As we come into the New Year it would be a good time to give a mid season report on all of our Balearic Football teams.
If anyone was going to get near top marks it would have to be Real Mallorca. The season started with a new coach, Luis Garcia Plaza and there was doubt including from me whether he was the right man for the job. That doubt continued after they lost the first game at home, 0-1 to Rayo Vallecano.
A difficult away game at promotion favourites Espanyol was next and they had Mallorca’s former coach Vincente Moreno in charge too, so there was huge pressure. They managed a commendable 0-0 draw and didn’t look back. They then went 16 games unbeaten until the final game of the year when due to an absolutely awful refereeing performance. They lost to Fuenlabrada 2-3 and had two players sent off. So they currently lie in second place on 41 points from 19 games, 1 point behind the leaders Espanyol. They’re the second top scorers with 26 goals and have conceded the least, just 7. Continue this form and they will return to the promised land of La Liga.
With a new coach in charge and a host of new signings, lots was expected of Atlético Baleares and after winning their first game 4-0 that expectation grew. However since then results haven’t gone as well as they would have hoped and their new coach Jordi Roger is under a lot of pressure. They currently lie in sixth place, 10 points behind the joint leaders. Their record is, played 8, won 2, drawn 3, lost 3. They need to improve massively to get themselves into the new format for the second half of the season.
It was always going to be difficult for UD Poblense, after their promotion to Segunda B. It was the first time they’ve competed in this division in over 30 years, the last time being in the 1988-89 season. They’ve struggled for goals, scoring just eight in their eight games but have conceded only nine too. Meaning draws have dominated their points tally. Their record reads, played 8, won 1, drawn 5, lost 2 and they lie in seventh place. That all important first win though came last time out in the Derby against Atlético Baleares. A thrilling game was won by UD 2-3. Surviving will be the name of the game in the second half of the season.
Over to Ibiza now where UD Ibiza have dominated their league. After their play-off disappointment last season, despite a heavy investment they too began the season with a new Coach. Juan Carlos Carcedo was the man tasked with getting promotion. His first job as a number one coach, having previously worked as a number two to Unai Emery. They worked together at Almeria, Valencia, Spartan Moscow, Sevilla, Paris Saint Germain and Arsenal. So good credentials for a man taking his first steps into coaching his own team for the first time. Like Mallorca almost top marks after eight games in their league. They currently lie in first place, won 6, drawn 2 and lost 0. They’ve scored 12 goals and conceded just 1. Their goal is to get promotion and they seem on course right now.
Peña Deportiva are similar to UD Poblense in a way that survival in the division is more important. Last seasons coach Mario Ormaechea left at the end of last season and reportedly he was going to Atlético Baleares. But a last minute change of mind by the board at Baleares meant he was out of work. However Peña hadn’t replace him so he went back! They currently lie in eighth place with a record that reads, played eight, won 1, drawn 3 and lost 4. Their problem is goals having scored just once but they’ve only conceded three goals. Last time out they got a creditable 0-0 draw in their Derby with UD Ibiza.
In Tercera group A, Andratx are the current leaders on 24 points with Manacor in second on 18 points. Manacor have a game in hand and are the only team to beat Andratx so far this season.
Group B is a little tighter, with three points separating the top three. Platges de Calvia currently lead on 20 points, followed by PE Sant Jordi on 18 Points and Real Mallorca B on 17 points.
In Division Honor the highest league in Youth football at U-18 level, all of our teams are finding it difficult. In a ten team league, Real Mallorca are sixth, Penya Arrabal are seventh and CD San Francisco are eighth. San Fran do have a couple of games in hand on the teams above them. It’s a tough league with teams from Barcelona, Espanyol and Girona so survival is important for our island teams.
At the moment youth football continues from Juvenil, Cadete and Infantil levels but Alevin, Benjamin and Pre-Benjamin are still suspended.
Take care everyone.
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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