Archive for September, 2011
CD Tenerife Pay The Penalty For Poor Finishing

Well that’s the unbeaten league record gone, a 1-0 morning defeat at Getafe B caught a few players lacking the fighting spirit, how they react will tell us a lot about the squad and the coach. It should have been at least an away draw, Getafe didn’t give Sergio too much too worry about in the CDT goal but with a penalty awarded to each side Getafe shaded it with a better spot kick.

Abel returned to the midfield and Rosquete held his place up front but had a quiet half a game before being replaced. Victor Bravo (above) buzzed all game, if his team mates had shown as much invention it would have been a stroll, he clearfed an early Getafe raid and forced a corner with a deflected shot off a defender all in the first 10 minutes. From a foul on Kiko the lively Bravo hit a testing free kick that the home keeper did well to tip over and he followed that up by forcing a corner from a retreating defender.

Then after 19 minutes Kiko went down in the box, stepping up to take the penalty he hit it low and soft and the keeper had an age to dive and save it. Tarantino and Meji got in a tangle at the other end and nearly let their hosts in for an easy chance just before Tarantino was judged to have handled in the area – it looked more like the ball hit him with the help of a flick off his leg. Tello took no chances and hit his kick straight and past Sergio. Bravo was off on a run again but forced wide couldn’t quite squeeze the ball to the waiting Kiko, he had two more attempts before the break, a long free kick the keeper saved and a duel with the goalie that the advancing stopper just got to first.

Some Tenerife players seem to struggle to compete for a full game, Rosquete made way for Perona (above) but he looked a bit sluggish as well, Nico replaced Ferran Tacon and offered support only in bursts. Ortuno could have made it 2-o but headed wide when clear through, Bravo still had plenty of ideas and set up Kiko but his header missed the target. Marcos was a dependable prescence in midfield but Tenerife lacked that spark to open up Getafe. Nico added a wild shot and a tame free kick to the mix and Kiko latched onto a Tarantino long pass only to be stopped by a dogged defender.

Sergio had the Tenerife fans twitching with a bit of ball juggling outside his area and Kiko closed the show with another shot that was easily rounded up by the home keeper. A frustrating defeat but it’s early days and a good home win next week will keep us in the mix.

Ancient And Modern Co-Exist In Oxford

Wasn’t like this in my day, all this was fields when I was a lad etc, etc, I’m trying not to turn into an old moaning git so I am keeping an open mind for my visit to Oxford. Yesterday I paid a visit to the old Oxford prison, these days converted into a trendy shopping and eating area, I have been before since the big conversion about 6 years ago and to be fair it does look pretty good.

I missed out on the Food & Wine Festival by a few days and a look at the brochure showed me what treats had eluded me – there was live music from Mr Whippy and The Conettes, but by the time I got there they had melted away. I did spot an interesting sculptured multi coloured rhino hiding in the undergrowth, apparently it is part of “an ambitious project to create a trail of these rhinos around Oxford” I don’t know how the city has survived so long without these beasts. Close to the beast and built into one of the old prison wings (on a quiet day you can hear the ghostly cries of prisoners in the showers) is the O3 Art Gallery which featured a display of Cornish landscapes and some very over priced bright snazzy wall hung paintings.

Popping out through a back entrance I found myself down by the old mill stream and the site of the old Morrells Brewery, sadly all that remains is the ornate sign over the yards gateway, the inner workings of the source of the fuel of my youth has gone. Posh apartments now look out onto the stream and its tributeries near the wonderfully named Quaking Bridge where ducks dodge floating rubbish and the odd drowning tramp. I was impressed though with the wrought iron work on the side of the car park, very cool with its bird motif. The old Brewery Gate pub is boarded up but a recent sign says under offer, maybe a ray of hope although it’s more likely to become a trendy food and drink outlet with no real ale.

Progress they call it, but let’s not be too cynical as one of my favourite pubs, Far From The Madding Crowd is itself a revamped unit in the side of a large department store and serves great real ale. As luck would have it their Autumn Ale festival is on this week, a good excuse to stop off in the evenings and sample some fine like Thames Tickler and Dark Side Of The Moose. Cheers

CD Tenerife Get Away With A 1-0 Home Win Over Coruxo

It was harder work than it should have been, chances were squandered, and the team switched off for large parts of the game but a 1-o home win can never be a bad thing. Curuxo were another of the great unknowns, hailing from a town of just 5,000 people not much was expected of them and maybe CD Tenerife took them lightly. Tall forward Zurbano was the visitors biggest threat in the first half but became the biggest idiot with a suicidal sending off just into the second half to give Tenerife a man advantage that they struggled to exploit.

There’s no room to relax for CDT players under coach Calderon, he surprised everyone again by not returning fit again Perona to the starting attack, preferring to keep faith with Ruben Rosquete and he certainly madethe most of it. Nico got a start at the expense of Abel or Kitoko in midfield and Tenerife dominated the early play. Zurbano’s height was proving a problem for the home defence but Kiko and Rosquete had some good openings from moves down the flanks by Nico and Tacon (below). Alberto in the away goal looked pretty sound and contributed to stifling Tenerife’s goal ambitions.

Zurbano started to create more problems, Cristobal did well to head clear after the forward was through but just before half time Zurbano pushed his luck with a blatant hand ball that he tried to blame on a Tenerife player. A little melee near the benches saw three yellow cards dished out in the break including the big Coruxo forward, we were hoping he might get sent off and he obliged us a daft second yellow within two minutes of the restart – now surely it would be easy? Rosquete got his reward after 55 minutes with a well taken goal, quite a moment for the local player given a second chance at the club. A few minutes later he went off to loud applaude from the 10,229 crowd to be replaced by Perona.

Kiko was not having one of his best games and he couldn’t get the shots he needed on target, Josmar came on for Nico but was played wide on the left, a waste of his attacking talents. Perona put a weak shot straight into the goalies hands and then he and Kiko got in a muddle in front of goal and watched the ball trickle wide. Josmar had a cheeky attempt trying to chip the out of position keeper but he managed to claw it to safety. Coruxo had nothing to lose and with Tenerife sitting back they pushed forward. Sergio made a couple of strong saves, one shot flashed by the goal post, and Yeray, the La Palma born sub skied a clear chance with the goal gaping before him. It was a win, not comfortable in the end but they all count and Tenerife are back on top for at least a few hours.

Ships That Pass In Santa Cruz Port

Well another Saturday afternoon and there I was bobbing up and down on the deck of a Colombian training ship in Santa Cruz. That wasn’t part of the original plan but what’s the odd diversion or two when your having fun. I was up in Santa Cruz to cover the Sal2 promotional day for Tenerife Magazine, loads of shops throwing open their doors with special offers, live music, and lots of food offers.

I was sat in Plaza Candelaria listening to a few bands warming up and noticed in the paper that the Colombian triple mast training ship Gloria was in port, so I had to have some of that. Looking out from the top of the Fred Olsen ferry terminal I could see the masts over by the quayside where the cruise liners tie up, and not knowing whether I could get up close I tried my luck and headed for the port gate, normally manned by a jobsworth security guard. Getting nearer it became clear that people were streaming back with posters and other goodies tucked under their arms – goodie it was open house.

Let’s get technical, Gloria was built in Bilbao, Spain in 1968 and the crew of 160 included 77 cadettes literally learning the ropes.Striding up the gang plank I was welcomed aboard by the white uniformed crew and made very welcome, the decks were split level and loaded up with brasses, tightly coiled circles of rope, and lots of freshly scrubbed floor boards. The tallest mast is 40 metres and even without the sails rigged they looked damm impressive and a little scarey to me. The information room below deck had loads of hand outs and a detailed glossy colour booklet with all the facts about the proud ship. The current voyage was of over 5 months, 10 countries and 14 ports including Waterford in Ireland, and Greenock and Lerwick in Scotland. next stop was Martinique, I was tempted to stow away but remembered how queasy the boating lake in Oxford uded to make my feel.

Leaving the ship I decided to walk away from the flow and Santa Cruz centre to see what the grey battle ship was just around the corner. It was quite a surprise to see the name Black Rover written on the stern end and London underneath. Moving round to the gang plank I shouted up and a British crew member answered and came down to chat. Turns out the Black Rover A 273 is part of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary and spends its missions servicing and supplying naval ships often in very rough conditions. In Santa Cruz for a week, the Swan Hunter built in Wallsend, Newcastle 40 years ago had come in from the Falklands and was heading back to home base in Portland, Dorset.

I didn’t go aboard but was invited back to get permission from the duty officer, sadly I will be away during their stay in Tenerife. Most of the 70 crew were off on shore leave but I extended an invitation to join the Armada Sur pre game the next day, apparently most of the crew are football mad scousers. With duty calling me back to Sal2 i headed back into the city but hope to nose around a few more ships whenever they pass this way.

CD Tenerife Exploit Their Options To Stay Top

It’s all about the squad for CD Tenerife this season as they fight for a quick return to the Segunda Division. Winning 2-1 at Albacete was pleasing on so many levels, the quality of opposition, a club we are familiar with from recent seasons, and most of all making not so obvious changes and being rewarded for them.

Going into the game Perona was missing through injury, last week at home his early departure saw German fill the void but it didn’t really work. Many of us expected Nico to come in from the start in a supporting role behind Kiko but coach Calderon went for Ruben Rosquete and he had a fine game. Also last week it seemed that Marcos and Kitoko were trying to play the same midfield role, another surprise change with Abel drafted in for Kitoko, the local lad also impressed as he did in the first game of the season.

Bright new talents are making their mark at Tenerife this season but the old reliables are giving them plenty of confidence, Sergio was again outstanding in goal, particularly with a great save just before Kiko grabbed the lead after 24 minutes. Victor Bravo (above) adds his own special qualities to the mix and he made it 2-0 after 30 minutes with a direct free kick, Tenerife were cruising. The second half saw the coach use all three subs, Kitoko for Bravo after 60 minutes, Nico for Rosquete 8 minutes later, and new boy Chechu Flores for Abel after 77 minutes.

Albacete pulled one back after 73 minutes through Calle after a slip up by Meji (above) but Tenerife stood firm and had chances to increase the score, Ferran Tacon moved into a more central attacking role to support Kiko. It was a momentous win in front of a paltry 4,000 crowd, even if it was the early morning after the areas big fiesta. It leaves Tenerife top and clear by one point ahead of La Roda and Lugo who look strong with a game in hand and their own 2-1 away win at Oviedo. On Sunday Coruxo are the visitors to Santa Cruz for another noon kick off, the attendance should easily bust through the 10,000 mark, the fans like what they are seeing.

Free Holiday? Must Be Tenerife Magazine And GF Hotels

You probably know that Tenerife Magazine is closer to my heart than my signed photo of Sue Barker so forgive my bias but the new look is pretty nifty. Even better we have another holiday competition, a double whammy this time, GF Hotels have put up a four night stay in the Costa Adeje Gran Hotel, the big posh looking 5 star place just above Fañabe and as well as that are offering a further three nights at one of their rural houses, both prizes for two people. It’s easy to enter, just go to the Tenerife Magazine home page and the entry form with all the terms will jump out at you, just fill in the details and submit them by 9 pm on Thursday 29 September and the next day you will be in the draw.

Costa Adeje Gran Hotel has rooftop swimming pools, great views and the a la carte restaurant La Laja to tempt you as well as great service and a central location. Fañabe and El Duque beaches are a short walk away, both large and good for swimming but I must admit a preference for La Caleta a little further along, the sea is still lively despite attempts to tame it a few years ago, and the fishing village does a great line in sea food. The Aecan rural retreat might surprise some of you but the less developed parts of Tenerife are wonderful with walks that will reward you in so many ways.

So get yourself along to Tenerife Magazine, browse the articles, give us some feedback on Facebook and Twitter if you want, and put your entry in for the holiday. Good luck.

Answering The Call Of Western Tenerife

A swim and a cold shower after jumping out of bed soon seemed a world away as the latest Tenerife heatwave cooked me as I strolled down the hill to the Los Cristianos bus stops. Even five years after moving down from Puerto Santiago on the west coast I like to pay regular visits to make sure it doesn’t change too much. Titsa buses don’t always get the air conditioning right but the 477 direct bus felt super chilled as I sped up to Alcala, my first stop and home to my former Western Sun office.

Heading down to the plaza I noticed the concrete area by the bay was busy with sun worshippers and swimmers, it has been revamped since my days swimming there with several railed stairways into the water, there was also a life guard on duty on this latest visit. In the plaza I met up with Richard from the Lions Club outside Bar Plaza and a new K9 dog charity shop that was doing a brisk trade even though it was a work in progress. The previous weeks high tides had made a visit and retreated without any tell tale signs, it’s always a lovely relaxing place to visit with plenty of cheap bars.

Eager to cram plenty into my day I caught the bus on to Los Gigantes (top) and met the lovely Jo in the church plaza for a catch up. Asturias was pretty busy, relaxing looking at the rocky hillside ringing the plaza brought back old memories of fiestas and foam parties. The clear blue sky was buzzed regularly by an emergency helicopter, in such a busy walking and fishing area there is always an awareness of natures power. The next days papers seemed to suggest that the chopper may have been looking for any escapees froma narcopatera (drug boat) found deserted that morning at nearby Fonsalia.

Refreshed I attacked Cardiac Hill and made a few calls before walking along the coast road above Playa Santiago. I had been warned to look out for a new inshore lighthouse, it turned out to be a cleverly fashioned support pillar on the redeveloped rest area just below The Patio Bar – another old haunt. One of the main reasons for the trip was to check out progress on Callao Salvaje’s new beach about 30 mins back towards the south but as I had time I walked on to Playa de la Arena to get the hourly bus from there. By now it was late afternoon and below on Arena’s black sand beach the crowds were thinning out and the beach crew were packing away sun beds and clearing rubbish. I noticed one guard found a 200 pack of giggies and a stray bra, so if you see a lady with nicotine withdrawl swinging wildly, point her in the direaction of lost property.

Callao Salvaje is a strange place, a mix of large grand houses behind high walls, hotels, and new modern apartment blocks. What’s missing is a good quality beach, the old shingle one has always lacked facilities, sand, and easy access but after many false dawns work is well under way on a complete makeover. The pace of change has been slow but the signs are encouraging with landscaping and flower beds in place, huge mounds of imported sand await levelling but hopefully that can be finalised well before the end of the year.

The sun setting was my cue to complete my homeward journey with the Titsa 473 bus spot on time on the hour. Arriving back in Los Cristianos a few beers seemed in order after a hot busy day so I treated myself to a slow walk back up the hill with a few coolers on the way.

Not All Fair Weather For CD Tenerife

This week has been a reality check for CD Tenerife, crashing out of the Copa del Rey 2-0 at lowly Cerceda on Wednesday was followed by a 1-1 home draw with UB Conquense. It’s already clear that CDT have some skillfull players and want to play a good attacking style of play but that may not be enough on its own, poor refereeing and teams with spoiler tactics will lay in wait at the most awkward moments. It’s gonna be quite a scrap to get promoted from Segunda B.

It was an early start for the first noon kick off and the Santa Cruz weather was in a playful mood mixing hot sunshine with clouds and heavy showers. The Tenerife defence has a good solid look to it these days, Tarantino and Medina make a good central pairing, Cristobal is cool on the ball at right back and Meji is an aggressive ball winner on the left. Conquense are not one of the fancied teams in this division and showed little in the early play but they created chances as the first half went on. Kiko was leading the line well for Tenerife but loosing the injured Perona after 25 minutes was a blow, German replaced him but lacks his team mates experience and eye for a half chance.

The visitors had already shown a glimpse of their cynical style in the first half and that got worse in the second half, the poor quality ref did little to discourage their diving and play acting. Kiko made it a good re-start with a chip shot in the area just 4 minutes in to make it 1-0, the 9,539 crowd hoped this would drive the clouds away but Conquense were stubborn and kept coming. Selva pulled them level pouncing on a free header after Sergio could only get a hand to a shot to deflect it off the post. Tenerife looked for a way back, a free kick bounced off the post, German had a decent opening but was squeezed out by two defenders, and Nico, on for Kitoko, was bundled down in the area with no penalty given.

The referee infuriated the crowd by missing several obvious fouls, even in the final minute Kiko was held down by an arm when through on goal. At the other end Conquense had their chances to grab the game but Sergio was on top of his game with some great saves especially from Cristian. A draw was not quite what we were looking for but it keeps Tenerife in top spot, with a tough away game at Albacete next Sunday.

Bands Rock But Arona Doesn’t Roll Out The Welcome Carpet

Six vibrant Tenerife rock bands, a seafront stage in Los Cristianos and a total lack of advance publicity added up to a great night for those present but another missed opportunity to promote a different side of Arona culture. To be fair it wasn’t just the Rock And Roll Una Noche En Verano that was left to its own devices, the whole Virgen del Carmen celebrations were a hit and miss affair.

Back to the music and I arrived just in time to hear the last number from the first band, a young group (didn’t catch their name) that sounded good but a bit lacking in polish. The small stage at the back of the Plaza del Peascadora often hosts music and while the shade of the trees gives it a nice intimate feel, it does help to hide the performers a little from those walking along the promenade or just coming off the beach. Some of the bikers from the afternoons rally were still dishing out paella and the last remains of their beer and the early evening sun attracted a small crowd of the curious of various ages. Los Positivos (above) were not on the original listing but burst onto stage with power and passion and launched into some classics like Route 66 and the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant. There were quite a few young rockers near the stage with suitable dark t shirts bearing the names of grunge and metal bands. As I mingled on the edge of the plaza I met a young lady chasing a strutting cockerel (I will resist the 1001 obvious cock jokes) the rock chick caught her pet and explained to me that its name was Nirvana.

Los Positivos charged the crowd and the lead singer added a touch of theatre by donning a hot looking demonic mask. It wasn’t the only change as the bass player arrived late and strolled on stage with his cased guitar slung over his shoulder, of course we gave him some good natured stick. The smoke was pumping from the stage and the masked singer was writhing on the ground in between leading impressive covers of Bowie’s Suffragete City and then a repeat of Route 66 and Pretty Vacant before an encore of Wild Thing. In the day the plaza is a popular resting place for some older members of the community and I was stunned to see that a little old lady sat on a bench just away from the stage for the entire evening, maybe she was deaf?

The next group up was Momento Beat, I listened to the first two numbers from them but they were a lot less manic and lost the attention of the small but select audience. With the sun setting slowly I had a wander to see what else was going on, the church was holding a religious ceremony for the Virgen with the doors open onto the plaza where rows of attentive worshippers were paying homage. Heading back the other way around by the fishermans moorings there was more music, this time from a couple of fishing boats that were hosting picnics as they were being decked out for Sundays trip out to sea for the Virgen, neither event had been pushed through the local Canarian media.

Back to the stage and the next performers were up and ready. Mr Day Tripper (above) got some of the momento back with some obscure English language rock from recent years, my learned friend Bob identified songs from Wolfmother, and The Subways, both unknown to me. A lot of the passing listeners had passed by leaving a hard core fuelled by cheap beer from the local supermarket. Some local regulars tried to cash in on the gathering, a few Chinese with the inevitable sky rockets and trinkets and even a clown bending ballons into swords and hats whilst slipping in the odd bit of fancy footwork in time to the music.

Mr Day Tripper were pulling out the stops with red smoke casting them in eerie shadows and they stoked up what fire was left in the “tired” onlookers. As they took their final bow I felt the pull of the pub, I was in two minds about staying for the final two bands especially grunge band No More Carrots but felt I had done my bit. Hopefully more music will pass this way and a concerted publicity effort might even see a crowd more fitting to the talent on show and the effort put in to run the event.

Bikers Friendly Invasion Of Los Cristianos

Why am I so dippy and confused, is it because I is blonde, or because my brain lives in a wibbly wobbly world of its own? Maybe both of those apply but Tenerife must take a share of the blame for confusing and teasing my little pea brain. For example it’s Saturday morning, I’m waiting for around 100 hairy bikers to descend on Los Cristianos and looking forward to a beach front rock concert later on with local Canarian bands playing grunge and heavy metal. How do I pass the time? with a quick snack at Via Vai my daily Canarian haunt at the old beach, and do my ears deceive me, their stereo is belting out Visage followed by Toyah. This onslaught of New Romantic nostalgia is just another reason why I’m a gibbering idiot.

Oh dear does that sound like I’m complaining, I hope not because I love the unexpected and conflicting signals that living on this rock confronts me with every day. Having scoffed and moved on, I found the bikers had arrived in force at the area just before the tunnel linking the old beach area to Las Vistas. The usual lack of Tenerife publicity meant I had only found out about the bikers rally an hour before but the stage at Plaza del Pescadora boasted the insignia of the two biker groups organising the rally and later concert. Take a bow Lobos de Asfalto (wolves of the road) and Satanases del Sur (devils of the south) they certainly brought a good gathering to town.

Are you quaking in your slippers at the thought of big sturdy bikers at a holiday resort? well don’t, The many biker groups in Tenerife are a friendly lot dedicated to their machines and driving off into the fantastic mountain scenery and open roads. Passers by admired the gleaming chrome and metal and the range of Harleys, Hondas, and more, all lovingly cared for. The organisers had set up base at Plaza del Pescadora near the stage for later musical treats, two huge paellas and a dustbin full of ice and beer kept the crew going.

It was all very relaxed and even the statue of the fisherwoman joined in the fun acting as a makeshift hat stand for crash helmets. I could hardly tear myself away from the action but after a sea swim and the hot sultry weather I needed to pop home for food, a cold shower and to download my camera before returning for the rock concert. As Saturdays go it sure beats watching over ambitious chefs and TV football pundits on the box.