“We want to recover the mystique, essence and identity of Athens”


After the coup, the reconstruction of Athens is underway. For that, they bet with everything on the sources, on the identity that made it the most important club in national basketball. Within this framework, the brand new sports director, Germán Baralle, who spent a large part of his life linked to the General Bustos neighborhood institution in various facets, goes from meeting to meeting to manage the formation of a team that quickly returns the ‘Greek ‘to the National League.

When PROFILE CÓRDOBA spoke with Baralle, he found himself at the club headquarters together with the architect and engineers who are carrying out the stadium project. “We are in the last stage, which are usually – they said – the ‘worst’, because it is in the endings, the details. They are working day by day in the stadium. Obviously we will start the tournament playing at Cerutti, but as soon as it is ready we will play here and that will transform the life of the club. It is going to be a very positive coup de effect, ”he assured.

—How are you living these weeks after the descent?
—With all the responsibility and energy that must be put into it to recover quickly. They were hard days to assimilate the blow, but now we had to get to work. First it was to see where we were going to go in the assembly and conception of the process and in that there was unanimity in the board of directors and in those responsible for the professional basketball department: to recover the mystique, essence and identity of the Athens of its best times, which were squad and coaching staff made up of people from Córdoba or who have had a stint at the club, who know the life of the club. We want to return to that, and, the main thing, to put together good human groups. And, based on that, we chose the coach.

—By the way, why Gustavo Peirone?
— There are many who do not know Gustavo’s story. His beginnings as a coach were in the Athens minibasketball. His beginnings, and look at the coincidence, were with Sebastián González (DT from Riachuelo) and Daniel Beltramo (DT from San Isidro). He was born in the club, then he went through Instituto and Barrio Parque, and now that we will be in the Argentine League, who better than him, who is known to the club, the club’s idiosyncrasies and the Argentine League, where he was chosen last season the best coach in the category.

-What is the assembly of the new campus?
—The market is not easy. There are many players who are going abroad, especially those who play in the National League, and those spaces are being covered by players from the Argentine League. That is why the market is not easy; Faced with this exodus, the numbers and the salary quotes of the players rise. We are looking at possible names with the coach and there are already polls. Some names will be announced in the next few days. But, we are looking for players who have passed through the club or who are from Cordoba or who have excelled in the category. A mix of all that.

—AthensWill it be difficult for us Cordovans to adapt to the fact that it is not on LNB?
“At first it will be strange, sure. But we are perceiving, in this month or so that the drop happened, positive reactions. We all stayed with the last two days at the Cerutti with a full field as in the best times. The support of the fan will be there. We all want to see Athens resurrect in sports. From the interior of Córdoba they have called us to go on tours, as before, through the towns. Everyone will set their eyes on Athens, on how it performs in this category. Athens is Córdoba and together we are going to recover it, we are going to be close to the people, that is the idea.

“We all get ahead of this situation”

Baralle was born on December 24, 1971, trained in Athens as a basketball player, was twice champion of the LNB and once of the South American League; His father, Eder, was president of the club and his son, Franco, came from the ‘Greek’ youth academy. That sense of belonging aims to achieve. In the club, in the neighborhood, in the fans of Athens there is the idea that glories like Marcelo and Mario Milanesio, ‘Pichi’ Campana, Diego Osella and others are in the club helping to recover that mystique. Peirone said that he presented a project so that the historical ones are accompanying the campus with talks. And, by the way, Baralle confirmed: “Yes, that is the idea and there are already some managers who have had contact with them. They all want the best for the club. You have to see their activities, if they can allocate time, where to be, if they feel comfortable. We all got out of this situation in Athens, players, coaching staff, supporters, board of directors, glories. We have to join forces.” And finally, the ‘Green’ sports director said: “Unfortunately this happened in sports, but Athens is strong institutionally. We will make the squad as competitive as possible to return Athens in its place”.

BACK TO THE SOURCES. The brand new sports director is optimistic about the sporting future of the Cordovan institution.

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