zavaletaandmannix-11-2016-3-211GBy Alejandra Ocampo

The República Argentina Cup is one of the most important tournaments of the year. The tournament is unique in its format, allowing teams from 0-40 goals to compete against each other. It is also notable because it gives teams from different Argentine provinces the chance of playing at Palermo.
The República Argentina Cup is important for Argentines and foreigners alike, who revel in the chance of playing in the Cathedral of Polo. This year, Canadian Julian Mannix, who plays with La Irenita Alegria, gets the chance to fulfil a dream of his by playing on Palermo’s number one ground.
PoloLine met up with Julian and teammate Clemente Zavaleta to discuss the upcoming tournament and the future.

On La Irenita Alegria playing the República Argentina Cup:
Julian: The team is excellent. We get on very well and we are winning. I am very happy. I hope we can get to the final, but we need to play it step by step. I like this team a lot, though.
Clemente: We have been very efficient in the first two games, something out of the ordinary. The important thing is that we get on well and know each other well. That is the best thing about this team – we trust each other.

How did the idea of this team playing the República Argentina Cup come about?
Julian: I wanted to play with the best this tournament. Corchito [Clemente Zavaleta] and his cousin Juan Gris have played together before and have been successful. And now we have Matias. They’ve all played the Cámara de Diputados Cup, too, and they get on well, so it was an easy choice.
Clemente: Julian said that he didn’t want to play the season in Palm Beach, so the República Cup was a good option. It’s one of the most important tournaments in Argentina, up there with the Cámara de Diputados Cup. There is no handicap limit and you get the possibility of playing at Palermo, which is incredible. Julian also got to travel through the provinces of Argentina and check out the polo scene around the country, which is incredible.

On playing on Palermo’s number one field for the first time:
Julian: It’s incredible! I’ll be in the stands next time (laughs), but it’s amazing to be on the field. If you play polo, then the number one ground is where you aspire to be.
Clemente: Julian has never played on Palermo’s number one ground, so it has been a very fun experience for him.

Short-term goals, next steps – and a baby on the way!
Julian: The future? Try and win every game I play! (laughs) Then I am going to Canada for four months to play with my brother Fred. We’ll be back in Argentina come September.
Clemente: We are going to play the Ellerstina Polo Tour with Julian and Matías. I will then head to France in June and July. I head to Sotogrande in August. After that I’m going to be a father for the first time, so I’ll be between the baby and the Qualification tournament for Palermo. The only thing worrying me is where the baby is going to be born!

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