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Friday, 15 August 2014 17:39

Fary still going strong and ready for Boavista’s comeback

fary-boavista.jpgIf you were one of the stalwarts dotted sparsely around Boavista’s Estadio do Bessa over recent years, you will probably need to pinch yourself come Sunday.
 
Banished to the backwaters of Portuguese football for alleged corruption, Boavista have had precious little to celebrate since their demotion for alleged corruption at the end of the 2007/2008 season. 
 
Due to an administrative farce at the FPF, however, the Black Panthers find themselves back in the big time and back against the big boys this season.
 
Decked in their famous black and white checks, Boavista will stride onto the pitch in Braga this Sunday, and perhaps the biggest smile in the AXA Stadium will belong to their veteran striker Fary Faye. 
 
Unlike many of his team-mates, ‘Fary’ has Primeira Liga experience having successfully plied his trade at the top level with his current club and Beira-Mar. 
 

Goals galore

With over 150 professional goals to his name, the Senegalese’s club career has spanned three decades and now sees him basking in unexpected limelight. 
 
For those who have followed Boavista through the dark times, Fary has become a symbol of loyalty, perseverance and hope. The hope being that the leggy frontman, who has reportedly often played with weeks of wages outstanding, would lead his team back into the top flight.
 
As club captain, Fary has always been the first to applaud the faithful in the stands before and after games and, in return, the support from the terraces has been unswerving. However tired the touch or glaring the miss, Boavista fans have always backed their aging talisman. 
 
As it turns out, Fary was unable to inspire his side to regain their place in the Primeira Liga through their pursuits on the pitch. It has taken a legal technicality to do that.
 
The big question, therefore, for both Fary and Boavista is: can they cut it back in the big time?
 

Former champions

Boavista were perennial contenders prior to their off-pitch difficulties, famously winning the Primeira Liga in 2001, but they look set for a pummelling this season. 
 
Coached by Petit, a member of that 2001 Championship-winning side, Boavista's current crop are, at best, an unknown quantity. Although ex-Portugal midfielder Petit himself competed at the highest level, his charges on Sunday will be cobbled together from lower league talent, young academy graduates and cheap foreign journeymen. 
 
The rotating doors at the Bessa have spun so quickly this summer that it has been hard to keep up with who's actually in their squad: 24-year-old Japanese forward Ryan Hirooka the most recent new face. 
 
After Braga on the opening day of the season, Boavista entertain Benfica at the Bessa. Three games later and the Porto derby awaits - many Portistas eagerly inking September 21st into their diaries convinced that they'll see their side toy with their crosstown rivals and win big. 
 
It will certainly be a baptism of fire for all of Boavista’s players and staff - and one they will do very well to survive with their dignity intact and a few points on the board. 
 

Unknown quantity

Funny things happen in football, though, and although all the evidence points to Boavista enduring a torrid reintroduction to the Primeira Liga, perhaps their lack of experience will work in their favour. Other clubs will know very little about their personnel or their tactics, and, in effect, Boavista have nothing to lose. 
 
If Boavista survive their first five games relatively unscathed and are able to adapt to the demands they face, they may stand a chance. If not, Petit and his players may wish they were back in the third division. 
 
Whatever happens, Fary will wear his customary smile, enjoy his day in the sun and, no doubt, a special cheer from Boavista’s fans in Braga: it is a day they and their centre-forward suspected would never come. 
 
by Stephen Gillett
 
 
Comments (4)
Joe
4 Sunday, 24 August 2014 00:06
Frank / Canada
Why would you come to a Portuguese site to insult a Portuguese league and Portugal itself??? Your post is ignorant and laughable!
Dear Joe
3 Tuesday, 19 August 2014 00:43
Chris(Canada)
I would suggest you keep your criticisms less inflammatory. Clearly, you have an issue with the league and Portugal. That's your opinion, however you may want to put things in context before you so quickly insult people.

In the case of the Super Liga, it is currently ranked 4th in the world behind only the Premier league, Bundesliga and Spanish league. That's actually phenomenal. Also, we are talking about a league that formed the likes of Figo, Deco, Ronaldo, Falcao, Carvalho, Eusebio, James, Hulk, to name but a few. That doesn't sound like a league that is "struggling to survive". Sure there are problems but name me a company that doesn't have issues.

Secondly, to Portugal. The country is in a crisis which has affected an entire continent and the world economy. There has been chronic overspending and political corruption. Can you name me a single country on this earth that is different? I'm Canadian as you are and can name at least 5 examples off the top of my head that are no different to Portugal.

We are fortunate, but do not fool yourself into thinking we are all safe from a similar crisis. As we speak, Canadians have a higher average debt (not counting mortgages) than America had when the crisis hit in 2008. Add to this equation that Portugal has been a country for almost a thousand years and you reach the conclusion that there are times of prosperity and times of downturn.

So my friend, before you callously go about insulting an entire league or nation, please remember that respect is both given as well as received.

Cheers.
What a farce!
2 Monday, 18 August 2014 13:14
Joe/Canada
It would be laughable if not so sad to see the Liga plummet to new depths of incompetence. It's incredible that this league survives despite it all but why would it be any different than the country itself?
We're back!
1 Friday, 15 August 2014 21:31
Ronny/Toronto
I'm really excited it feels too long ago since we were on the top division. Don't have high expectations but avoiding relegation would be nice. Excited to face Braga opening match!

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