Former Dundee Stars defenseman, Christian Borgatello only played for the Stars for one season but was a key part of the team that won the 2004-2005 British National League Playoff Championship and now, 15 years later, we have caught up with Christian.

By Kris Smith

Borgatello took his hockey career away from Italy for the first time in 2004 when he decided to come in play in Scotland with the Stars and since his year in Tayside, he has gone on to have an extremely successful career.

The 38-year-old blueliner has since won 21 more championships and medals since lifting BNL playoff trophy at the Dundee Ice Arena.

Firstly, Christian explained what he has been doing since leaving Dundee back in 2005 and he said: “When I left Dundee, I went back to Italy to play for Milano for two years and we won one league championship.

“Then I played for Bolzano for six years winning three more Italian championships but during that time I also played in Erste Bank Eishockey League for a Hungarian team called  Fehervar AV19.

“After that, I had one year in Pustertal, Italy before spending the next five years in Renon, where we won another four championships, then I played one year in Vipiteno and finally I came back home to play for my hometown Merano!

“This year, we won the Italian Cup just before everything stopped because of the Coronavirus!

“I also now own a Bar in Merano, which I have had since January of last year!”

 

 

When Borgatello came to Dundee, he was just 22-years-old and he still has plenty of great memories from that season.

“That year we had a pretty good team, our start to the season wasn’t the best one but we got better and better and we stood together like a unit” said Christian.

He continued: “The team and the supporters were great, the supporters never left us alone, they never stopped cheering for us and that was what created a turning point for the team!

“We became a big family and I enjoyed my time in Scotland, it was a great time for me, I met great people, had many great experience and it is always nice to think back to that time!

“It was an awesome feeling when me and my family came to visit a couple years ago, we got an unbelievable reception!”

The eight-time Italian league champion also said that his favourite memory from playing with the Stars was when they won they lifted the playoff trophy.

However, Borgatello also gave more details about how he ended up in Dundee for the 2004-2005 season.

He explained: My team Merano dropped down from the first Italian league to the second league, so I decided to leave that year.

“I wanted to improve my game and wanted to find a new and different lifestyle experience, so my Agent and Patrick Lochi told me about Dundee Stars!

“It was not an easy decision to leave Italy for the first time and to be away from my family but it paid off.”

His championship winning year with Dundee was made even more special after Christian rounded off the season by winning a gold medal with Team Italy in the summer at the World Championships.

“I think each trophy you win with different teams has a special story behind it and special place in your heart!” he added.

 

 

Borgatello has made 239 international appearances for his country but that summer was his favourite and he recalled how it went for him.

He said: “I remember leaving Dundee with a great feeling and a lot of new experiences in my pocket!

“I played an awesome World Championship and at the end I signed a two year deal with Milano, who at the time were the best Italian team in the league.

“That summer was unbelievable, Jason Shmyr came to visit me for a couple of days and we partied hard!

“Actually I remember that I partied all summer long and I was telling stories to my friends about Scotland and Dundee Stars!

“Best Summer ever!”

Finally, the Stars former and only #50 shared a message back to al the fans in Dundee.

He said: “Hi supporters of Dundee Stars, I just think about how you always will be the seventh man on the ice!

“From my experience, good supporters have always played a big part in winning games and championships and that’s what happened for us in 2004/05!!!

“I will always have you in my heart, you were great on the stands and awesome in the Bar for karaoke and beers :-).

“I hope to see you all soon and I want to say thank you to all people who were working for Dundee Stars that year and to all the supporters!

“FORZA Dundee Stars!!!

Next up in this week’s series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the fourth Dundee Stars season you can read the Where Are They Now Interview of another former Stars player from the 2004-2005 Championship winning season and that will be available tomorrow at 12pm!

If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]

Latest News
Dundee Stars Team
48 Games
18 Wins
27 Losses
3 OT Losses
39 Points