Archive for April, 2014
Sting In The Tail Stops CD Tenerife Charge

The Dorada was flowing, the barbecue was sizzling and our host Antonio of Suters Bar even got a 50th birthday mention on TV Canarias football coverage. CD Tenerife joined in the party mood with a bright start at Real Jaen but a dramatic last minute penalty gave the home side a 1-0 win to dent Tenerife’s automatic promotion hopes.

Diego Rivas finally made his debut in goal and had a solid game until the last minute when he came out to close down Jozabed, he made the slightest touch, but a touch none the less, and the Jaen player hit the floor and won a penalty. It wasn’t the best of performances by Tenerife, they made plenty of chances in the first half but couldn’t convert them and in the second half they seemed content to accept a draw. Former Santa Cruz favorite Kitoko looked out of place at left back for Jaen as he had in the early season match up, the injured Suso could have ripped him apart.

Ayoze posed plenty of threats, he beat the defence only to be squeezed aside for a corner and later skinned Kitoko to set up Rivero but his shot went wide. Aitor Sanz had the clearest chance but his fierce shot was turned aside by the home keeper. Edgar was having a quiet game although his rising shot came close to sneaking in the top corner of the goal. Jaen started to come into the game forcing Rivas to make some decisive interventions, the best from Jona who spurned a headed chance just before the break.

It was a slightly subdued Tenerife that came out for the second half, Real Jaen pushed up and made Rivas work hard between the sticks, another former CDT player Oscar Rico was looking lively, he tested Rivas with a curling strike just before Ros came on for Ricardo. Chechu replaced Edgar and nearly made the breakthrough with his shot cum cross but still the home threat persisted, Jona’s header looked dangerous and needed a good high take from Rivas to stop it. The last gamble by Tenerife was to introduce Loro for Rivero but it didn’t produce the spark needed.   

A draw was starting to look like a fine result as the game fizzled out but the ref blew straight away when Jozabed went down and pointed to the spot. Jona could have done the decent thing and missed but his aim was true and nicked the points. At least the damage was minimal due to rivals results but the booking situation is still prickly, Bruno got a yellow and misses the Girona home game and Ricardo joined Ayoze Perez, and Edgar one booking away from a suspension. The big prize is still up for grabs with six league games to go.



Crossing The Divide To Meet Mayor Fraga Of Adeje

Many ex pats think Tenerife politicians ignore them so it was nice to get an invite to an audience with Mayor of Adeje José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga in front of a selection of non Spanish media. I live in Los Cristianos which comes under Arona but work and pleasure often take me into Adeje and I have seen first hand the ways it has improved over the years. The meeting took place in the Cultural Centre, itself a fine example of reaching out to the community.


The socialist mayor has won a staggering seven elections since 1987, he will face the public vote again in a years time, and although born in Vilaflor he has lived most of his life in Adeje. There were representatives at the meeting from the British, Italian, and German media so his positive views on integration were welcome. The press office excelled itself with pen drives crammed with every stat you could imagine, there are 120 different nationalities registered on the padron, the voting register that is so important to the mayor.


Mr Fraga said he had seen Adeje change from an agricultural zone to a major tourist attraction over 30 years but always wanted to see Adeje create a modern area built on the old traditional values. The statue of a Guanche warrior, the original inhabitants of Tenerife, greets visitors to Adeje town but the mayor pointed out that even when dealing with their conquerors they realised the importance of communication and he hoped the council could always reach out to all people choosing to live in Adeje.


Many settlers are wary of signing up to the padron but Adeje like all municipalities is dependent on government financial support that is based on how many people officially live in the area. The mayor said he was keen to see people integrate through the padron and through social and sporting networks. I lingered downstairs on the way out to scan the vast choices of courses and clubs offered on the cultural centre notice boards, there’s something for everyone. The council also offers many language courses aimed at different levels, this is another area that Mr Fraga is keen on.


It came across very clearly that the mayor has great pride in Adeje and the strides it has made. Just a short walk from the meeting the Nexsport sports centre, the municipal school of music,  and the soon to open El Galeon commercial centre are testimony to progress. Traditionalists can look to the award winning revamp of Plaza de España which is a beautiful venue for fiestas and gatherings.

Sport is a key draw for Adeje, I covered last Septembers World Waterski Racing Championships in Puerto Colon and they were a great showpiece, the proposed 52 million euro sports port for La Caleta could be another big attraction but that project has some choppy waters to negotiate.








CD Tenerife, The Hot Tap They Can’t Turn Off

Maybe someone thought CD Tenerife would take the hint, 1-2 down at home with 11 minutes left, midfielder Cristo stretchered off early, and a ref and linesman desperately in need of their guide dogs. But when your hot your hot and the blanquiazul are scorching these days, they turned the score around in six minutes to claim a third straight win, 3-2 against Numancia, and jumped over Las Palmas into fourth spot, not a bad afternoons work.

You can call it stubbornness, determination, or an unshakeable self belief, promotion is now the target and it could even be achieved without the need for play offs. The 18th minute loss of Cristo was a big blow, he could be out for a month depending on how bad his left ankle injury is, Juanjo replaced him and was to prove to be a key player. Moyano joined the charge for goal with a thunderbolt that clipped the joint of the post and crossbar, Suso gave Ayoze a header but it was soft at the keeper. Numancia have a good away record and flexed their muscles with a free kick near miss from Ripa and Julio Alvarez, one of the two lazy boys from our relegation to Segunda B, put another set piece strike wide.

Ayoze was a late fitness pass but showed his skills to red carpet a pass by two defenders to find Aridane, he dispatched it perfectly, he’s creeping up on nine goals now. Roberto ended the half with two good saves and a nice Aridane chip ended just short of the advancing Ayoze. All well and plenty for the 13,815 crowd to enthuse about. Tenerife’s defence were like a string vest for the Numancia equalizer after 54 minutes, Sergei side stepped his markers and popped the ball in the net.

Numancia stepped up a gear, Roberto made a good stop from a drifting shot but the big test came when Juanma grabbed a lead with a header from an Alvarez free kick. What spirit and character we witnessed, it took just two minutes for Juanjo to chest control a Moyano ball with his back to goal before turning and making it 2-2. A surge of energy from the crowd lifted the players, Suso took the ball to the goal line, Juanjo kept it in with a back header and sub Rivero was waiting on the edge of the box to drill the winner home.

You know when CD Tenerife are doing well, there are people on the rooftops above the far end goal, next home game it will be like a suicides convention – or a colony of lemmings!


Tenerife Says It With Flowers On Good Friday

There was no bunny at my door and not a chocolate egg in sight, well I hadn’t planned to stay in munching anyway. Giving The Passion in Adeje a year off I headed up to Icod de los Vinos, it was very quiet apart from the Drago tree area but just a stepping stone for me on the way to Santa Barbara to see friends George and Ingrid at the ARTlandya teddy bear and doll museum. We had a lovely few hours on the finca terrace with fruit, cheese, and home made bread. I was impressed to see that the last link in the ring road, El Tanque to Buen Paso was finally finished and awaiting inauguration, they have even created a nice plaza on top.

Guia de Isora was to be my easter treat, the Pascua Florida featured 16 flower sculptures around the town centre created by local and mainland artists. The white crosses of the Light Cavalry made a bold introduction as I left the main road and headed up towards the church plaza and tight surrounding back streets.

All of the works were themed around the easter story, the church surrounds were littered with crosses marked on the ground and clusters of apples with nails in them, this represented the Forgiveness Of Sin, very striking. It was nearly time for the early evening service so black suited men and women were heading for the church and a large brass band was arriving in small groups.

I set off on the trail of the sculptures around the tight back streets and was delighted with what I found, several other people were checking out the route and clicking photo. This was the fourth year of the display but this time it was on for three days and advertised much more. The windows of many houses had religious banners draped from the upstairs windows adding to the reverential feel and most of the works were tucked into alcoves and small alleys.

Suffering was a common theme and red featured prominently to represent the blood of Christ and the red of the Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion. A lot of work had clearly gone into weaving these inspiring sights together and despite their easy access they were being given the utmost respect. The exhibition is unique in Spain and I’m sure it will grow in importance each year, maybe they will be able to extend it through the whole of Semana Santa. Another spectacular addition to the attractions of Tenerife.

Hard Work At Home For CD Marino

Even allowing for a dreadful referees decision and a soft goal, CD Marino made this 2-1 win over SD Tenisca harder than it should have been. The good news is that despite holiday wins by CD Tenerife B and Granadilla the blues from Las Americas sit proudly in first place with just three regular Tercera games to go before the play offs.

Aaron Darias is always a good source of ammunition coming up from right back, he slung in a great ball for Murci but it was a little high for the striker to get a clean shot. After 15 minutes Marino made the breakthrough, the ball came loose to Airam and he fired a rasping shot into the Tenisca net. A Murci header was close to doubling the lead but strayed wide and the second goal was needed. The La Palma side have an outside chance of making the play offs and Rayco put some swerve on his free kick but Alberto was wise to it and took it well.

Lamine was sharp to pick up the ball when it rebounded off a defender just outside the box, he stumbled a little and it was enough to take the power out of his shot. The slender lead would have done at the break but the ref let Tenisca back in. Mendy made a solid blocking challenge on a Tenisca forward but the ref gave a free kick in shooting distance. Rayco curled the ball over the defensive wall at the top corner of the goal, Alberto got a hand to it but that just took the sting off it and it dropped down for Morcuenda to poke in. 

That goal encouragement put a spring in Tenisca’s step when they returned to the pitch. Chema was through early on, this time Alberto was quick to clear. Marino had to get their authority back and they did quickly, Lamine sent in a hanging cross giving Balduino ample time to head a 2-1 lead. Roberto Carlos started to exploit the right side of the visitors defence, his well worked cross was met by a low header wide from Balduino. The full back was off again a few minutes later, this time setting his cross higher, Pablo got a glancing head to it but missed the target. There was a late trade off, a Marino free kick was stopped by the goalie as it headed for the net, and Lamine cleared  a Tenisca effort off his goal line.

Not the most convincing performance but at this stage of the season it’s all about results and the top spot is the first prize that Marino want to wrap up before taking a tilt at promotion.


It’s Time For CD Tenerife Fans To Dream

Aridane’s winning goal in this 1-2 victory at Eibar was a peach, actually it was more than that, it was a peach, a plum, a pineapple, and a pomegranate. Survival in the Segunda, our first objective after coming up in the summer, is now assured, we are nestling in comfortably for a promotion play off spot, and the dream of a top two automatic promotion place is a real possibility.

Seven minutes in at Eibar we were a goal down with no Ayoze Perez to call on but the quality and belief of this squad turned that all around as every player turned it on. The Eibar goal came from a free kick curled in from the byline, it eluded defence and goalie and was toe poked in by Bovedo. Time to get to work, coach Alvaro Cervera again surprised a few experts by starting Nano and Juanjo as the main strikers with Rivero supporting and Edgar on the wing. There was a scare after 14 minutes when the Tenerife defence hacked at the ball but couldn’t clear it, Moyano had the cool head and saw it off.

Morales was the thorn on the home side, he was through for an easy goal before an offside call, Roberto blocked the shot superbly at close range. Tenerife nearly leveled before the break but a crisp shot bounced out off Nano. Our little group in Suters Bar were quite relaxed about going in a goal adrift, that will be the Cervera effect. Less than 10 minutes after the restart Ayoze Diaz had a free kick a good distance out on the left, he floated it over in a similar style to Eibar strike and Bruno put it in the net with a neat flick of his head.

Suso came on for Edgar and was unlucky not to score after Nano picked him out with a cross field ball. Aridane took over from Juanjo and Cristo swapped places with Nano, the youngster did well. Then came that very special goal, Aridane was on the edge of the penalty area with markers ahead of him, he looked up and launched his guided missile into the top corner of the net. There were a few jitters before the end, a back header left Roberto trying to claw the ball back from a corner and an ambitious bicycle kick could have spoilt the party. Eibar missed their easiest chance in stoppage time but fired into the side netting. Fortune favours the brave, this CD Tenerife side and their coach just keep on daring and the fans are having to upgrade their hopes with each game. 

Honey You’re a Sweetie, A Real Big Cheese

For 363 days a year Los Cristianos starves itself in preparation for the Feria de Alimentos Canarios, the Canarian Food Fair, or as I call it, a right good spread of yummy cakes, cheeses, honey, and wine – but apparently that wouldn’t fit as well on the posters.

It makes my mouth water just to see the double marquee going up in the week before the two day feast. This year a heavy band of rain swept across Tenerife limiting the live outside music and herding visitors in big swells whenever the skies opened. It would have been rather rude of me not to try as many tasters as possible, there was more sampling going on than at a L.A record producers studio.

Let’s have a look at some of the more unusual treats on offer. How about the liqueurs, from Fuerteventura there was a goats milk liqueur, smooth and at 15% guaranteed to have you bleating on the front lawn after a full bottle. There were plenty of spices on offer and a couple of stalls selling sea salts with different flavours, the La Palma ones came in test tubes, very trendy.

Organic bread from Guia de Isora was doing well as was the more traditional large unsliced loaves, bloomers, baps etc from Santiago del Teide. Sweets got a good look in with Arona tempting all with wafer biscuits made with turron, normally a Christmas sweet treat. Healthy influences are all the rage, Fuerteventura had some cactus juice which is supposed to be a major energy boost, maybe if Wylie E Coyote had tried some he would have caught that Road Runner. Avocado Oil caught my attention, I tried some in a spread form on a square of toasted bread and was then quite shocked to read you can also rub it on your skin or into your hair. The squeezed pulp of our green friend gives up potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all good for skin and bone ailments.

The old favourites were still highly prized, local cereal gofio in food and drink form, cheese by the stack, luxurious Lava Chocolate, and honey and jam that would have Pooh Bear in ecstacy. I went a bit easier on the wine this year, just a few cheeky swills but the bottles were clinking well in the bags of departing visitors. The rain was an unwelcome guest and kept the staff on their toes but this tenth edition showed there is still a hunger for more traditional Canarian food and drink.  


A Hero Three Pop Stars And A Camden Invasion

Stood on the coastal promenade of Playa Paraiso at 5am with ITV Daybreak reporter Jonathan Swain and live saving hero Adam Cramer I was a trifle cold in just shorts and Armada Sur t shirt. An afternoon call had shifted me from Las Vistas beach but I only found out en route up west that ITV were putting me in the Grand Hotel Callao overnight. I felt guilty for feeling cold stood next to an incredibly brave man who had dived in the wild sea to save a young girl, sadly two female British doctors died, hence the media frenzy.


Back down south I expected the rest of the week to be calmer but how different it turned out. There is a constant stream of British swimmers to Arona to train at the municipal outdoor pool and they all stay at Hotel Paradise Park just along the road from me. I ran into the Camden Swiss Cottage swimming club and of course arranged to do some interviews and photos about their visit. What a smashing bunch they were, young people don’t just grunt at the world from their sealed introverted cyber landscape, these 31 swimmers between 14 and 19 years were dedicated, ambitious, and loving every moment of life.


The Camden club is one of the biggest in the UK, they have 3,500 people in their programme, there are 40 clubs in London, and many more throughout the country, that’s a whole bunch of hope and inspiration for the next generation. Packing in two hour training sessions twice a day, setting aside three hours study time each day, and paying their own way to come to Tenerife this was a great example of how sport can make lives better. I have  been known to knock Arona council when it is deserved but their sports facilities are wonderful and a magnet to other countries. At my final early morning visit Helsinki swimming club were just taking over the lanes from our London friends, and the pool is well used by local schools and the public.


If you think I push Hotel Paradise Park a lot it could be because I write their blog for them so I got a heads up for a mini concert on Thursday night. Three singers from La Voz (Spain’s The Voice) were in Tenerife for a mini tour and doing a promotional gig in the Yaiza bar, I was there like a shot. The three rising stars were Tina Riobo from Santa Cruz, Ainhoa Aguilar from Adeje, and semi finalist Damon Robinson originally from California but long term settled in Granada. Even at this fledgling stage of their careers they aroused plenty of interest, people were eager to get their photos taken with them on the red carpet. Many of the audience were Brit holiday makers with no real idea of what they were getting but the trio won them over with some rousing soul, Motown and pop classics mainly in English.


As the Easter school holidays had begun in the UK, there were lots of young children encroaching onto the edge of the dance floor, the singers may not get many future audiences with so many tiny tots scribbling, playing, and bopping but they did well and should all make good careers for themselves. I have to say Damon was by far the best, he interacted more with the audience and oozed cool confidence, his version of Stuck On You, the Lionel Richie classic, was his big hit on La Voz and went down a storm here as well. I thought I might get called up to at least add some doo waps but maybe they have heard my singing at football.








It Just Gets Better For CD Tenerife

Even when free wheeling in the second half CD Tenerife showed plenty of flair and with better finishing should have had thee score board spinning. We really are a spoilt bunch of fans this season, it’s worth the entrance fee just to see the lovely touches from Suso and Ayoze Perez.

It’s true Alaves are in a relegation fight and gave goalie Roberto a quiet afternoon but the defence must take some credit for the way they shackled 19 goal striker Viguera, Moyano was back at his outstanding best on the right and Bruno is majestic these days. Ricardo skied an early effort over the goal and Ayoze was making fools of the centre backs. Aridane was out injured, Juanjo came in and filled the deep striking role brilliantly. Ayoze and Suso shared some neat interplay on the right before setting up Juanjo who stroked the ball into the net after 14 minutes.

In the week Ayoze was reading poetry for a government campaign, today his feet were waxing lyrical, the way he tricked two defenders before laying the ball off to incoming Suso deserved a goal but the flying winger slid in just the wrong side of the post. The second goal was from a very dodgy penalty, the ref conjured up a handball from an aerial clash and Ricardo converted the spot kick. I lost count of how many chances went begging for Ayoze, near the end of the first half he cut in and released his low shot, it bobbled along in front of the goal line, if a worm had popped its head up it would have gone in.

Hot, sweaty, and buzzing are not members of a boy band but the way we all felt at half time, this had the makings of an avalanche. It was a slightly subdued performance in the second 45 but Tenerife still made plenty of chances. Cristo curled a testing ball in from the left but Goitia dealt with it fairly easily. Ayoze shaped up for a shot and hit it straight at the keeper as the midfield controlled the game with Aitor Sanz back pulling the strings. Maybe earlier subs could have  breathed fresh life into the game but then again maybe a pin up girl  could have brought me a chilled beer, sometimes you can be too demanding. Edgar replaced Cristo after 73 minutes and was soon followed by Ros for Ricardo and Rivero for Juanjo.

Velez had a cheeky penalty shout when he went down in the Tenerife area, more likely shock at getting to see the goal at close quarters. There were no worries of a comeback, Tenerife were in charge and Alaves were saved late on by a defenders clearance off the goal line. Almost at our survival target and in the promotion play off zone the only disappointment of the day was the 11,554 crowd. This special team deserves even more support as we head to the climax of the season.


Two Points Dropped For Off Target CD Marino

If Sosa Espinel’s dug out had been a boxer it would have begged the ref for protection. The CD Marino coach vented his frustration after an evening watching his team spurn chance after chance to draw 1-1 at home to CD Laguna. It should have been a comfortable victory margin but they had to withstand a late rally against their ten men.

With the top spot to hold on to Marino came out fired up, Murci and Balduino both looked sharp, Murci nearly turned the keeper for an early chance and then had a close shot blocked by Dani between the sticks. The build up play from midfield was impressive with Lamine and Airam pushing up to support the attack and Yosimar laid on some good service from the left flank. It took 23 minutes for the breakthrough, another good raid ended with skipper Airam making a strong run to head a Marino lead.

That should have heralded a bucket full but Marino couldn’t convert their dominance into goals, Balduino wrapped himself around a metal support after sliding in from a tight angle only to see his shot hit the post. Kirian brought Balduino crashing down in the penalty area just prior to the break but the ref wouldn’t point to the spot. The chances were still coming in the second half, Lamine rose for a powerful header but it lacked accuracy and Yosimar curled a shot just past the post.

Laguna had hardly troubled Alberto but when Richard dwelt too long on the ball near the corner Gaizka dug it out and crossed for Cristian to get a surprise equalizer after 54 minutes. It woke up Marino and they surged forward again, Murci did well to put the ball across the visitors goal after a corner but there wasn’t any blue shirts on hand to finish the move. Sub Juanmi forced a save just outside the post and Balduino drilled a shot wide with the goal gaping. Lagina goalie Dani rode his luck, he needed a second grab to stop a low shot from Balduino and did worse when dropping the ball, it bounced off a defender to Mendy but his poke shot missed the target. When Richard got sent off after 70 minutes it made the task harder but Marino were still the better side.

Airam blasted another effort wide, Lamine won the ball well only to unleash a soft shot that the keeper smothered and Balduino had another couple of near misses. A break from Laguna saw them shoot over the bar and Alberto denied them when the ball was sailing into the top corner of his net. A draw keeps Marino cemented in the top four places but in two legged play off games they will need to kill teams off at home.