The departure of Amaranto Perea de Junior returned to focus the eyes on an old acquaintance, but, this time, things were not like that. Julio Comesaña will not have, for the moment, a return to the curramba bench. The days in the Barranquilla team are complicated, despite having a good payroll, the results were not given, ending everything in the departure of Amaranto Perea.
A voice more than authorized to speak of the Junior field, he lived it, enjoyed it and knew how to suffer, as a player and coach. Julio Comesaña, a good talker and with a special affection towards the Barranquilla team, spoke with FUTBOLRED about the present of the club, since the departure of Perea, the arrival of Reyes and recalled, with great honor, those good times, but also the complex ones.
Did Amaranth’s departure from Junior take you by surprise?
It took me a bit by surprise, because 15 days ago Mr. Fuad Char had said that they were happy with Perea, perhaps it gave me that feeling, that it would be until the end of the year, at least. Football is surprising, some situations are generated that lead to change thought decisions and lead to change the route.
What can you say about what Amaranto’s process was like in front of Junior?
I don’t want to talk about what the Amaranth process was. When he was with me, he knew what I was thinking and where I was going. He may have differences in that sense, although he does not tell me, it is not the moments. The path was his. It wasn’t to think that I liked him or what I was doing, but about his idea and the players he had, how he was doing his job.
It is his first experience in a demanding team, he did what he could do and what he believed in. It is a very beautiful experience for him and he will know how to take advantage of the future, even though he did not get what he wanted. He is a young man and may have more opportunities.
Do you think that the board could have rushed in making the decision?
I do not know if they rushed or not, I do not know when it was defined with him, what they were looking for in Junior and why they let some players out or where the project was pointing. If they expected to win or classify everything or build a club for next year, it would be wrong to give an opinion on it. Perhaps they understood that they should turn the situation around.
In the last 10 years, you were the most regular on the bench, what happens in Junior, in the environment and at work, that many coaches have not managed to establish themselves on the bench?
The fact that they compare with other people with me or vice versa, it seems to me that we should not do it from one player to another. We have to start from the individual, I do it from there, then to the player or coach and the team. Human beings are different, we agree in some ways and in others we have another perspective, like journalists when talking about the games. The technicians make statements, but then someone says in his program about what kind of game he was watching, how? It is the game that he sees, he interprets. We are different and the coach’s gaze is deeper in some aspects and less emotional than that of journalists or fans.
I think I represent things for Junior, I feel a strong back. As a player I experienced important things in a difficult stage, when Varacka arrived. It was something else from him, not just because of the title, but because it changed the story. It was a team that played great, with Brazilians, but did not qualify for anything. People here liked that football a lot, but there was no team that won things
Breaking with what the fans wanted was difficult. Only people with character and mettle do it, who value other things, knowing where they are going. Jose did. I experienced kicking out of the stadium, in practice and on the stands, to catch us there. I lived not being able to go out on the street, they told us suitcases, everything. Until it was a strong and fierce team, from the taquito of the beautiful play, we went on to an aggressive football, that the rivals here did not go beyond the middle of the field, a more practical and direct game. People in Barranquilla like good games, but also the handsome, the fierce, the Uruguayan strikes. They basically want to win.
All that set of emotions that are generated out on the pitch, especially in Colombia, must be passed by the players to the stands so that they can return it to the grass. I interpreted that here playing for five and a half years. The 70’s was a tremendous experience, I never forgot it. Those first six months in Junior were negative, then in 1974 and Varacka changed our idea, that we had to give people triumphs, that losing and tunnels were over but that you never won.
I am clear about what people like, I have had teams with a couple of different players, with valuable partnerships, they managed to put together. They gave us triumphs and enjoyable moments of play. I have tried to defend what I think we should do, the ideas and proposals that we have. To give people what they expect from the team. I have the advantage in that regard. In 1991 I felt that people were waiting for me, confidence was perceived. Also setting the path for the players. I am disciplined, I look for solutions, but if I see that there is no solution or they get complicated, I prefer to take the step.
With everything you’ve experienced, Amaranth himself said that Junior is a ‘difficult bull to handle’. Is he the most complicated bench in Colombian football?
Sure, the people of the coast are human beings with extreme emotions. In love, in affection, affection, the athlete did in this case, by what they give and receive. In a situation or a match, that can change. Not to hate, but let them feel cheated. They wake up the next day, the sun rises and the joy of life is there, that takes them from one place to another. But people are not stupid, they are sensitive enough to realize when something good can happen and when not.
What do you think of the arrival of Arturo Reyes to Junior? Considering you know the club
Arturo has a long journey, with many experiences, especially in youth soccer. Also another very nice one with Queiroz and sharing with the National Team and the players from abroad. He had to direct some games for the senior team. He has not had an experience like Junior’s. Hopefully people return to the stadium, they have not experienced the atmosphere that is felt. Perhaps he had it with me, as an assistant, but he will not feel what the manager feels. The responsibility generated by Junior not only in the Metro, in concentrations, hotels and airports, throughout the country. It is a thing that you have to live to realize. He knows the club, the Char family. He did his homework in Barranquilla and others.
He must interpret that and how to do it and what way to go to give him the joy that Junior’s fan wants. What human beings need are opportunities and know how to take advantage of them when they arrive.