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A Tribute to Our Finchley Team Manager - Gaetano Attanasio by Maria Tozzi

A Tribute to Our Finchley Team Manager - Gaetano Attanasio by Maria Tozzi

As most of you know OGI celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary this year. Here at Finchley we have also got a reason to celebrate. What I hear you ask ?? We are celebrating our Team Manger Gaetano’s 20 years Service to the Finchley OGI Team.

Let me take you back to 1990, when a whisper rippled amongst the members of the Finchley OGI Committee. ”There was a gentleman with a young family of his own, who wanted to get involved with The Finchley OGI Team.” It was music to their ears as Joan Solari, Hennie Moruzzi and other committee members had organised 3 consecutive OGI games and needed a break. The scene was set and Gaetano officially became Team Manager with Adriana Guselli at his side in 1992. Finchley first won the OGI Winners Shield in 1984 and when Gaetano took over the reigns of Team Manager he always dreamed of leading the team to victory once more. More about that a little later…..

Back to the early days – having spoken to various members of the Finchley OGI Committee still living locally, they all mentioned how Gaetano was extremely enthusiastic about the games. Even when the weather was horrendous this enthusiasm did not wane, he lead from the front on a cocktail of Black Coffee & Grappa – supplied by the then Finchley President – Big Nino! A decade soon past, 5 OGIs came and went and the millennium arrived… Finchley almost made it to victory and came 2nd in the league table. There was only one way to go in 2002…and that was UP! Gaetano supported by a newly formed Finchley OGI Committee lead the team to victory in 2002. The dream achieved - Gaetano held aloft the Padre Russo Winners Shield on behalf of ALL the athletes who took part. You would think he would have rested on his laurels, but oh no, with continued vigour and commitment he lead the team to victory in 2004 and 2006. A HAT TRICK!

What else can be said about Gaetano at this point? Having worked along side him for over 8 years I can verify that his passion for bringing together the youngsters of our Italian Community is unquestionable. Though at times there has been the odd, “Lively Discussion”, but only because he has always had the children’s best interests at heart. Gaetano has always viewed the Finchley Club as a Family, which brings me nicely on to HIS family. It is said that…..“BEHIND EVERY SUCCESSFUL MAN IS A GOOD WOMAN”. There is no exception in this case. Emanuela has always understood how important Gaetano’s commitment to OGI and the Finchley Club is to him. As well as encouraging their own four children to be a part of the club she has supported Gaetano as he adopted hundred’s of children on their OGI journey since 1992.

Although Gaetano has decided to hand over the Olympic Torch to someone else in 2012, I know he will still want to be involved. However, it is comforting to know that ALL FOUR of his children have joined the Finchley OGI Coaching Team this year and he is leaving the team in safe hands. Alessandro, Ricc, Marco and Elena are a credit to him . I am sure this is all part of a master plan to ensure that his two grandsons Luke and Tommaso can participate in a few years time!

On Monday 31 May The Finchley Italian Social Club Committee and it’s Members, presented Gaetano with a Silver Salver in recognition of his 20 Years Service to the Finchley OGI Team.


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