Archive for the 'Football' Category
Young Pup Alex Shows His Pedigree

When Alex Mula asked his girlfriend to postpone their wedding for the slim hope of a promotion play off extension to his CD Tenerife season, he was probably in the dog house for a few days. Two quality goals in a 3-1 home win over Real Oviedo backed his confidence and smoothed the romantic path.

The 21 year player, on loan from Malaga, would normally get star billing for his display but it was another pleasing team effort that made it three straight victories. The play offs are still a tall order but regardless of the destination, the journey is enchanting the fans, 14,600 people turned up for the Friday night game. Let´s not forget the little matter of more absentees through injury, including Juan Villar who was on a hot scoring streak. Bryan Acosta took on the main supply role for top scorer Longo, with Suso, Luis Milla, and Alberto giving steady support.

It was the Tenerife defence that shone in the early exchanges, Camille´s return to the left back slot added stability, and Luis Perez was outstanding at right back. Former Tenerife player Aaron tried to deceive Dani Hernandez with a low free kick to the near post but the keeper was all over it. Mossa had his eyes on the home goal, twice Perez robbed him of the ball with ease. Just 18 minutes into the game a long ball from Carlos Ruiz was chested under control by a leaping Longo who turned to dispatch the ball into the net in one flowing movement.

Acosta was making his prescence felt, a quick break was cut out by Herrero in the Oviedo goal. A high tempo and work rate has lifted Tenerife´s performances to a new level. Turning defence into attack is a feature of the rejuvinated team, Carlos Ruiz, an inspiration at 34 years old, outjumped Oviedo players and prompted several good forward raids. The second goal was another cracker, Longo got bundled off a high ball that dropped loose, Alex Mula pounced on it and had the vision and skill to launch a long range rocket past the goalie.

The second half opened with Oviedo trying to up their game, they managed to hit the post before Tenerife took charge again. Acosta should have got the third goal but took the ball wide and blasted it into the side netting. Longo and Acosta were building a nice understanding, the Italian won the ball off Verdes and set up Honduran Acosta who shot wide again. Acosta turned provider with a gentle pass for Alberto, he got his boot too far undr the ball and blasted it over the bar. Oviedo are trying to hold onto a play off place and caught Tenerife out with a Saul breakaway that finished with a glancing header by Forlin into the home goal.

Tenerife responded positively with more attacking play, Aitor Sanz, a sub for Suso, played a more adventurous role than usual, and with Alex turning on the speed on the left, the chances kept coming. After 72 minutes another Acosta break tore Oviedo open, a square ball to Alex took out the defence, and the youngster buried the ball in the net. There was a brief danger as Oviedo found a way through but a strong kick away from Dani cleared the threat. It was good to see Juan Carlos Real get a five minute run out as Alex departed to loud applause. The sub hasn´t had a look in for a few weeks but had a half chance blocked after good work from Longo.

The win didn´t bring a big jump up the table, still 12th, but Tenerife reduced the points gap on the top six to just four points. The only negatives from the win were bookings for Ruiz and Alberto that mean they are suspended for Sundays game at Numancia. Tenerife hopes of getting extra dates in the play offs are alive and kicking, as for Alex Mula, he has a new special date of 2nd July for his wedding.

This report was originally published in Canarian Weekly , you can read all my sports coverage in the free newspaper. I will try to add the reports to this blog from here on, they will be just over a week after the games, and a few days after the paper hits the streets. For more CDT info, check out www.armadasur.com

 

 

 

Future Stars Shine In La Liga Promises

Footballers come in all shapes and sizes, so write off the short, skinny, or clumsy at your peril. The under 12 players in the La Liga Promises tournament in Playa de Las Americas showed that a passion for football mixed with dedication and belief can create the next generation of star players. Over three days the 15 teams served up a glorious showcase of international starlets at the Antonio Dominguez stadium.

A half size pitch surrounded by extra seating, television gantries, and giant video screen was beamed out to TV audiences as seven a side teams battled it out, begining with 12 minutes each way games in the group stages. Big clubs like Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris St German were expected to do well but there are always surprise teams and players. Jef Utd from Japan exploded onto the scene with their tiny captain hitting a goal of skill and control against Inter Milan. They couldn´t sustain that form and lost that match 2-1 and didn´t make the knock out stage but won lots of admirers. Roma player Cristian Totti, son of Italian legend Francisco, caught the eye, and Valencia twins Vicent (goalie) and Marc Abril (midfield) were looking to create their own family joy.

The quarter finals produced some tight games, Barcelona beat Juventus 1-0, Valencia beat Dortmund and Espanyol beat Real Madrid both by a solitary goal. The drama came after a 0-0 draw between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, it took a penalty shoot out to send Atletico through. At the semi final stage games increased to 20 minutes each way, Valencia saw off Espanyol by 1-0 and a thrilling 2-2 draw was settled on penalties as high scoring Barcelona put out Atletico Madrid.

The stage was set for the decider and thousands packed the stadium, CD Tenerife were first up to play Inter Milan in the Consolation Final, a combination of the Bloko Del Valle drum troop, a large contingent of noisy CD Tenerife fans, and their mascot Elio Doro the elephant, created a real party mood. Two quick goals caught Tenerife cold but they fought hard to reduce the arrears to 2-1 before Milan netted a third before half time. The second half was shaded by Tenerife but they couldn´t finish off the many chances they made against their more physical opposition and they lost 3-1. As a CD Tenerife fan it gladdened my heart to see so the future of my club in such good hands.

Barcelona and Valencia had been full of goals during the tournament but it was a cagey, technical main final with plenty of neat passing but few clear chances. Andres squandered two first half openings for Valencia as he skied his shots high over the bar. That was to come back to haunt them at the start of the second half, Amadou broke on the left and crossed to Hernandez who claimed the goal for Barcelona. There was no way back for Valencia, Barcelona were stroking the ball around and Cristo was unlucky not to add to his five goals in previous games, he still got the top scorer and MVP awards for the tournament.

The Barcelona players almost skipped up the steps to collect their medals and the trophy, and then spilled back onto the pitch to celebrate with coach David Sanchez. Valencia´s Tony Lopez got the coach of the tournament award, it was little consolation but his staff and players were quick to  congratulate the winners.

No Comfort Or Joy In CD Tenerife´s Bleak Midwinter

Maybe the jugernaut seven game winning streak of Cadiz was stopped but CD Tenerife were drab and ordinary in their 1-1 home draw against Cadiz. Coach Pep Marti owes a big present to Camille, Casadesus, and Juan Villar for saving his job with a last minute leveller in Santa Cruz.

Ideas were thin on the ground and players looked like they would rather be anywhere other than on the Heliodoro pitch. Changes were again forced on the coach, suspended Acosta and injured Carlos Ruiz meant recalls for Vitolo in midfield and Alberto in the centre of defence. Cadiz oozed confidence, Barral was running free up front and Olivan threatened with a cross into the box that Alberto had to blast clear. Casadesus tested Cifuentes from the edge of the box with a dipping shot that the keeper turned aside.

Carlos Abad had held his place in goal but looked shakey as he missed two chances to cut out the visitors 9th minute opening goal, Alberto dived ahead of him to head the ball partly clear but it fell to Garrido who lobbed it over the back peddaling Carlos. Salvi nearly doubled the lead after shrugging off Camille but he put his shot in the side netting. Cadiz were solid at the back, passed well, and had willing runners to spread the play. Tenerife were nervous and couldn´t string passes together, Suso, Aitor, and Vitolo were a midfield mess and Longo was left looking for service.

The second half opened with Tenerife still looking second best, Malbasic came on for Tayron and was slow and clumsy. Cadiz were happy to just pick off stray passes and pin down the home full backs Camille and Camara to cut out any wide creative play. Longo beat two markers and tried to squeeze a shot in at the post but the angle was too tight. Casadesus took the ball wide but ran out of pitch before popping a shot over the bar from a Malbasic pass. These were brief respites, home players were not moving or calling for each other and too often a back pass was prefered to a more adventurous forward invite.

Juan Carlos Real replaced Vitolo and Juan Villar was a welcome addition for Suso, the injury prone striker has a more direct approach and likes to take players on. Malbasic on the left was a waste of space, he beat two defenders and then tripped over his own feet, and with clear space he ran into defender Carpio. Carlos showed better form with a diving save from Cruz after Garcia had cut the ball back from the byline. It was frustrating to watch for the 10,864 crowd, unforced schoolboy errors littered the home play and inspiration was badly needed.

Camille was the unlikely spark, pushing forward he won the ball and picked out a great cross into the goal mouth, Csadesus flicked it on, and Juan Villar headed it in by the far post. With three minutes of added time there was suddenly some urgency but Cadiz held firm. Former Tenerife coach Alvaro Cervera was clearky annoyed to let the win slip away and Pep Marti looked like a freshly liberated turkey. 2018 begins with two away games, a transfer window, and hopefully a fully fit squad so anything is possible, but big changes are needed.

A Feast Of Blue And White

 

What a stirring tune the CD Tenerife anthem is, and Tenerife Adelante was blaring out as we entered the blue and white wonderland of a dining hall for the clubs pre christmas meal for the peñas (fan clubs) including the Armada Sur.

Our small but select band of ambassadors for the Armada Sur arrived at the Parque Maritimo pool complex in Santa Cruz for 8pm, only to find out it was a 9.30pm start. The solution was easy, we adjourned to a nearby bar, Voque Bar, rather posh but we soon lowered the tone. Suitably refreshed we headed back to the venue, I had been to the pools before to do a review, that time it was a hot afternoon and the pools were splashing. We were guided to the outside terrace of one of the big function halls, waiters circulated with drinks and aperatifs of ham and cheese croquettes, sweet nibbles of lemon and honey, and other tempting treats.

TV cameras were in attendance so naturally we burst into a rousing chorus of the Armada Sur song to the Hawaii Five O theme. The players were away on the mainland having played Espanyol with Almeria to come in two days, but captain Suso was in attendance as he was injured. Entering the hall was a visual feast, all the tables had been set out with peña name plates, a Mahou beer hat, and a CD Tenerife scarf. Side tables groaned with Tete themed cakes and there was a buzz of anticipation. Any thoughts of it being a slightly stuffy, formal night were soon blown away as terrace songs started breaking out across the tables. We were sharing with the Cesar Gomez peña, mature ladies but they were party animals.

Club President Miguel Concepcion was in relaxed mood and very much the genial host, I was quite taken with the waitresses black outfits, they made me think of the Robert Palmer video Addicted To Love. The background music was a strange mix of 80´s pop songs like Careless Whisper but there was no whispering as the noise level rose as the beer and wine flowed from the free bar. Then the food started to arrive, an intro of carrot soup would hopefully help my aged eyesight, and I had pre ordered the hake in the hope that fish might improve my befuddled brain. It was love at first bite and the service was very impressive with a full hall to cater for.

No sooner had we finished the caramel and chocolate sweet when the stage was taken over by a magic act, maybe the next coach in waiting? I was hoping he could make Las Palmas dissapear but settled for balloons and fire. All our tickets were numbered and a long, prize packed raffle followed, interspersed with more singing and chanting. It was a fabulous night, big thanks and respect to the club for arranging it, and the staff for carrying it out with such efficiency and good humour. It was all far removed from the rock hard rolls and alcohol free beer that are sold at the Heliodoro stadium.

Plugged In And Charged Up For Cup Sizzler

 

Mobile phones twinkled like stars around the darkened stadium, but after a half hour delay for power failiure, the players of CD Tenerife and Espanyol came out to light up the pitch with a scintillating 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Kings Cup clash. Both teams produced good football, the two goalies were immaculate to deny all that was thrown at them, blimey, even the referee had a good game!

La Liga side Espanyol had a wealth of top flight and European competition to call on but Tenerife had the hunger and some outstanding performances from their young defenders. Espanyol opened strongly with Sergio Garcia and Didac sharpening their claws but 21 year old Tenerife B team product Nahuel made the left back slot his own from his first touch, and on the right Luis Perez, just a year older, was also solid and stubborn. In the centre Avedaño supplied the older head but Spain under 21 player Jorge Saenz was in command with a mature and dominant display. Big things have been expected of 22 year old Carlos Abad, this was the night the Puerto de la Cruz born goalie showed he has the skills to push long term first choice Dani Hernnandez aside.

Brian Martin hit a strong early chance at old master Diego Lopez in the visitors goal, the first of many shots that seemed to home in on the keeper but great awareness and positioning help goalies to make it look easy. Bryan Acosta was a powerful creative force in the home midfield and Malbasic was full of running to seek the killer ball. The Serbian striker popped up with a clever overhead kick at the far post only to see Diego Lopez push the ball aside. Bryan Acosta hassled and won the ball before unleashing a shot just before half time, that man Lopez was all over it like a rash. Carlos Abad matched him at the other end to deny Granero, and 13,925 fans were left longing for the second half.

Juan Carlos replaced Aitor Sanz for the second half and the game was soon back to its frantic pace. Brian Martin cut in from the right but needed a bit more surprise in his shot to beat Lopez. Melendo came on for Espanyol and was a mix of sharp tackles and nifty moves, his curled shot gave Carlos another chance to shine. Casadesus took over from Brain Martin, the home grown striker needs to sharpen up but at 21 he has already come a long way this season. And will be back for more. Malbasic powered his way down the left but his cross was a bit wayward, Acosta´s balls in were much more clinical and caused chaos behind the visitors rear guard.

Longo returned to action after a month out injured as Malbasic went off to rapturous applause, the Italian striker was a little rusty but Casadesus had plenty of fire and rose for a fine long header that Lopez took cleanly. At the other end Carlos pulled off two class saves in succession, it seemed a draw was pre ordained. Acosta had the final effort but it went like a magnet to Lopez. There was just two minutes of injury time, although all the fans yearned for more. The away leg in four weeks time will be tougher, with Tenerife again the underdogs, but few will forget the home night that started like a pop concert and ended with the support act stealing the show.

 

 

Short On Goals But Long On Hope

Goals, oh yes I remember them. Sadly they have been hard to come by in CD Tenerife´s pre season friendly programme, a mix of unexpected departures, late arrivals, and even a few injuries, but we always seem to fill the last squad places to the last moments of the August transfer window. A 2-0 away leg loss to Las Palmas in the Copa Mahou saw only one CDT shot in the second half and was followed by a 0-3 defeat to Deportivo La Coruña at La Orotava.

The trip to pleasantly cooler La Orotava was smooth, with a car load of Armada Sur meeting up with a large contingent of Frente Blanquiazul in the plaza of the San Agustin shopping centre. Local police were twitchy about a few social beers being consumed as the Armada Sur tucked into a few bottles at Sinatra´s Bar. I kept thinking of the Sid Vicious version of My Way as we quaffed our pre match Dorada´s. The Los Cuartos ground is a magnificant setting with the pine trees marching up the spreading hills beyond, the three female match officials quickly conducted pre match formalities before starting the game.

Juan Villar and Victor Casadesus were missing with injuries so Brian Martin and Juan Carlos Real led the attack. Deportivo have a strong squad under former Tenerife manager Pepe Mel and our defence did well to hold them off for 26 minutes before Andone found the net with a header. It was hard for Tenerife to establish any order, our players have had to adopt to strange positions and new partners so quickly. Cartabia finished off another well worked Deportivo attack after 34 minutes and the game was already over.

A whole raft of half time changes kept everyone guessing, especially with different numbers in the large and young Tenerife squad again. Suso remained a constant throughout the match and had the best scoring chance, a bad offside call did little to enhance his view of female referees. Crunch time is fast approaching, some of the B team players will surely at least get on the bench for the August league games before the last new faces arrive. Raul Camara was rested for the evening with a view to his suspension for the opening league game. The 3,000 crowd learnt more about Deportivo than their home favourites, Borges completed the scoring after 58 minutes and Deportivo got their hands on the selection of trophies that go with the Teide Trophy title.

There´s always a nice relaxed atmosphere around the La Orotava game and as always the crowd were allowed to flood onto the pitch at the final whistle to take pics and pose for autographs. With the grounds snack bar rapidly running out of stock, I made liberal use of the free Markomilk bars being handed out by the match sponsor. The friendlies have at least given our players some match fitness but we are going to be playing catch up as usual when, hopefully, our extra four players slip in before the transfer window slams shut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD Tenerife Draw On New Inspiration

Anything is possible, there´s nine months of football ahead, and of course it´s going to be our year. That´s the idyllic pre season state of all football fans, and CD Tenerife have licked their wounds after just missing out on promotion, said farewell to a few players, and welcomed new arrivals like saviors.

I missed a couple of friendlies due to my Oxford break and was stir crazy by the time the Copa Mahou home leg v Las Palmas arrived. Aerosmith had rocked the Heliodoro to its roots and the grass was still suffering so CD Marino´s Estadio Antonio Dominguez hosted the game. An uplifting 2-2 draw was full of encouraging signs, new right back Luiz Perez looked very comfortable on the ball, and new striker Juan Villar was one of a raft of half time changes, he scored both our goals, the second from the spot. Lack of team listings at these games and new shirt numbers make it challenging to see who´s who, I was guzzling beer on the terracing with the Armada Sur and strained my eyes beyond the running track.

The Saturday night game at UD Ibarra saw me back prowling the touchline, despite a liberal sprinkling of B team players and of course no listing, it was a bit easier to deduce who the suspects were. Carlos Abad started in goal, a stocky left winger turned out to be Tanzania youngster Faridi (no 37) , he worked hard and later swapped wings to show equal speed. Bryan Acosta and Juan Carlos were other notable new signings to get a run out. Acosta was always probing from midfield and Juan Villar always looking to latch onto a half chance of scoring. It was an old favourite, Alberto who opened the scoring with a strong header from a Juan Carlos cross after 32 minutes.

The revolving door brought plenty of half time swaps, Dani took over in goal, Argentinian centre back Lucas Aveldaño got his first action, Victor Csadesus grabbed some time, and B team hopefuls Bolaños and Brian Martin joined the fray. Bryan Acosta was denied a goal by a late offside call but what a life the other Brian was having. An early wide chance hinted at more to come. A break from Carballo ended with a goal for Ibarra after 78 minutes, Dani seemed a little hesitant as the ball went over him and if I´m being an old meanie I could add that Suso was having a mare of a game since his half time emergence.

Ibarra goalie Adrian had already made some impressive stops but saved his best to deny Brian Martin, the youngster looked very sharp and kept getting into good shooting positions. On another day he would have got a hat trick at least but the keeper was inspired. The 1-1 draw was probably fair, the game was more about bedding in new players, letting the young guns get a taste of senior football, and testing the shape and quality of the team play. There were certainly more ticks than crosses for coach Pep Marti. There should be four more new signings before the big kick off and competition for places is already looking keen.

 

Back To My Oxford City Roots

You never forget your first love, even more so in football, so despite missing a CD Tenerife pre season friendly I was pleased that my summer trip home from Tenerife coincided with Oxford City v Brackley Town on City´s newly installed 3G pitch.

The ground at Court Place Farm is in Marston, where I lived for a few years, so the return was even sweeter.A blazing hot late July day would have made it perfect but at least the rain held off, the clubs burgers and hot dogs were as scrummy as I remember, and a cold pint combined with a warm welcome from old friends soon had me settled.Big changes had taken place since my last game nearly two years ago, the clubhouse has had a big facelift, now open plan, adaptable and with large screen tvs for sport etc. The new 3G pitch is the latest FIFA approved version, it was only laid a few weeks ago and even in the warm ups I could see small clouds of black tyre rubber kicking up, this will quickly settle.

Here´s a potted history of City, founded 1822, I started watching them at The Old White House Ground just off the city centre in 1974 from my pram (actually I was in my early teens). City are in the Guiness Book of Records for the longest ever FA Cup Tie, in 1971 it went to six games before they lost, new replay rules mean that record can´t be beaten. In 1980 Bobby Moore was manager with Harry Redknapp hia assistant for about six months. Booted off the ground by the college owners to build houses, the club regrouped and fought their way back and are now in the Bananarama (Vanarama) Conference South.

Back to the game, Brackley are in the Conference North, a much tougher section, I was keen to see 18 year old goal prospect Horatio Hirst (above), Sheffield United spotted him in City´s youth side on a cup run and snapped him up. Horatio (no 10) has been loaned back this season and looked a class act, great awareness, nimble feet, and an eye for goal, the Conference will bring him on to the next level. There’s not much money at City so they comb the lower leagues and keep picking up little gems that go onto bigger clubs afgter serving City well.

The first half was very even, Brackley were hard to break down but didn’t ask too many questions in attack. Both teams blasted a shot wide of the post and the half ended as a quiet stalemate. Brackley upped their game after the break, Jimmy Armson went on a break down the right and brought the ball into City´s goal mouth, two defenders gave him too much space and he finished well from close range after 58 minutes. On the hour City made a double substitution, Justin Bennett and Ezra Forde both caused problems for Brackley. Bennett let loose a great dipping long shot that hit the underside of the bar before being tipped over.

The hoops didn´t get the breaks, Bennett had to go off with a leg injury and Zac McEachran had a clear goal dissallowed, foul or offside? Only the ref could answer that riddle. Brackley could have widened the gap in injury time but a free kick found home keeper Craig Hill alert and able to deflect the shot aside. It was a good game to watch and the 0-1 defeat will mean nothing when league action starts. The crowd was around 150, the threatening rain and an extended run of home friendlies played their part in keeping away the extra 100 or so that turn out for league clashes. For me it was just a pleasure to see City play again, it tweaked my thirst for an enjoyable evening of ale sampling.

 

CD Marino Find Their Goal Touch

All guns blazing, CD Marino battered CF San Mateo 3-0 to jump over them to fifth place in their Tercera Division group. The winning margin could have been double that against a Gran Canarian side that offered little resistance.

Adan had a half chance early on, he chested  the ball under control but couldn´t finish the move. Iriome couldn´t decide if he was shooting or passing for San Mateo and his wild blast veered out of play. Marino looked menacing going forward, Lolo and Fran Delgado showed plenty of speed and ideas on the left, Amed worked well on the right, and Adan was always difficult to mark bursting through the middle. But it was defender Brad Mills that teed up the best chance of the first half, he was running through on goal and was tripped in the box, Adan took the penalty kick but goalie Omar dived the right way to make the save.

The chances kept coming for Marino, an Adan stretch couldn´t quite put the finishing touch on a cross from the right, and Bamba headed over from a Lolo corner. Chus tried to get the visitors involved, he unleashed a good close shot but a one handed reflex save from Marco denied him. San Mateo didn´t help themselves, the goalie made a few basic errors and a weak back pass from Yeray was intercepted by Lolo and passed on to Adan who shaved the post. Marino went in at half time wondering how they weren´t leading after dominating the play.

That was soon put right within minutes of the restart, a Lolo shot was parried by the keeper and Adan gratefully planted the ball in the net. San Mateo sub Jonas could have made an instant impression, faced with a fairly easy chance he looped the ball over the bar. Saul Perez replaced Adan for Marino and gave the visiting defence plenty of new nightmares to contend with. Not just a big target man, Saul showed plenty of close control when he weaved past two defenders before tucking the ball past the goalies legs for the second goal.

Fran was quick thinking to try a chip after spotting the keeper off his line, it didn´t miss by much. Lolo had a couple of promising openings, one set up Bamba but he couldn´t get the ball under control for a shot, the second effort forced the keeper to make a save.There had to be at least another goal, Saul turned creator and squared a lovely pass to Bamba, he finished it off in style. There´s just two games left for Marino, they are already looking to next season and had some of their home grown young players on the bench, Jhony got a late run out. Saul had the last chance of the game, a neat turn and shot didn´t quite make it and the goalie was relieved to hear the final whistle.

Two Sports In One Perfect Tenerife Day

I´d like to boast about my sporting prowess, all the medals I have won and records I have broken – only one problem, it´s just not true. I was the wimpy kid at school who always got picked last, even the smokers did better than me at cross country. Despite that, I love watching sport and with Canarian Weekly giving me free reign to cover as many different varieties as possible, I´m like Olly Reed in a brewery.


Tenerife is a magnet for professional sports teams and individuals, especially when the UK winter sinks its teeth into any bare flesh displayed in the name of competition. Arriving at T3 (Tenerife Top Training) in La Caleta to cover Hull Kingston Rovers training camp I was overjoyed to find that Warrington Wolves still had a day left of their 10 day trip and had arranged a training game against Hull KR. I had to brush up on my flimsy rugby league knowledge, the only live UK I had seen was at Wigan Warriors on a very boozy lads holiday up north – when I was still a lad.


Both squads and management were very helpful and the T3 complex is always a joy to visit, the two swimming pools always make me wish I´d brought my budgie smugglers. Warrington finished last years Superleague in second place while Hull KR (white corner on shirt)  were relegated to the Championship. There were a few clues to who was the higher placed club, Warrington (crimson red shirts)  had a bigger staff including two female masseurs who were treating players at two tables at pitchside, part of that could have been down to their stay being twice as long.


The game was played over two 20 minute halfs and was decided on tries, Warrington ran out 3-1 winners, but for both teams it was more about getting ready for the new season. Both squads had some powerful looking players, if they say it´s Tuesday then it´s Tuesday. Warrington coach Tony Smith (above with hat) was referee and laid down the guidelines before they started, basically competitive without getting too carried away -injuries were not part of either coaches plans for the visit. This was very much a working holiday, both coaches talked of the odd team meal out rather than the usual rush to Las Americas that most football teams seem to favour. It was a nice insight for me to see how rugby league teams run and left me with great admiration for both clubs.


The evening brought a change of sport and venue as I headed to CD Marino´s ground in Playa de Las Americas to see my beloved CD Tenerife take on a southern select side made up of players from the Tercera Division and Preferente League. It was a charity fundraiser for the people of Venezuela, there have always been close ties and movement of people between Venezuela and the Canary Islands. I expected a bumper crowd as it has been a few years since CD Tenerife played in the southern tourist zone but it was probably around 500 people. Some of my Armada Sur friends met up at The Whisky Jar but I was down at pitchside getting ready to prowl the touchline with my camera. The team sheet gave a clue as to what was to come, the Tenerife list had 33 players and even then there were others with unlisted numbers.


The big draw was to weigh up Tete´s new loan signing from Las Palmas, Tyronne (no 22) , from the start it was clear he wasn´t rusty from not getting regular games witht he Pios. Playing up front he looked strong and fast and created several chances for his new team mates. Choco Lozano was sharp and cracked in a stoater of a shot into the top corner of the goal after36 minutes. Half time brought wholesale changes, Angel Galvan got a chance in goal but had little to do, Oscar Gonzalez and Giovanni from the B team caught the eye, and Cristo Gonzalez was trusted with the captains arm band. With Tyronne going off after 59 minutes some of the fizz went out of the game but the young guns were keen to stake a claim. Giovanni showed his skills to set up Oscar for a 65th minute second goal, and when Giovanni had a one on one with the select goalie he slipped the ball sweetly past him for a 79th minute, game clinching third goal.


The charity organisers were well supplied with a seemingly endless list of donated raffle prizes, and non perishable food was also donated, near the stadium exit there was a tower of boxes full of long lasting food and supplies to ship out. All in all it was a mighty fine day, there was onmly one way to cap it off, a few Dorada´s at The Victory bar and I was able to wobble up the hill with a satisfied smirk on my face.