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Question of the Week

Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

All of them
All home games
The odd game
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Final only
Total boycott


 

Ivano Bonetti Interview

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 15/01/2001

In an internet exclusive we bring you an interview from the Grimsby fanzine "It's a Grim Exile" of former Grimsby hero, Ivano Bonetti, now manager of Scottish Premier side Dundee. Bonetti left the Mariners following an infamous dressing room incident at Luton with former Town manager Brian Laws.

Linda Broughton's interview with Ivano Bonetti appeared in the December 2000/January 2001 edition of 'It's a Grim Exile' - a bi-monthly magazine containing news, views and items of interest both from and for exiled GTFC supporters. Details of how to subscribe to the fanzine can be found at the end of the interview.

First a brief note from Linda to explain how she came to interview Ivano.

"I would like to thank all the staff at Dundee F.C, Damon their Press Officer and of course Ivano for this interview. Prior arrangements had been agreed, but unfortunately last minute changes to training schedules were made. I knew nothing of these, and Ivano hadn't been informed of my arrival. However, a few phone calls were made and Ivano agreed to see me at the training ground."

"I was guided up to the training ground and spent 15 minutes with Ivano before he started training. I was invited to watch Dundee train, and then to complete this interview. This was duly done, albeit sitting next to Ivano on the pitch whilst he cooled down with a few stretches. Despite my non-existent Italian and Ivanos limited (yet good) English, I feel privileged to have spoken to him. After all, I'm only a part-time writer who does this as a hobby".

Ivano Bonetti and Linda Broughton
Ivano Bonetti and Linda Broughton

IAGE:
Why did you decide to come and play for Grimsby Town F.C?

Ivano:
It was a co-incidence. I was on a 'free' and I wanted to learn English. Grimsby offered me a chance to train and keep fit. They asked me to play for the reserves. Things happened step by step - I wanted to stay there, I enjoyed it.

IAGE:
Did you find it easy to settle?

Ivano:
It was easy because everything went OK. The fans were wonderful with me

IAGE:
Was there a language barrier on the pitch?

Ivano:
When you play football you concentrate. Language isn't a problem.

IAGE:
Did you expect to become a celebrity so quickly?

Ivano:
Yes, I was surprised! It was the best experience in my life. The fans were so friendly, I was happy with them.

IAGE:
Were there any problems in the dressing room with your cult status?

Ivano:
No - absolutely not. The other players were wonderful mates.

IAGE:
Did you enjoy your time there (apart from that incident)?

Ivano:
The bad things can change my life. I was upset to finish my time there so quickly. Apart from that I enjoyed it.

IAGE:
Did you see Grimsby at Wembley?

Ivano:
No, I heard about it but didn't see it.

IAGE:
Do you miss the Town fans?

Ivano:
Yes, I think so. When I get the chance to speak about that time, I do. It was too short-lived.

IAGE:
How come you ended up at Dundee? How did you hear about the job?

Ivano:
I tried to become the manager at Town. I tried to buy the club, but no chance. I had the chance here and now I'm happy.

IAGE:
How is management different from playing?

Ivano:
Of course, you've got to think of many things. Psychology, looking for good players. It's a business, you need a strategy and a plan for things. You have more responsibility.

IAGE:
Again, any language barriers?

Ivano:
My English has improved. There's only one language on the pitch.

IAGE:
Would you come back to Grimsby as a manager?

Ivano:
Yes. You never know - I'm always positive for the future.

IAGE:
What is the secret of your long playing career? Any special diet?

Ivano:
Firstly I grew up in a country where you are educated about good food & diet. Secondly, it is important to enjoy your work.

IAGE:
What is your pre-match meal?

Ivano:
Rice, Pasta, Chicken.

IAGE:
Any pre-match rituals/superstitions?

Ivano:
I'm not superstitious.

IAGE:
Why did you wear your woolly gloves during winter? (It's not that cold during winter in Cleethorpes is it!?)

Ivano:
It was a very cold winter and it was difficult with the windy conditions.

IAGE:
As a youngster, who discovered you playing and where?

Ivano:
I started as a pro at 16. I started at 12 for Brescia, youth and then first team.

IAGE:
Who has influenced you career the most and why?

Ivano:
My brother. He used to play and I tried to follow him. His mentality and attitude I copied. Also, the Juventus chairman Boniparti - he was there for 30 years.

IAGE:
And the biggest influence on/in your life?

Ivano:
My family - Mum, Dad and brothers.

IAGE:
Have any embarrassing moments occurred during your career?

Ivano:
You get a few! Losing cup finals!

IAGE:
What was your most memorable match?

Ivano:
A few. Won the league twice, champions cup (Sampdoria). Beat Red Star Belgrade in the semis of the Cup Winners Cup, and then Barcelona in the final. Dario and I played in both games, for Sampdoria.

IAGE:
What was the best goal that you scored?

Ivano:
A few goals were wonderful, but my best? Foe Bologna against Verona in Serie A

IAGE:
Who was the best player that you've ever played with?

Ivano:
A few. Sciera - who has now unfortunately died. He was a fantastic person and a wonderful player. Platini, Cabrini and Vialli also.

IAGE:
And against?

Ivano:
Maradona, Van Basten, Barasi and Roberto Baggio.

IAGE:
Who has been the best manager you've played for?

Ivano:
Trapattoni - he had everything - attitude, motivation, psychology etc.

IAGE:
And the worst?

Ivano:
John Aldridge - he was a bad man (quote - Ivano said nothing more)

IAGE:
What have been the highs and lows of your career?

Ivano:
Highs - I left Genoa and signed for Juventus when I was 20. I couldn't believe it. I was on holiday and I met Cabrini. He heard I was joining Juventus and invited me to dinner. I was very excited. Lows - Tranmere - I couldn't believe that I was out for no reason.

IAGE:
If you could change anything in your life or career, what would it be?

Ivano:
Before the Sampdoria vs Genoa game I had a discussion with the coach Ericsson. I was wrong, I should not have done it.

IAGE:
If you weren't a footballer, what would you be?

Ivano:
If I choose, I'd do Psychology. It's the best thing to do, as I'd be helping people.

IAGE:
Do you miss Italy?

Ivano:
Not really, even though my family and girlfriend are there.

IAGE:
Italians are the most stylish people around. Have you met anyone who is, to use an English phrase, a 'fashion disaster'?

Ivano:
Brian Laws.

IAGE:
I believe that you tried fish & chips whilst you were at Grimsby. Have you tried haggis or whisky yet?

Ivano:
Haggis - no I don't like it. Whisky - never.

IAGE:
Is the Scottish Premier League as big as the English Premier League?

Ivano:
In every country the Premier League is important. Scottish and English football is different. The English want to do better, the Scots want to play it down. However it is important to the Scots, their football.

IAGE:
Is there a wide gap between the Scottish Premier division and the First division?

Ivano:
Yes, a massive difference between a group of 3 or 4 clubs and the rest.

IAGE:
How would you like to be remembered by Grimsby and Dundee fans?

Ivano:
At Grimsby I had a beautiful time. There was a wonderful atmosphere and a massive interest for the club and me. At Dundee, we started well. We have had problems with referees. Other teams try to play on this and give us a hard time. We need some good results.

Ivano Bonetti
Ivano Bonetti

Thankyou IVANO for your time.

Linda Broughton

If you would be interested in recieving a sample copy of IAGE, please send an E-Mail with your name and address to Emma Gillingham

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