Interview: Francisco Junqueira (English version)
In order to celebrate São Paulo State Polo Federation (FPP) new website’s launch, 30jardas.com.br has interviewed its current president, Francisco Junqueira. He has commented 2013 season and performance of paulista (gentilic for people born in São Paulo State) players.
30jardas: What were the highlights of São Paulo’s season? What can be improved?
Francisco Junqueira: It was a very good season. We had high level championships, better horses and quality polo fields. Not only Helvetia Polo Country Club (HPCC, at Indaiatuba), considered the biggest venue for polo at Brazil, but there were also tournaments at Franca Polo Clube, Mata Chica Polo Clube and Sociedade Hípica de Orlândia.
For the third time, Sociedade Hípica de Ribeirão Preto held Polo Challenge, , an event that it’s getting very important. Also,highlights for Clube Hípico de Colina and fantastic Copa de Ouro (Gold Cup), held by São José Polo Clube, with top Argentinian players, excellent polo fields and wonderful confraternization.
I think we need to improve new players’ development. Important to mention work done by Sociedade Hípica Paulista and Fazenda Cana Verde, assisting people on their first contact with polo. I believe we need more polo schools, specialy inner State, since access to sport is nowadays restricted to players’ son or relatives.
30jardas: How is it FPP partnership with Helvetia Club, in order to guarantee championships quality?
Junqueira: FPP is looking for assisting not only Helvetia, but also all afilliated members. We want to be closer to the clubs, promoting events about referees, rules and institutional promotion.
30jardas: What do you expect for São Paulo Polo in 2014?
Junqueira: It will be a very good season. I think we should have a higher level, with more teams. We’ll be looking for an interchange between affiliated clubs, promoting inner State venues.
30jardas: In your opinion, which were the best São Paulo players this season?
Junqueira: Willian Rodrigues, from São José Polo and João Paulo Ganon, from Itanhangá performed very well. I also mention Guabi team, with brothers Alexandre and Henrique Junqueira in a great season. Gabriel Villela Rosa, from Invernada, also had a great year.
30jardas: There are several young players joining low handicap tournaments. Do you have good expectations about São Paulo polo next generation?
Junqueira: As previously said, I think we need a higher development process, but we surely have excellent young players, like Dudu Parisi, Gito Junqueira, Carlinhos Mansur, Ziza Meirelles, Dudu Zacharias, Oswaldinho Mendonça, Xande Mello, Duduzinho Junqueira, among others.