Olhanense hero set for top job?

A former top goal scorer wants to run for president of SC Olhanense and has the support of many people who have been influential in the club’s life and who now want to help return it to the Primeira Liga. Although elections are not due until next year, Djalmir Vieira, perhaps the greatest Olhanense player in recent years, is a step closer to formalising his candidacy for the presidency.

Djalmir left Olhanense five years after 150 games, 60 goals and many, many afternoons of glory. “The idea has been fermenting for some time, but the moment has not been right until now,” the Brazilian told O Jogo paper.

Although the Olhanense SAD (the limited liability sports section) owns 80% of the professional side of the club, there is a deep-felt anger by local businesses and supporters that the club has been allowed to stagnate. With wages in arrears, ill health of the current majority shareholder and a club in decline, it would appear that now would be a good time for Djalmir to galvanise local support.

Djalmir has returned to the city he loves, where he has many friends and where his daughter was born. He said: “There are many people who have turned their backs on the club but would now support me in my endeavours to return this historic club to its rightful place in the higher echelons of Portuguese football.”

Olhanense had five consecutive seasons in the top flight from 2009/10 to 2013/14, but then a rapid decline saw them suffer two relegations in three years to where they are now, the Campeonato de Portugal.

Djalmir, 42, partly blames the disagreements between the SAD (80% owned by an Italian consortium) and the main Olhanense sports club. The Brazilian studied sports management, did a postgraduate course in football and, when he hung up his football boots, returned to his native country. He is now ready to settle again in Olhão and if the socio-members want him, he is ready to throw his hat into the ring.

The affable Brazilian received much support from Jorge Costa, who took Olhanense to the Primeira Liga 10 years ago; a promotion season that saw Djalmir top score with 22 goals.

FC Porto boss Sérgio Conceição, who started his managerial career at Olhanense and who Djalmir worked with for two seasons, has had a profound influence on Djalmir. “He encouraged me to become a sports director. He is always very focused and organised on a day-to-day basis; a remarkable trainer whom I have great respect for.”

SC Portimonense and SC Farense have re-invented themselves in recent years after a downturn in their fortunes and are now on the rise, so could the same happen to SC Olhanense? Only time will tell.


Photo: Djalmir Vieira and Chris Wright