Writer: Michael Grainge
Date:Thursday September 21 2006
Some of South America's brightest young stars could end up at Swindon if Gus Poyet gets his way.
Gus was delighted to see Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano join West Ham last month - and is keen for more players to make the same journey.
'I think it is great for everyone in South America to see players coming over here. I have always tried to encourage them' Poyet told BBC Sport.
'They should look to England more. It is a beautiful place to play football with full stadiums everywhere and the football being so great.You can encourage them in two ways. The first was to tell them how good it is and the second was - when I used to play - to try to do well to make teams have a look at other players from South America.'
'For Swindon at the moment we are in League Two and the financial situation makes things too difficult but we will see. If we are lucky enough to go up this season it will become easier to get foreign players - but we are taking things one step at a time.'
For every South American export like Poyet, Ricky Villa or former Swindon town manager Ossie Ardiles who have furished in England, there are several who have failed to make the expected impact. In recent seasons, the likes of Matias Vuoso (Manchester City and Argentina), Agustin Delgado (Southampton and Ecuador) and Luciano Figueroa (Birmingham and Argentina) have spent forgetable - and expensive - spells in the UK.
Poyet knows it is not easy to make the transition on and off the pitch - but believes he is proof it is possible.
'You have to adapt,' he explained.
'Sometimes it happens quite quickly, sometimes not. There are reasons why many players don't come here at all though.When you are a foreigner in a different country and talking about England, everyone says that the weather here is horrible. So if you are offered the chance to play in Spain instead, and especially the south, players jump at going there rather than England. Also the language. No-one speaks English in South America so they are a little bit afraid of coming here and finding it difficult. That is something that I have tried to convince people about, especially players from Uruguay - that they should not be worried about the language because you learn it like anyone. A little bit like me, I don't care if I make a mistake when I speak English - I just talk and learn.'
Poyet's presence at Swindon means the Wiltshire club's fanbase has quickly found some Uruguayan members.
'There is a massive interest in English football over there now,' he added. 'People are aware of everything that happens in England.
'There are a few Swindon fans already too, and there has been a lot of interest from the media. 'They are following us every week and come here often too. they ask me about League Two and Swindon - and they want to know more.'
Date:Thursday September 21 2006
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