Archive for September, 2015
Choco In Charge As CD Tenerife Eclipse Mirandes

Three nil up as Mirandes desperately tried to convert a corner into a goal, where was Choco the new CD Tenerife scoring sensation? The Honduras striker was back ready to help his defence but with an eye to break and complete his hat trick. It’s not just the four goals that have endeared the loan signing to the Santa Cruz faithful, it’s his work rate, enthusiasm, and sublime skills.

After heavy criticism, coach Raul Agne deserves a big slice of credit for turning the season around whilst under the shadow of the axe. The boss’s faith was repaid in this 3-0 home win as key players bounced back to form, Dani Hernandez turned the clock back to his solid displays of last season, his double save at the end of the first half, a push aside and a tip over, was immense. I wouldn’t have rushed to re-instate Aitor Sanz after his latest game out due to a daft sending off but Agne stood by him and the midfielder was a diamond, instrumental in most of CDT’s best moves and grabbing a goal along the way.

Cristian Garcia looks a different player in midfield, he even ventured forward and forced a save after 18 minutes. Choco is fast becoming the man to watch, he ran Olympic rings around his markers before a possible three game absence helping Honduras to qualify for Brazil 2016. Weaving his way through Mirandes Galan stopped him with a foul and the ref pulled him up with an offside call but he just kept coming. Pedro Martin is a perfect foil for Choco with his unpredictable runs, Suso came close to finishing off another of his probing raids.

Another strong intervention from Cristian Garcia won the ball and he fed Suso who slipped it through to the fast advancing Choco, the net bulged and he was down on his knees celebrating. The timing was good, those Dani saves ensured Tenerife went into the break with the 8.039 crowd confident of a second successive victory. There was another double stop from Dani Hernandez, making an athletic save from Velez before blocking the loose ball. Jairo came on for Pedro, the local youth still figure highly in Agne’s plans. Tenerife swept forward again and despite a touch from the Mirandes keeper, Aitor Sanz knocked the rebound into the net for the second goal.

Two goals are good, but three adds an extra shine to a win, Camara made a good run down the right and with a little help from Aitor Sanz the ball came over to Choco, he chested the ball under control and fired past the goalie. The final ten minutes was quite a luxury, no real worries about the result, just a blast of noise from the fans and smiles all round. Late substitutions brought Nano and Tommy Martinez on for a few minutes, one of them or Cristo Gonzalez will be needed to cover for Choco, a big challenge for them and the team. A second clean sheet in two games was very welcome, it’s too early to think all our problems have melted away but it was an inspiring performance.

CD Marino Love The Green Green Grass Of Home

Back on home turf and back to winning ways, that was CD Marino after notching a well deserved and comfortable 2-0 win over Las Zocas. The young squad is clearly maturing and with captain Mendy outstanding in the centre of defence they played with confidence and style. The only annoying aspect of this game was how the referee managed to send three players off (two from Marino) when it was a hard fought but never dirty game.

Kevin Castro cut in from the right wing to slice an early chance wide and Gaizka burst through a few minutes later but was unable to test the second choice goalie of Las Zocas. Castro reacted well to control a loose ball up front but when it fell to Alberto he shot over the bar. Cicovic in the home goal commanded his area and picked out high crosses with ease. Las Zocas managed a few good moments including a wasted header that missed the target. Manu was the main threat for the visitors, he flashed a shot across the home goal and the Marino defence had another half chance to mop up just before the break.

The second half opened with a low cross drilled in by Alberto, it was begging for a touch but Las Zocas were fortunate that there were no takers. Gaizka is still looking for his first Marino league goal but he was always a threat and a sturdy target man, Las Zocas had to squeeze him out as he shaped up for a clear shot just after the restart. The stalemate was broken after 53 minutes when a slick move down the left found Kevin Castro who nipped in to beat the keeper. Just seven minutes later a well taken corner was met by the head of Mendy who powered the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead.

Las Zocas tried to hit back with a shot that narrowly missed the post and a rising header but the game was in the bag for Marino. The ref grabbed the spotlight sending off Bradley Mills and Saavedra within four minutes of each other, both for second yellow cards. It could have been a body blow for the blues but they covered well in the final 15 minutes. There was a frantic finish as the ref brandished another red card, this one for Jesua of Las Zocas in time added on, the visitors managed a late charge to try to get a goal back but they found Cicovic in resolute form as he easily dealt with a high swirling ball.

CD Tenerife Are Not Even Close To Winning

My Monday morning hangover was more entertaining and slightly less painful than this latest CD Tenerife defeat. At half time I spotted a moored oil rig trying to paddle away from Santa Cruz to avoid catching a glimpse of this gloom fest. Even the scoreboard broke down in disgust, and yes it really was that bad, not just losing 0-2 to a very average Real Oviedo side, but looking devoid of ideas, tactics, and even basic skills.

Coach Raul Agne seems to have lost the plot, his plan to start with just Alberto, Jorge, and Raul Camara as the defensive line was lame. Cristian Garcia is a liability at right back but looked no better pushed further forward. Spain under 17 prospect Jorge was totally lost trying to cover to his right and the only saving grace in the rearguard was Alberto. Dani Hernandez again looked unsure in goal and with Pedro Martin out injured, Choco Lozano was frustrated up front with just the ineffective Tommy Martinez supposedly helping him.

We are always hopeful in the Heliodoro, despite the bad run of form, another 8,781 crowd showed up willing and hoping to see something better but that faith was shot down after 8 minutes. Susaeta sent a cross over from our wide open right side and Linares dispatched the ball past the bewildered Dani. The home keeper did better with a later one on one against Linares. There was no fight in The Tenerife side, Choco Lozano was willing up front but got poor service, Suso blasted a long shot at the visiting keeper but with Vitolo and Aitor Sanz as midfield passengers it looked like being a grim evening.

Omar replaced Tommy Martinez at half time, although the young winger made some progress it was still a voice in the wilderness. Oviedo wont rank among the best sides to visit Santa Cruz this season but they did the basics well and grabbed their chances. The second goal came from a deep pass that caught the CDT defence ball watching as Borja helped himself to a free header. Could anything else go wrong? Of course it could, Raul Camara went off injured just after the goal to be relieved by Aurtenetxe. Nano, just back from injury took over from Jairo, it made little difference, Aitor Sanz managed to drag our hopes down a few more notches when he pulled a second booking and made for the changing room.

Choco had a late half chance from a Nano pass saved by the goalie, the whistle blew, and a collective sigh of desperation washed over the stadium. Coach Raul Agne looked suitably uncomfortable as the players left the field, he has reportedly been told he has one more game to breathe life into the squad. I think we know how this is going to end.



Swim For Life Makes A Big Splash

The fight against breast cancer never rests and Tenerife has some of the fiercest battlers of all. The Walk For Life team are now in their 11th year of raising funds and awareness and have diversified by adding the Swim For Life, held again this year at T3 – Tenerife Top Training in La Caleta.

Pink skull caps sliced through the water in the two pools as well over a hundred swimmers of all ages worked through a challenging schedule of races in a range of strokes. It was very much the taking part that was most important although some of the experienced club swimmers were keenly competitive. I’m always impressed by the organization of the Walk For Life and the swimming version was just as smooth with Tenerife Rotary Club and the T3 staff pitching in with the charity regulars.

Olympic swimmers from around the globe regularly train at T3 but even they would have struggled to match the enthusiasm and commitment of these Sunday morning speedsters. Many competitors had traveled down from Santa Cruz and swimmers were from several communities with a mix of languages, cancer is a common enemy to all. Shining through all the flurry of activity was a sense of fun that bubbled up in a fast, frothy, and frantic mass water aerobic session. Instructor Teresa “Maquina” Guarino whipped them up into a frenzy and pulled the tide of swimmers from one side of the pool and back again with a control that King Canute would have envied.

The end result of the three hours was a pot of 2,200 euros to be shared between Spain’s AECC charity and the Tenerife based AMATE, and the Walk For Life funds. The latest project to near completion is the Pink Room, an Adeje help center for breast cancer sufferers and their helpers. Advice will be available in a range of languages and they will also be able to organize events and practical support. The center is due to open in October 2015, they are still looking for items to help furnish the building, have a look on the multi lingual website in the Pink Room section, you may have just what they need.

There will barely be time to dry towels and rinse out swim gear as work goes on to prepare for the Walk For Life 2015 on Sunday 13 December. Ink that in your diary and keep an eye on the website for news of the route through Arona and Adeje. Big respect to all the swimmers and organizers who made the Swim For Life a success – see you for more next year.

Get A Hat And Get Ahead Of The Fiesta Crowd

When Los Cristianos celebrates there are parties within parties and fiestas within fiestas. The annual celebrations for the Virgen del Carmen are a great example, just turn a corner and your caught up in a whirl of music and colour.

The fishermen were busy at the port decorating their boats ready for their big parade at sea but just inland of the old beach Saturday lunchtime saw the start of the Fiesta del Sombrero, a mad hatters tea party that took over the small plaza by the square fountain. Trestle tables groaned under the weight of snack and nibbles and of course the wine and beer was flowing. This year a stage ensured live music got people up and bopping, a good way to test the sturdiness of their headgear.

The order of the day wasn’t the over the top, year in the planning, crowning glories of Carnaval, it was more about sprucing up a tired topper with some fun and imagination. Flowers and small animals cropped up and some people incorporated the fishing theme that drives the Virgen del Carmen celebrations. Even Los Cristianos couldn’t escape the influence of those yellow cartoon superstars the minions, their film success had gone to several revelers heads.

There was no prize for the best hat but for me the Dame Edna of the afternoon was the large shallow basket draped in Tenerife produce and greenery. It looked good from front and back and was brimming with pride, take a bow that young lady. This was only the second time the hat fiesta had appeared on the fiesta programme, it seems to be evolving nicely, I’m looking forward to some more jauntily angled offerings next year.

CD Tenerife Left On The Launch Pad

Where was the reaction, the wounded pride, the statement of intent? The Heliodoro pitch may have rallied quickly after being stomped by a rock concert but CD Tenerife looked faded, tired, and short of ideas as they added a 1-2 home loss against Gimnastic to the 6-3 thumping at Numancia.

Coach Raul Agne brought in Cristian Garcia at right back for Jon Aurtenetxe but it didn’t work as Ferran of Nastic gave the 33 year old a torrid time. Dani Hernandez had to be sharp to snatch the ball from Ferran as Nastic exploited slack marking and when Vitolo threaded a neat pass through to Abel at the other end, the Tenerife midfielder put it wide of the post. Neither side looked particularly good but goal less at the break it seemed a hopeful sign that the speedy Omar arrived on the left wing as Abel departed.

Choco Lozano made his first start and looked lively, the Nastic defenders gave the Honduran a few bruises but he showed a resilient attitude and set up a Pedro Martin header just after the restart. It took a sharp eye and quick reflexes for Choco to grab the lead, Nastic defender Molina lost the ball and the striker nipped in to lob a crisp shot into the net. That should have lit the fuse but Tenerife didn’t seize the game, Choco made a good chance that Pedro headed, Nastic raided down the left again, Ferran pumped the ball across and Alex beat a cluster of defenders to head it on for Mari to bury past Dani.

When Cristo Gonzalez took over from Choco it seemed a strange move and made Tenerife’s task even more difficult. The 17 year old was reported to be a transfer window target for Valencia but didn’t enhance his reputation this time out. The referee was losing the plot and the frustration of the home players was growing, Vitolo snatched at a decent chance and the game was slipping away. Time for another change, a subdued Suso got pulled with Omar switching to the right as sub Jon Aurtenetxe tried to open a channel down the left.

Tenerife fell for the same routine again, Ferran flying down the left, crossing a deep ball to the far post where Camara should have been covering, Jean Luc had plenty of time to plant his header for the winning goal. It wasn’t the result or performance we expected, a bumper 9,174 crowd was clearly willing to write off the opening day debacle but this inept display will instill a few more doubts.