Archive for July, 2015
CD Tenerife Still Casting For Extras


When coach Raul Agne shouts “Action” on 23 August he is hoping for an Oscar winning season from CD Tenerife but the first two pre season games have shown that the cast list isn’t quite complete.

Sporting Gijon, recently promoted to La Primera were the first test in Santa Cruz and despite starting their top players they looked poor. CD Tenerife sporting director Serrano has only attracted two new players, Pedro Martin looked promising up front but for me central defender German Sanchez was the star with a cool and dominating display in defence. Dani Hernandez with a new contract in his grasp didn’t have a save to make until nearly half time, it came from a move down the left, Sporting’s repeated route.

Omar Perdomo showed at the end of last season that he has plenty to offer as a wide forward and he reacted well to grab a home lead after 65 minutes. Later in the game a raft of changes destroyed Tenerife’s rhythm and Jonay took advantage of poor judgement by Carlos Abad between the sticks, to tie the game. As the Emmasa Cup was put up by the sponsors a winner was needed, many of the sparse 2,687 crowd were caught out by the penalty shoot out and it seemed a few players were. Ricardo made a hash of his spot kick, Alberto also failed and when Pedro Martin put the fifth strike wide it sealed a win for Sporting. We left the Heliodoro relatively pleased with the performance and the promise of the younger fringe players.

Onto El Fraile and a match up with Ibarra, two divisions below CDT with many of last seasons CD Marino players. You can’t accuse Raul Agne of not trying different combinations, Oscar Gonzalez began at right back, he was only signed by the B team a few weeks ago from Sporting San Jose and found himself in senior action. The battle for back up goalie spot went head to head again with Angel Galvan taking the gloves in the first 45 minutes and Roberto coming on for the second half. Nano and Cristo Gonzalez started as the striking combination, Nano looked fired up but Cristo was a little quiet.

On a patchwork mess of a pitch thee home side had most of the play and Manzi scored with a free header after 26 minutes. Last year CDT was a steam roller romping to a 0-5 half time lead, this year they were more like a mobility scooter on low power and went in behind at the break. Ibarra could have increased their lead but Roberto scrambled away a net bound shot, Nano added to his three goals from the La Palma training camp tournament by pouncing to level after 60 minutes.

Ten minutes later CDT made wholesale changes and brought the big guns on, Pedro Martin adopted a main striking role, not his usual style, and posed plenty of threats. A draw looked likely but in the final minute Moyano fed the ball to Abel who blasted in a goal from outside the area – phew. Let’s hope director Serrano has auditions lined up for a couple of new faces before the serious stuff begins on 23 August.


From Bradley Of Boro To Mills Of Marino

Most teenagers on their first flight to Tenerife would be thinking of beaches and clubbing but for Bradley Mills it was all about boots and circuit training. The 19 year old from Middlesborough has joined CD Marino’s young pool of Tenerife talent as they prepare to make a mark on their Tercera Division group – and he is eager to embrace everything about his new adventure.

I caught up with Bradley six days into pre season training at the Estadio Antonio Dominguez in Playa de Las Americas. “I’ve been with Middlesborough FC since the under 9’s and was on loan at Conference Premier club Gateshead last season but I’ve always fancied playing abroad. My parents stayed at the Columbus Hotel across the road earlier in the year and went to a CD Marino game and talked to a few people about me possibly playing here.”

A club towel from the merchandise shop wasn’t the only link to Marino that his parents brought back. After swapping details with the blues management Bradley was offered a 10 day trial. “ It was all the encouragement I needed, I paid my own flights and came over to train, they must have been pleased because they signed me up after just two days. I liked the style of their football, the coach (Constantino Tirado) gets very involved with training, he’s got the same enthusiasm as the players.”

Bradley plays right back or central midfield and although softly spoken there’s an air of confidence and determination about him. Pressed for his strengths he put them as “two strong feet, good awareness, a good engine, and competitive.” Arriving during one of the hottest summer spells he was adapting well to the two hour plus evening training stints and even his first red hot morning session.

There will be a lot of learning going on this season, the club has always been big on youth development, but with this years modest budget the first team squad will be dominated by promising talent from the ranks and a few returning to their roots after drifting away. Passion for the shirt will be the driving force and it will be good to see the squad develop together. Once again entrance will only be 8 euros for adults with children free and the basic season ticket is just 100 euros. It’s unlikely there will be any home friendlies, the pitch needs to get its breath back after 22,000 packed in for the Marc Anthony concert, 8.000 for the motocross, and more to come for the Arona Summer Festival on 7 August. Just as well CD Marino start the league campaign on 23 August away to El Cotillo in Fuerteventura, make a date for Sunday 30 August at home to Union Viera, noon is the usual kick off time but check CD Marino on Facebook for updates. I will be prowling the touchline again with my camera and you can see match reports and photos on this blog.



Playa Paraiso Snuggles Up To Callao Salvaje

Not a hop and skip, a fol dee rol, or a trip trap for me when I checked out the new barranco bridge between Playa Paraiso and Callao Salvaje. My romantic notion of a rickety bridge to link the coastal walks was inspired by childhood tales of the Three Billy Goats Gruff on Junior Choice. The reality was a more industrial and sturdy construction but I must admit it was nice not to have to scramble across the gap this time.

This stretch of Adeje coast has really pulled its socks up in recent years, as my bus cut off the main road and down to Playa Paraiso I noticed council workers in hi vis jacket scooping up discarded rubbish beside the pavement. I remember an evening years ago sitting outside a bar looking up at the tall hotel blocks and wondering where all these people were. All inclusive deals do their bit to deprive the local bars and shops of trade, the baking sun of late was also playing a part on my visit, many toes had chosen to dangle in  swimming pool rather than try the delights of Las Galgas beach.

The sea was sparkling, the sky clear blue, and the sea offered its own temptations. The Paseo Peotanal coastal walkway is a smart place to stroll these days but many people ignore the warning signs to venture onto the rocks. A year ago I assisted ITV Daybreak with their coverage of a double drowning tragedy, although the sea was generally calm this time, the headlands and outcrops were being lapped by the odd bigger waves and people were still taking children onto the rocks despite grim reminders of what can happen.

Anyway armed with my anti troll spray I turned the corner for the small, shallow, but awkward barranco and was a little disappointed to see it was mainly concrete with big pillar supports. So much for a quaint little wooden effort, at least there were wooden slats down one side, the reality was much more practical than my dream, that’s why I am not an architect. It was good to see families with prams and buggies able to enjoy the full glory of the coastal path. In my mind though I was still singing a mash up of Three Billy Goats Gruff and Kim Wilde’s View From A Bridge – well it might work.

Feet firmly on the Callao Salvaje side I completed the walk to look down on Playa Ajabo, another lovely beach that was updated a couple of years ago at great expense. It looked so good down there  and the Sansibar Ajabao Restaurant is a fine place to eat and survey the view but neither it or the beach were very busy. The addition of the bridge brings us even closer to a time when walking pretty much all the way from Los Gigantes to Los Cristianos along the coast will not be just an old fable.

Armada Sur Turn Up The Heat For Southern Barbecue

Well we are the South Army so it was quite appropriate that the Armada Sur barbecue set up camp at one of our southern watering holes. Suters Bar at Parque de La Reina was a welcoming sight as our coach dropped us all off for an afternoon of fun, food, and of course beer.

It’s been another tough season following CD Tenerife but experiencing it in such good company always makes it bearable and the usual high level of organization ensured out change of venue from the mountains near Vilaflor had all that we needed. The heat wave was at its peak with temperatures well into the 30’s so everyone was primed up. I started my celebrations the night before and was still feeling rather alcoholically challenged, at least my camera steered me in the right direction.

Our hosts Antonio and Gillian had the beer flowing from a barrel set up outside and The General and Frank had fired up the charcoal so the fine array of meat was ready for noshing. It’s good when it all comes together for the annual bash, it makes Bob’s golden goal efforts all worth while. A few people took the indoor shade to keep an eye on the British Grand Prix but mad dogs and Englishmen (and women), German, and Dutch reflected the international membership of the Armada Sur.

There are always traditions to be maintained, a Pio has to be sacrificed to the flames, it seems harder to find one each year, maybe they are a protected species or the Las Palmas fans have them all rounded up somewhere. A suitable victim was found and given a good roasting on the grill, they seem to resist our flames these days but that makes their eventual demise even more pleasing. This is the best time of the football calendar, all hope lies ahead and we always think this could be our season for promotion.

The beer was quaffed noisily with a few suitable club songs thrown in, amazingly no one fell in the fire, although I think I wobbled dangerously close at one stage, and we were all standing for a late group shot before catching the coach back to our various drop off points. I should have staggered straight off home but common sense was missing in action by then. Ooh my poor head on Monday morning, but it was worth it for another rousing afternoon with my football family.