. Hopefully, there will come several decades of glory. El Bergantin Pirata firmly believes that the future is bright. Vamos Belgrano Carajo!!!

Belgrano transfer market activity nears end

With the signings of Cuevas, Pachecho, Chmill, Frangipane, Lux, Cardenas and Becerra, the coach Dalcio Giovagnoli has now only one remaining spot to fill. Cuevas, a high-profile signing due to his former past as Talleres player, fills the much-needed centre-forward role. The much-loved Frangipane has come back to the club after spending an year with Deportivo Cali in Colombia. The addition of Pacheco and Cardenas will strenghten the team weakest areas, central midfield and left-back respectively. Chmill didn't play much during the last year at Gimnasia y Esgrima (Jujuy) but he adds depth to the squad. The board decided to make an important offer to Lux, a player whose experience and ascendancy is considered vital. Finally, Leandro Becerra comes from a spell in Atletico Rafaela and will also add depth to the midfield.

These signings and the fact that they have all been signed before the pre-season training started last monday have sent the fans hopes high and there is excitement all around the Belgrano camp. Some of these signings have Primera Division experience, others have impressed in recent years and a few have yet to make an impact. Having said all that, it will be the coach's task to turn these and the remaining players from last season into a solid unit capable of challenging for the title and promotion to Primera.

We've got coach!

Dalcio Giovanoli became the new Belgrano coach after a long day of negotiations ended with an agreement between both parties. Giovagnoli, whose last coaching spell was at Chacarita Juniors, defines himself as a versatile coach and is said to favour a 3-4-1-2 formation. He declared himself delighted about this opportunity and vowed to rebuild the team with the addition of experienced players. He finally acknowledged that promotion was the only acceptable result in Belgrano.

The appointment of Giovagnoli was received with mixed feelings among Belgrano fans. It was not the high-profile coach many were expecting (in fact, so low a profile that we couldn't find his photo) and his coaching career isn't particularly impressing. Besides, many believe that he may lack the strong grip and personality needed to coach at our club. Although there is the positive feeling that always comes with a new coach, many argue that a bad start of the season may put him under a lot of pressure. We remain mildly optimistic about the new coach and hope he is able to work wonders for Belgrano.

Giunta deal is off

It is really hard to believe but things like these seem to only happen at our club. After announcing to the press that he was the new Belgrano coach, Giunta went back on his word (and a pre-contract) and told the Belgrano chiefs that he wouldn't be able to sign. He mentioned familiar problems as the reason. Yet, nobody seems to understand why didn't he thought of those problems when he was agreeing the deal. Needless to say, the directors at Belgrano were furious.

The whole situation was badly handled since neither Giunta nor the Belgrano board should have announced the news prior to the signing of the contract. We echo the disappointment of both the club and the fans who were eager to have Giunta working with our team. Belgrano are now back to where they started and they better sign a coach soon because we need to plan ahead.

Giunta unveiled as new coach

Giunta appointed as new coach

After accepting the resignation of Mario Gomez, Belgrano didn't waste any time in choosing the new man for the job. Surprisingly, the board decided to break their selection policy from recent years and reached a quick a decision that saw Giunta become the new coach. In appointing Giunta, the board has taken a bit of a gamble. The former Boca midfielder has significant experience coaching small clubs in the lower divisions but has never taken on a challenge this big. He knows that there is only one goal here, and that is to promote. A rustic and perennial motivator as a player, Giunta has shown that he is able to infuse his players with the motivation and desire needed to achieve great goals. We hope that he will be able to bring this to our club.

Speaking to the media yesterday, he stressed his commitment to the Belgrano cause and suggested he may yet need some of the players that were being considered for release by the board. He also hinted at the possibility of new signings and confirmed that they would choose a quiet and isolated place for the preseason.

BREAKING NEWS: Belgrano coach resigns

In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Mario Gomez offered his resignation as coach of the first team this evening. It is not confirmed whether it has been accepted by the chairman. Although Gomez was never a popular figure with the majority of the fans, he managed to keep the team with a promotion chance until the last minute. If the resignation is accepted, Belgrano will have to to start looking for a new head coach as soon as possible.

There were also rumours that Belgrano's upcoming European tour is likely to be canceled due to this situation. It would be a real shame if this were to happen -not least because many European-based Belgrano fans were eagerly expectant about this possibility-, but it would probably be the right step since the new coach will need to bring in new players and offload some of the current players.

Racing Club 1 - Belgrano 0

Belgrano deserved better (Photo source: LaVoz)

Heartbreak. When you know you were so close and it just vanished. Because Belgrano played with heart, passion and discipline and dominated Racing Club during large passages of the game. Belgrano had no less than four clear goal chances and they pushed Racing to their limit but it just wasn't going to happen today. There was an agonizing moment when Bustos tumbled down and fell with the goal at his mercy. It was painfully close and yet, from that moment, you knew Racing would stay. In the second half, the Avellaneda-based team put a brave resistance and held off Belgrano spirited effort. Our boys pushed until the end but to no avail. They deserved a goal that never arrived. Belgrano will play another season in the second division but we believe every Belgrano fan will be proud of the courageous, never-say-die attitude shown by the boys. It was a real shame that Mati Suarez, the greatest talent this club has produced in the last 20 years, could not end his Belgrano career with a flourish. More to follow...

Goals: Moralez (RC)
Attendance: 50000

Promotion - Second Leg

Racing Club - Belgrano

Stadium: Cilindro de Avellaneda
Sunday, 29 June 2008, 15:10
Referee: Sergio Pezzotta
Odds: not available
Previous: Belgrano 1 - Racing Club 1
Key Players: Sava (RC), Gigli (B)
Recent History: Belgrano have only won once at Racing's ground
Prediction: Racing Club 1 - Belgrano 2