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THE CHALLENGE FOR ALEX AND JUAN DOMINGUEZ

06 Jul 2012
Álex & Juan Dominguez were the favourites of Oltra on last season, now they face the challenge of consolidating their roles at Primera. Within the last two decades the only ex-Fabril players that did the same were Fran, Laure and Lassad.

Last season was pretty good for Álex Bergantiños and Juan Dominguez, two players that came out from Fabril and that found a spot at the first team of Deportivo. Both young players composed the midfield sector of Oltra during big part of the tournament, more precisely after the first Galician derby on the first round. Still, it was with the team playing at Segunda.

Álex was the only field player in the whole Segunda tournament that was able to participate in the 42 matches of the league season, being the link between defense and attack. Meanwhile, Dominguez finally demonstrated the skills to deserve a spot at the first team, only missing one game in the second round -due to suspension- providing seven assists -the fourth highest mark at the team- and scoring four goals.

But now this duo has a toughest challenge: to stay shinning with Deportivo at Primera. And this isn’t an easy target for a player coming out from Fabril, something demonstrated by the stats within the last two decades. Just to remember the fact that, within the last twenty years, only two players coming from Depor B have played 30 or more games in one single Primera season: Fran and Lassad.

The former captain of Deportivo played at least 30 games in 8 of his 14 Primera seasons at the Blanquiazul outfit. The last one was on the campaign 2003/04 (31). Seven seasons passed before this situation was repeated, and it was striker Lassad, who surpassed the mark as he played 33 Primera matches during the season 2010/11.

And it shouldn’t be surprising as the previous coaches of Deportivo barely relied in the players from Depor B. In the two years that Joaquin Caparrós spent on the job he gave an opportunity to some youngsters, but they never had stability at the first team. On the season 2005/06 Iago Iglesias (11 games in liga) and Iván Carril (10) where the B players with more participation, but one year later Carril was gone and Iago only disputed nine games before leaving by the back door.

The arrival of Miguel Ángel Lotina didn’t change the things, though this time there were two exceptions. Piscu left a positive impression on the season 2007/08 as he replaced injured Lopo and ended playing 15 games at Primera, but the centre back barely played in the following two years and left the club in a middle of a legal fight that took him to Wigan Athletic.

Xisco was a particular case; because the Majorcan is the only former Fabril member that has been able to play with the last four coaches that passed through Depor. He was one of the three youngsters that had the chance to play at Primera with Javier Irureta, then he only played 11 games with Caparrós before going out loaned, then he returned and made 25 appearances on the Primera season 2007/08, the first one with Lotina on board. Later he was sold to Newcastle United and returned in order to play loaned at Depor for the past two seasons, the last one with Oltra already at the club.

And the ex-Fabril players that, finally, found some stability at the first team were Laure and Lassad. The right-back played one game at Primera on the season 2007/08. Lotina was so impressed that Laure was promoted to the first team on the following season playing 14 times on the campaign 2008/09, 20 on the 2009/10 and 22 on the 2010/11. Last season at Segunda was the best for Laure as he played in 38 of the 42 matchdays at liga Adelante.

Lassad also found some stability with Lotina; he debuted on the season 2008/09 and ended playing 14 games on that season. One year later he made 19 appearances and later he completed 33 on the season 2010/11. As it was written before, it was just the second time in two decades that a former Fabril player performed for 30 or more games at Primera. It was exactly the same number of matches that the Tunisian attacker disputed on the campaign at Segunda.

So, the question is if Álex and Juan Dominguez will now be able to follow these footsteps and change the history with the former players of Fabril. It won’t be easy due to the competence at the centre of midfield. Jesús Vázquez is already recovered and Andre Santos is promising a good fight for a starting role. There are more ex-Fabril members at the first team (Rochela, Juan Carlos and Seoane), but they will hardly have a chance on next season, actually the club is trying to loan them out in order to see them playing.

ARCHIVE NEWS JULY/11

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