2004 Greek Side To Play Friendly In Honor Of Gerards
After the extremely successful friendly against the legends of Inter Milan earlier this year, Greece’s EURO 2004 members will be participating in another friendly in Crete coming up in November.
The friendly is expected to pit the European champions against a collection of former stars from club side OFI. Specifically, the friendly is being set up by former OFI and Greek National Team midfielder Ilias Poursanidis as a tribute to former OFI manager Eugene Gerards.
The Dutch coach managed OFI for 15 years between 1985-2000 in the club’s most successful spell helping bring through a great deal of Greek talent in the process. The 77-year-old has been suffering from health issues over the last few years. He remains a much-loved figure in Greek football and many events have been held in the last year to honor him and his contributions to Greek football and society.
The friendly match is tentatively set for November 13th at the ‘Yedi Kule’ (Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium) in Heraklion. There is free admission for all interested and it is expected to be a packed house to honor the achievements of a manager who touched many throughout his coaching days. Gerards has made Greece his home along with his wife and two children, even gaining Greek citizenship.
It is efforts like this within the Greek footballing community that gives hope that better days could come for the Greek game. The movement to stage this event is a testament to Gerards, a coach and person held in great esteem by all those involved in football in Greece.