Giovanni Hernandez, the 40-year-old former Real Cartagena boss, took over from Alexis Mendoza, who confirmed his resignation after last week incident with the owner of the club, Fuad Char.
A statement from the club’s official Twitter account said: “There is already an agreement between Giovanni Hernandez and Junior; Monday (today) he will be presented as HC.” The president of the club, Alfredo González Rubio, confirmed this information and said that the board has been working with some players to be signed when registrations for footballers without a contract opens, on August 5th.
His designation has provoked diverse reactions among the press and the fans. Some are happy because of Hernandez´s glorious past as a player in Junior, and others, question his unproven experience as a coach.
While wearing shorts, “G10” was a runner–up of Copa Libertadores in 1996 with America de Cali, two-time Chilean champions with Colo-Colo in 2007, and two-time Colombian champion with Junior in 2010 and 2011. As an international player with Colombia’s national team, he won the Copa America in 2001.
As a manager, the Cali native had previously spent time in charge of two costeño teams, Uniatonoma and Real Cartagena. With the “college” squad, Hernandez completed a bipolar campaign that had good performances and some good results but that ultimately ended with the relegation. Meanwhile this year, with the “Auriverdes” he was in the eighth position out of sixteen in Colombian second division.
Alexis Mendoza had resigned as the head coach after announcing differences with the board of directors. In the context of fans protesting the new signings, the bomb exploded last week when Char revealed in an interview that Mendoza refused to accept several players the fans had wanted, arguing that they were troublemakers or too young. Soon the former manager denied these accusations and after a meeting with the board surprised Barranquilla with his letter of resignation. Under his guidance, Junior reached three finals and won one title in a year and a half contract.
Hernandez will make his debut on Metropolitano´s bench this Wednesday, July 27th against Pasto in the eighth finals of Copa Colombia. Junior has five points in this semester League and is currently in the fourteenth position of the table with one win and two ties in three games.
Video: Reactions of the fans after the resignation of Alexis Mendoza in Junior.