The Mersey Blues are shaping up for a good season under David Moyes after a strong start to the current Premier League campaign, but for fans of ‘the other Everton’ in Chile it’s time already to reflect on their success. Supporters of Everton Vina Del Mar – named after the Toffees when the club was founded in 1909 – are still smiling after their club clinched promotion back to Chile’s top flight via a nail-biting play-off final last month. The ‘Ruleteros’ became one of the first Chilean sides ever to play in the UK when they visited Goodison in August 2010 to contest the inaugural Brotherhood Trophy – but a 2-0 defeat by their English hosts sparked a run of poor results which saw them relegated that term. Now manager Víctor Hugo Castañeda has put the club back where it belongs, and outgoing President Antonio Bloise is making a special return trip to L4 to celebrate before Sunday’s home game against Spurs at Goodison. The popular businessman is stepping down as chairman of the club he supports, and will be presented with a silver platter on the pitch by members of the Merseyside-based Ruleteros Society in recognition of his achievement, and his dedication to strengthening the links between his club and their Premier League counter-parts.
“He’s having a bit of a farewell tour and this was something he felt he really wanted to do,” said Ruleteros president Tony Heslop.
“President Bloise was very proud when he bought his club to Goodison in 2010, and it’s been a special season for the club he loves.
“Everton Vina Del Mar are the fourth biggest club in Chile and it was very disappointing when they were relegated two years ago.
“They didn’t win a match for the rest of that campaign after they came and played Everton during our pre-season. But they responded the right way by reaching the play-offs the following campaign and then going one better and getting promoted this season just gone.
“Luckily they managed to keep together their squad and are hoping to compete again next time around.
“The Chilean season runs from February to November so they are still basking in the glow of getting back into the Primera Division.”
The Ruleteros society celebrated its 10th anniversary in July after being formed in 2002 in Hardman Street’s Valparaiso Restaurant. And after playing an instrumental part in bringing Everton Chile to Goodison, the society would now like to arrange for David Moyes’ side to make the trip to South America in the future.
“We would love to see the Blues play the next Brotherhood Trophy at the Estadio Sausalito,” said Goodison season-ticket holder Tony.
“Obviously it would be a big trip but the Blues have gone to Australia in pre-season before so you never know.”