The UC dynamits women’s soccer: the crossed versions of the crisis that removes 15 players from the strip squad

Universidad Católica redefines its branch of women’s soccer. Or the dynamite. The concept depends on who explains the drastic determination adopted by the student club, which cut 15 of the soccer players that made up the honor squad. In the bank there was also a change: the Spanish Ángel Hualde replaced the national Ronnie Radonich. In the foothills they set the milestone as a strong signal regarding the evolution they intend for the campus. Hualde comes from Emelec, from Ecuador. Before, he worked at Celtic Castilla FC, Leganés, Fuenlabrada and in Venezuelan soccer.

Among the isolated soccer players, however, they point out that the determinations constitute a reprisal for the open support they expressed to the strike carried out by the officials of Cruzados at the end of September, a behavior that was radically different from that taken by their peers from the male branch, who avoided taking a collective stance in support of workers. Radonich, in fact, was one of the unionized workers. Of the team, 22 players signed the note of support that harshly criticizes the club. 15 of them were terminated. “Catholic is and always has been its people and this institution does not work without its workers and workers”, introduces the letter that was delivered at the height of the strike. During that time, even Cristian Álvarez He resigned as coach of the Sub 12 due to differences with the leadership of Crusaders. Once an agreement was reached, the former defender returned to his position.

Then he goes into deeper detail. “Competitiveness, passion, fair play and inclusiveness are not reflected in the way that officials have been treated, who have had to go on strike to fight for conditions that, we believe, are minimal”, raise the soccer players before exposing the direct damage caused to them by the stoppage of activities. However, despite this, the collective position did not change: “However, today we have to show solidarity with those who make up the union, people who have given us so much throughout our journey in the institution. In this sense, we believe that the most consistent thing on our part is to support them as they have always supported us.”, they add.

Catholic University before University of Concepción (Photo: Bárbara Muñoz/

At the remote campus, all eyes are on Helaine de Grange, the assistant manager in charge of the branch. According to this version, the divisions with the current official began at the time when she was a member of the team and exercised the role of captain during the 2021 season. They point out that at that time there was a schism and that upon reaching her current position, De Grange protected to their closest group, made up of seven or eight players. “There were many special treatments given to these players. From permits to miss training for weeks, financial aid, tickets to the stadium, etc. And there was a big difference between this group and the other 22 players she didn’t get along with.”, points out a former student player to Sporting. Request confidentiality of your identity.

The same footballer points to De Grange for other vices. “There was very little transparency, abuse of power and things were even invented about certain players that were not real. The DT and coaching staff were treated very badly, the assistant manager along with her group of ‘protected’ players always passed over them, including the medical area”, expands.

De Grange now has in his hands the option of rescuing some of the disconnected footballers, through the information he passes on to Hualde, the new coach. In his role can issue a technical report that allows the strategist to define if they meet the profile he needs for his management.

At UC it is De Grange who assumes the defense of decisions and, above all, of the sports project. “I would start by saying that it is necessary to clarify information that is not entirely real and that is installed as a truth when it has interpretive elements. The only thing is that there are players who are leaving the club, because even they were establishing that they did not want to continue and others who did not continue because of the project.”, points to El Deportivo.

The issue of the strike has no incidence or interference in sports decisions. We are looking for responsible professionalization. We are free to agree to support, no, to unionize or not. We never objected to that. There are players who are staying, who we want to professionalize. That has nothing to do with sports decisions. To those who are not going to continue we are giving their passes, we notify them in advance. There is no desire to punish or anything, just to focus on the project going forward”, he points out.

The executive also focuses on an aspect that it considers essential: the obligation to comply with the law. “Professionalization in terms of the new law reduces the squad from 30 to 22, because women’s soccer is still not capable of financially self-sustaining. In Colo Colo and the U there are teams of 23 players that are nourished by smaller players, ”she says. And he again emphasizes the sporty approach. “The players that are leaving are below what we expect for performance. We did technical, statistical, big data analysis, even. Therefore, we are concentrating on the best performing ones. We are choosing the highest performing ones. We made a change of coach that aims to improve the level. And we consider the future potential. They are sports decisions, not politics. We know that changes are difficult. UC has been criticized a lot for many reasons. Now we are making those decisions to compete. It is a five-year project. We have to generate a change in 2023 compared to 2022. It is the first step ”, he affirms.

Finally, he takes care of personal considerations. “As captain I had opponents and allies. I am not going to judge the opinion about me. I always sought to protect the sphere of the players, the coaching staff and the institution. It is difficult to find how to live together. They criticized me that I was more of a coaching staff or pro club, but at 40 years old I had the best performance and I wanted high performance. Probably, the detractions had to do with it. Many times I supported or not supported players. Mine was to protect the triad of which I speak. Then, when I stop playing, what I put in the center is the projector”, he concludes.