The Luis Sitjar stadium where Real Mallorca used to play their home games was 75 years old on Wednesday. The picture above is the very first team that played there, it was against Xerez and Mallorca won 3-0. They played there until 1999 when they moved to their current stadium. The B team carried on playing their games there until 2007 and then it fell into disrepair. In 2014 demolition work was started and completed in 2015.
After last weeks defeat at home to Rayo Vallecano, Mallorca went to Barcelona to play favourites for promotion Espanyol. They had won 3-0 at home the previous week and Mallorca had lost 1-0 at home. Not forgetting our previous coach Vincente Moreno was now in charge of Espanyol. If you had said you can have a draw before the game I would have bitten your arm off. As it was they came out with a 0-0 draw. To be honest it was a fairly dull game but what Mallorca did show was the ability to shut a team out, something they couldn’t do last season. They’re still missing a centre forward to put the ball into the net as Budimir didn’t travel as his head has been turned by interest from Valladolid. The coach has said he only wants players who are 100% focused on playing for the team. Mallorca signed Budimir from Italian club Crotone where he’d been in and out of the team and his previous best scoring season was 2015/16 in Serie B where he got 16 goals. The only other double figures he reached was last season where he got 13 in La Liga. Valladolid have offered around 4.5 million euros, he has a buyout clause of 15 million euros which was inserted into his 4 year contract when Mallorca paid 2.2 million euros for him last season. Remember he signed the contract and now he’s sulking because they won’t let him go. Which totally winds me up about footballers, you’ve got a contract with a team that took you from obscurity and onto the big stage. So why not repay that faith by playing for the team that’s paying your wages and if a team comes in with your release clause then we’ll let you go. There’s a word I could use but I won’t. I liked what our coach said at the press conference. “Valladolid’s coach said that Budimir would be ideal for him, well he is ideal for me too!” He’s currently training on his own to get back up to speed after the International break. It’s a catch 22 situation for Mallorca with just under two weeks left of the transfer window. Let him go for less than his clause or keep him against his will? As the days pass by the chance of finding another striker are harder and I think they’re going to need to find one as Alex Alegría and Abdón Prats have shown they’re good squad players but not number 9 starters.
Couple of interesting little stories from the game. This particular Protocol I imagine is in all Spanish professional football but there’s no showers for the players after the game. The Mallorca players were taken back to their hotel in Barcelona and they showered there.
Congratulations to Mallorcan born Antonio Sanchez, the 23 year old central midfield player who made his debut for Mallorca last weekend. He’s been with the club since the age of 12, he’s been on loan at Poblense, Baracaldo CF and Mirandes and last week he made his first team debut coming on as sub for Alex Febas. Just goes to show that hard work and patience works in the end.
Atlético Baleares drew 0-0 in their latest friendly against Ucam Murcia. Centre back Cristian Perez has joined the club on a free transfer. He has played 162 times in Segunda B with Badajoz and Cornelia.
UD Poblense will play CD Ibiza Islas Pitiusas for the Trofeu Ibizkus this coming Sunday the 27th at 16.30. They’re allowing 1,000 fans in with a 10€ entrance charge and the gates will open one hour before the game.
UD Ibiza won their first pre-season game against Peña Deportiva 2-1 in Santa Eulalia. Hector Martinez a 21 year old left back has joined the club on a 2 year deal from Merida. Jose Antonio Pardo has joined from Extremadura on a 1 year deal. The 32 year old centre half has plenty of experience in the lower leagues. They are currently in La Manga where last night they defeated Real Murcia 2-0. They play tonight against CD El Ejido and UCAM Murcia on Saturday.
Penya Deportiva after their loss to UD Ibiza will play Villareal B tomorrow at 19.30 and CD Roda at 11.00 on Sunday. They’ve signed two players Aaron Sanchez a winger from Depor Fabril and another winger Ioan Yakovlev from Arandina.
As far as local football is concerned, Marvin Park made his debut for Real Madrid on Sunday night. The midfielder born in Mallorca, joined Tranmere Rovers’ youth academy as a nine-year-old in 2009, and spent three years in the North West before returning to Mallorca and playing for Ciutat de Palma and Atlético Rafal. He then went onto develop at La Salle and Jonquet Penya Arrabal both in Palma, before Madrid snapped up the youngster in 2016, and Park has flourished at Los Blancos ever since.
The highest league in junior football in Spain is Juvenil Division Honor. Mallorca have 3 teams in Group 3, Sub Group A, Real Mallorca, Penya Arrabal and CD San Francisco, the club where my boys play. They haven’t got it easy this year though as in their group are, Barcelona, RCD Espanyol, FC Girona, UE Cornellà, CE Europa, AT. Villacarlos and CF Damm. They start on November 1st.
The FFIB(Federación de Futbol de Islas Balears) have said that Juvenil, Cadete and Infantil games should begin at the end of October. They will be split into Sub-Groups of 10 teams meaning 18 games to play. Each team will play each other back to back, as in home one week and away the following week. That will be followed by a weekend off. Meaning that if ever there was a breakout of Covid it will be confined to just 2 teams.
Alevin, Benjamin and Pre-Benjamin will not begin until January 2021 and this will depend on what the Government decides.
Episode 9 of A Kick in The Balearics will be out tomorrow on you tube and on podcast on too. We have just launched on Spotify on Apple iTunes and on all smart speakers through the Tunein radio App. If you have any interesting stories on your local Balearic club then please get in touch and follow us on all social media.
Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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