Although he is currently playing practices in France, exactly in Sainte Mesme, a spectacula place to play polo in Europe, Robert Strom has already an eye set on the upcoming season in Argentina, where the biggest challenge of his career up-to-date is awaiting him. The French based organisation confirmed to PoloLine a few days ago that a Sainte Mesme lineup will be playing the Copa Cámara de Diputados and the Copa Municipalidad del Pilar, two of the most important and competitive tournaments of the spring season in Argentina.
“To play the Cámara has been a dream of mine for several years. I used to go to Argentina to play the tournaments of the AAP with the aim to make it to the Cámara some time. We weren’t able to do it last year, but finally we could put a great team together for the upcoming season. I feel it is the right time for me to face this challenge”, Robert Strom told PoloLine.
And he adds: “We did very well in the last European seasons and I started to play on a higher level in Argentina; also, I played the World Polo League this year. Playing 26-goal in Palm Beach was great for my polo, in order to play faster. The Cámara is a very competitive tournament, very fast, 4 against 4, very different to the polo of patrons, but I am ready for it”.
The young 5-goaler Frenchman will be joined by his brother-in-law, Clemente Zavaleta, and the Novillo Astrada brothers, Ignacio and Alejandro. “It was very important for me to play with the Novillo Astradas in Palm Beach; that led to put this team together. I am grateful to Melissa Ganzi and the opportunity to play in the World Polo League at Grand Champions and Valiente, with a great player like Nacho Novillo Astrada. We got along very well as soon as we started to play together with Corchito and Nacho. Besides, we’ve been speaking with Corchito about doing something and the next step was talk to Nacho. And Negro, another seasoned and fantastic player, came up naturally as the fourth man”, states Robert.
For the French-born player, the winner of the two last editions of the Open de Paris, this will be a great opportunity to play the highest level of polo up-to-date. And in order to achieve that goal, he will be surrounded by well seasoned players, men who have been playing the Argentine Open in the last four years at least. “This is a great team, because all of three guys have a lot of experience. Corchito is my brother-in-law, we know each other very well, we played thousand of tournaments together, he won the Cámara many times and played the Open four times. And what to say about the Novillo Astradas – a team with a big story and much experience, winners of the Triple Crown. It is a delight for me that these guys want to play the Cámara with me”.
But obviously polo is not about individual level and the contribution of each player. In order to achieve the expectations it’s essential to have the horses and the proper string available. On this matter, he says: “We are doing well with horses because Corchito is very well mounted, I started to mount myself in Argentina and in addition Nacho’s and Negro’s will be supported by La Aguada. So the team looks really good. We haven’t spoken about the positions yet, but we have a slight idea”.
Many non-Argentine players have made it to the Argentine Open, such as Fred Mannix and Pascual Sainz de Vicuña, which demonstrates that the maximum dream and goal is not impossible to reach. However, Sainte Mesme’s man prefers to go slowly and take step by step. “To be able to play the Cámara is a dream at this stage of my career. It is the right time, the momentum. If we have a good go the Cámara, the next step would be to play the qualification. But we have to wait and see; the first idea is to have a united, solid team in the years to come and think about the qualy up next. I want to be well mounted to play these tournaments in the best form possible. And I am very much looking forward to it”.