Friendly Report: Poli - Onisilos 6:0 (3:0)

A clear victory against second league Onisilos, from Cyprus, may not count as a great achievement, but it leaves room for hope - especially after another tumultuous week, during which the press transferred Poli players to Dinamo, back and forth.

Poli's first eleven consisted of: Popa – Badoi, Canu, Scutaru, Latovlevici – S. Stancu, Srhoj, Abiodun, Artiom Karamyan – Ganea, Axente.

Karamyan scored first (7th minute), after a pass from Ganea, who in turn scored twice (22nd and 31st minutes), once thanks to Badoi's assist and once thanks to Karamyan's. Poli had more chances, but in the end three goals is a decent tally for forty-five minutes' work.

Due to the many substitutions made during the second half, Poli's "end eleven" consisted of: Zimmermann - Milhazes, Ratiu, Canu, Luchin - Sandu, Martinez, Borbely, Popovici - Rusic, Axente.

Although Onisilos missed a penalty around the 60th minute, it was Poli who continued to set out the rules of the game and score three more times in the last fifteen minutes: 19-year-old Popovici scored for 4:0, after a combination between Martinez, Axente and himself; Axente then made it five from within the penalty area; and to round it all off, Martinez dribbled past three players and finished by lobbing the goalkeeper!

Hopefully this good performance will be confirmed by a decent result against a better rated opponent. The season restart draws nearer (23 of February), which means that things have to start moving according to plan pretty soon!


Friendly Report: Poli - Mlada 3:3 (3:1)

The white-violets drew once more in a spectacular fashion, despite leading twice by two goals! Bucur opened the score after a Ganea cross in the 14th minute, and Ganea made it two after an Artavazd Karamyan free-kick in 29th minute. Mlada pegged back in a similar fashion just one minute later, before the top goalscorer in the Liga 1 (Bucur) intercepted a sloppy back-pass and scored his second of the day. After several substitutions in the second half, Poli's game became less efficient and precise, allowing Mlada to equalize - first, due to a mistake by Popa, and then after a collective defensive error.
While the result isn't fundamentally bad, especially in the context of the many "new faces", it is obvious that the defense is still just not good enough. Hopefully, things will improve in the next few friendlies.

Poli (1st half): Popa - Latovlevici, Canu, Brezinsky, Stancu - Artavazd Karamyan, Aliuta, Borbely, Abiodun - Ganea, Bucur

Poli (2nd half): Popa - Milhazes, Canu, Brezinsky, Stancu - Sandu, Aliuta, Borbely, Badoi - Arman Karamyan, Rusic.


Some Transfers

Poli has signed two players in the last few days, one a defender left, the other an offensive midfielder.
Carlos Alberto Lourenco Milhazes, of Rio Ave, (b. 17.03.1981), is 1,82 m and weighs 72 kg.
The 26-year old signed a contract valid for two and a half years. His profile is below.

Also, the Argentinian midfielder Elvio Raul Martinez (b. 1982), of Aldosivi (and former player of Newell's) joined the club on a six month loan, with a buying option of 1.2 million Euro. In this regard, it seems that Alin Stoica will not sign with Poli any more, although his reasons for this are unknown.

Carlos Alberto Lourenco Milhazes

2007-08Rio AvePTB165
2006-07Rio AvePTB287
2005-06Rio AvePTA323
2001-02Caç. TaipasPTB341
2000-01Caç. TaipasPTC--
Career Totals:17118

Source: http://www.zerozero.pt/uk/jogador.php?id=346&search=1; various others
GP= Games Played; GS= Goals Scored; PT = Portugal; IL = Inferior leaguse; On Loan

Elvio Raul Martinez

2003-04Nueva ChicagoARB322
2002-03Newell's Old BoysARA70
2001-02Newell's Old BoysARA283
GP= Games Played; GS= Goals Scored AR= Argentina; On Loan

Here is first a video of Milhazes and then one of Martinez.


Friendly Report: Poli - Poli Iasi 2:0 (0:0)

After a more or less unconvincing performance by the white-violets, Rusic and Karamyan scored in the last two minutes of the game to make the all around experience seem more repsectable. The team however missed several other scoring opportunities throughout the match (especially the first half), Alexa topping the performance by failing to score from the penalty spot in the 60th minute.

Today's team:
Zimmermann - Stancu, Canu, Brezinsky, Lapeikis - Artiom Karamyan, Alexa, Aliuta, Badoi - Ganea, Bucur.

During the second half Pantilimon, Borbely, Rusic, Luchin, Axente and Abiodun were sent on for Zimmermann, Aliuta, Bucur, Canu, Ganea si Badoi

P.S. Lapeikis didn't manage to convince Uhrin Jr. of his qualities and was let go.


A Bunch of Transfers

So, here's what's been happening of late in terms of departures/rumored arrivals.

Beside Torje and Mansour, of whom I've reported already, Peter Omoduemkue and Adrian Ilie are headed towards Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt. Omoduemuke's move is certain, while Ilie's still remains to be decided.

On the arrivals list is one new names and three old names. Firstly, a Lithuanian defender left came on trial from FK Siauliai, Vilius Lapeikis. Dusan Uhrin Jr. says that he is highly recommended and a player of great potential; he will be tested in Saturday's friendly against Politehnica Iasi. A video of him is posted below.

Also, Goga, Contra and Halenar are being touted again as possible Poli players. Uhrin stated that Halenar's chances of joining the club are 50%. Of Contra it is known that he wants to return home and that he rejected a proposal to sign a contract extension with Getafe. Goga...well, is just Goga. I believe it will be a choice between him and Halenar, but only time will tell.

On a different matter, Poli has six players called up for their National teams: Bucur and Popa for Romania, Daminuta for Romania (I don't know at what level), Arthur Patras for Moldova U21 and Brezinsky and Borbely for Slovakia.


Torje and Mansour transferred to Dinamo

Arch-rivals Dinamo most conveniently got their hands on Poli's Torje and Mansour after a most troublesome night for anyone who really cared for the club. Eighteen year old Torje, seen not only as one of the most promising Romanian footballers, but also as a symbol for Politehnica, was sold for a hefty sum of 2 million Euros and a clause stating that 50% of any future transfer will go to Poli, while Mansour cost Dinamo 500,000 Euros.

I suppose any decent fan of a football club can understand the overwhelming frustration everyone supporter of Poli feels, so there's no real need to go into it. It's just plain bad.


Friendly Report: FC Diosgyor - Poli 1-1 (0-0)

The second friendly of the year, overshadowed by rumors that Gabriel Torje might leave the club for arch-rivals Dinamo Bucuresti, ended in a draw, despite Poli's overall control of the match.
The Hungarian side scored first in the 67th minute, 17 year old Daminuta equalizing ten minutes later. Also, Alexa missed a penalty in the firt half.

Poli: Pantilimon - Luchin, Scutaru, A. Ratiu, I. Latovlevici - V. Badoi, D. Alexa, A. Abiodun, Artiom Karamian - G. Bucur, I. Ganea

Zimmermann, Axente, Stancu, Popovici, Aliuta, Mansour si Daminuta came on during the second half for Pantilimon, Bucur, Badoi, Karamyan, Abiodun, Ganea si Scutaru.


Friendly Report: Poli - Honved Budapest 3:3 (2:2)

The year's first friendly ended in a draw with many goals, thereby proving that Poli's defense still has a long way to go until it ceases to concede so much. Artavazd Karamyan, Balazs Borbely and Marian Aliuta scored for our side.

Canu picked up an injury in the second half, but there's no info as to how bad his injury is.

Poli (1st half): Popa - Latovlevici, Brezinsky, Canu, Stancu - Karamyan, Borbely, Aliuta, Torje - Mansour, Crsitea

Poli (mostly 2nd half): Zimmerman - Sandu, Canu, Scutaru, Luchin - Aliuta, Borbely, Daminuta, Popovici - Bucur, Axente,

Rusic, Alexa and Ganea are among the players who did a training session this afternoon.

Alin Stoica's Career

2007-08KAA GentBEA90
2006-07KAA GentBEA252
2005-06Poli TimisoaraROA41
2004-05National BucurestiROA60
2004-05AC SienaITA00
2004-05Club BruggeBEA61
2003-04Club BruggeBEA90
2002-03Club BruggeBEA195
2002-03Anderlecht BrusselsBEA00
2001-02Anderlecht BrusselsBEA194
2000-01Anderlecht BrusselsBEA287
1999-00Anderlecht BrusselsBEA166
1998-99Anderlecht BrusselsBEA261
1997-98Anderlecht BrusselsBEA323
1996-97Anderlecht BrusselsBEA30
1995-96Steaua BucurestiROA10
Career Totals:19730
GP= Games Played; GS= Goals Scored; RO= Romania; BE = Belgium; IT=Italy

Alin Stoica will sign a three and a half years long contract with Poli.


Alin Stoica to (re)join Poli!

According to ProSport, former Poli midfielder (and most recently Gent player) Alin Stoica will sign a contract with the club on Wednesday, after ending his second Belgian experience eariler this winter.

Stoica, presumably one of the most gifted playmakers to have worn the Poli jersey, was kicked out by then manager Gheorghe Hagi, after just four matches, due to what the Romanian great called inadequate conduct. Many fans felt that it was a mistake of Hagi and surely Stoica will now have the chance to prove him wrong.

Here is a recent clip of him while at Gent.

And this is an older video, made just after he had joined Poli.

If you ask me, he could become the best transfer of the season. As long as he keeps to his football.

A new Vrsic Interview

Today's issue of GSP published an interview with Dare Vrsic, in an article by Claudiu Georgiu, translated and adapted by myself.

R: Dare, how's your recovery going?

DV: Good, but it'll be another two or three weeks before I can start training. I'll only join the team on the 15th of February.

R: What do you think about the squad's progress in the league?

DV: Poli did well this season. I'm sure that at the end of the season we'll be on a place that ensures European participation. I say we can even finish third.

R: What do you know about the players bought this winter? The two Slovakians, Brezinsky and Borbely, say that they knew you from Zilina.

DV: I don't know Brezinsky and I've only seen Borbely on TV. I really don't remember having played against either one.

R: What can you tell us about Nemanja Matic (tn a possible Poli transfer)?

DV: I know Matic very well. I've played a few matches against Kosice. He is a very good player, and he actually had a great season last year. Despite his height (tn 1.94 m), he has good technique and an excellent vision of the game. He is young though, just 19, so he still needs to gather experience, but if he joined our club I'm sure he would make great progress. He has great potential.

R: What do you expect of the new year?

DV: To have a good season at Poli, finish on the podium. The qualifications for the World Cup start this year as well, so I hope to leave a good impression with the Slovenian national team. On a personal level, I hope to recover as soon as possible, practice well and avoid any other injuries,


Badoi confirmed

Valentin Badoi (h: 1,82m w: 75kg) , born 16th of December 1975 in Turnu Magurele, will sign a three year contract with Poli. The former Steaua player was transferred in exchange for the 30% clause Poli had on a future transfer of Ifeanyi Emeghara.
The Romanian International plays best on the right wing, where can take up both defensive and midfield positions. He is one of the better free-kick takers in the First League.

2007-08Steaua BucurestiROA100
2006-07Rapid BucurestiROA327
2005-06Rapid BucurestiROA293
2004-05Rapid BucurestiROA301
2003-04Rapid BucurestiROA305
2002-03Rapid BucurestiROA307
2001-02FCM BacauROA298
2000-01FCM BacauROA305
Career Totals:22036

Source: http://www.romaniansoccer.ro/

P.S. Dorin Goga of Universitatea Cluj has popped up on the radar again, with Poli making an offer of 1 million Euros and a number of loanees to choose from for the current league last.


News the New Year brings

It wasn't even the first of January, and club president Marian Iancu had initiated his scheme for the new year. Due to the upcoming local elections of 2008, Iancu decided it was the right time to force the local authorities into a partnership with the club, which would involve a participation of about five million Euros on their behalf. If the County Council decided not to accept the proposal, then Mr. Iancu said he would resign from his position and his departure would also mean that the club would find itself without financial support. Quite nice, right?

Well, the Council seems to agree that a partnership is a feasible idea, but the usual bureaucratic work to facilitate it takes some time. So until the financial audit is done, which has to ensure that there the club is financially sound, there will be tension and uncertainty, for everyone who desires it. Mr. Iancu set the 30th of January as the deadline for local authorities, so we can only hope things get solved within the given time frame.

Still, all this conundrum did not render the club workings inert. Brezinsky and Borbely have joined the club, Valentin Badoi of Steaua is next on the list, with Cosmin Contra of Getafe and Laszlo Sepsi from Gloria Bistrita being the most recently announced players of interest.
Some other players have found themselves on the departures list, with Jonathan McKain and Peter Omoduemuke leading the pack formed also of Cristian Dancia, Sorin Radoi and Andrei Cristea. The latter two are listed for loan.
While there is no name to him, a 19 year old non-EU (supposedly Brazilian) attacking midfielder is being closely scrutinized by club officials, with a possible transfer looming in the days to come.

The two newly arrived Slovakian players are happy with their decision to have joined Poli and both are looking forward to working with Dusan Uhrin Jr. While they're trying to get their hopes up for a Champions League qualification at the end of this season, it's obviously a half-mouthed wish, as things currently stand.