New-look Tenerife takes shape
CD Tenerife will start their promotion quest in Las Americas with an early derby match against CD Marino.
It will be quite an occasion for the Marino players and fans, but also a reality check for CDT supporters.
It could, no should, have been Villarreal instead of the noisy neighbours.
Tenerifefinished last season with Quique Medina in charge, but he has been moved upstairs. His new role as Director of Football is, arguably more important, and he has had a baptism of fire.
Half of last season’s side have left, and a new broom has been swept in the direction of local lads.
Hungry Canarians with local pride? Or the return of some flops? It depends on which way you look at it!
Alvaro Cervera is the new manager and this is his 10th club. He lasted just a few months at Racing Santander last season, and it was not his fault that the club were relegated.
He has experience at this level and made the right noises in the press conference.
Cervera had a brief spell with the club as a kid and knows what he has to do. “Promotion! That is it,” he said. “This club and the fans deserve to be in a much higher league. What happened last season is history. We start again.”
The former Spanish international winger likes to play an expansive game, so we should see some better football at the Heliodoro.
It has been a horror year for Cervera. He lost both his parents and says the move toTenerifeis just what he needed, adding: “Only those who know can know what it’s like.
“But the chance to live inSanta Cruz, where I have family, has been a stroke of luck. It means I can be close to those I love again.”
Tenerifewill start the new campaign without three of their finest senior players from last season. Captain Pablo Sicilia shocked fans and the club by announcing his retirement. It had been a hard few months for him.
At Easter, he had verbally agreed a fresh five-year deal that would see him end his career inSanta Cruzbefore joining the coaching staff.
But for reasons unknown, the contract was never drawn up. It was made on the proviso thatTenerifewere promoted and maybe the club dragged there heels on this point.
Pablo put it to one side and concentrated on promotion which, of course, never came.
A host of higher division sides wanted him, includingLas Palmas. Being a Gran Canarian with family ties, it must have been tempting.
However Pablo bleeds CDT. It was thought a new deal was close to being agreed when he dropped the bombshell.
He says he needs to spend more time with his family and it’s hard to knock him for that. At 30, it’s a shame because you are a long time retired.
But I don’t believe Pablo is done with football, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in a CDT shirt one day soon.
Richie Kitoko has been recalled by parent club Udinese and loaned out to Girona. He was well-liked and certainly gave his all for the cause.
It’s a shame that his final act in a CDT shirt was to give away a penalty and be sent off against Ponferradina.
He has been joined out the door by last season’s top scorer, Jorge Perona. He has moved toCartagena, who came down from Segunda Division last time. His move was financial.
It is understood that he is now earning double what he was on inSanta Cruz. He has been joined atCartagenaby Marcos Rodriguez, the bald midfield enforcer who had a fine year until falling out withMedinaat the end of the season.
Omar Ramos will also be moving on in the next few days. The former Under-21 international is a wanted man.
La Liga side Rayo Vallecano thought they had him, only for late interest from Valladoild. It seems Omar prefers the latter. It is uncertain whetherTenerifewill get a transfer fee.
Winger Kike Lopez has joinedAlcorcon. He arrived from Villarreal only in January and showed a lot of commitment, but he was always going to end up in a higher league.
Alvaro Zazo has moved toGuadalajara, Victor Bravo has options to joinLugo,Oviedoor, strangely, Apoel Nicosia, while Ruben Rosquete, Meji and Raton have all been released.
The futures of back-up goalie Brimah Razak and Ferran are still undecided. Ferran is still on a decent deal and, though he is on “gardening leave”, there is no sign of him going.
Razak is in a similar scenario. He is a popular player in the squad and the fans like him. But he is taking up a vital “senior” spot in the squad and CDT badly need him to leave.
All these departures have seen half-a-dozen new signings, the return of two old boys, a coup from the SPL and the promotion of some fine young talent.
All of which will be revealed next week!
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