Squad news

SEASON REVIEW 2013/14: JUVENIL A

16 Apr 2014
Transition year for the Juvenile A squad of Deportivo. The financial problems at the club affected the planning, while a series of negative results at the beginning of the year killed the aspirations of clinching a title.

BACKGROUND
Juvenil A competes at División de Honor, the highest possible league at this level. The teams competing in this category are composed by lads between 17 and 19. There are seven groups with the Galicians, Asturians and Cantabrians teams competing in group one. Within the last decade the league has been dominated by RC Celta, Deportivo, Sporting Gijón and Racing Santander. The winner in the league competes in a final round to define the champion in Spain and first two places compete in Copa Del Rey (the best three places also qualify).

The team ended fifth two years ago and third on the past season, and there were no good expectations for this year due to the financial problems hitting the club. There was uncertainty at the beginning of the season and some important players left the organization,  it was the case of Alberto Leira and Julio Delgado.

Besides, there was a cascade effect affecting the youth teams. Since the first squad had a short list of members, coach Fernando Vázquez spent the whole pre-season training and playing with youngsters coming from Fabril, and the B squad did the same picking 11 players from Juvenil A for the pre-season: Róber, Toni Insua, Ángel Fernández, Quique Fornos, Gabi Sanin, Marcos Lorenzo, Pablo Fernández, Manu Nogueira, Álvaro López, Pancho Cotos & Óscar García.

Juvenil A did the same and picked players like Álvaro Naveira and Miguel Novelle from Juvenil B during the pre-season, the point is that since Fernando Vázquez decided until the last minute the promoted players to the first team, it happened the same with the rest of teams, so the season was starting with the uncertainty of who was going to be part of the squad and who was going to be promoted to the upper team in order to fill the gaps.

In the end coach Jaime Sánchez lived a unique situation as several of his players were alternating between Fabril and his team.  More specifically five of his players were having minutes with Fabril: Róber, Toni Insua, Ángel Fernández, Quique Fornos & Óscar García. It was another factor that affected the performance of the team.

THE SEASON
Despite the initial problems, Juvenil A had a promising start. By matchday 10 the team was already the leader in the league after a huge 1-2 win visiting RC Celta. At that moment on the season the team was undefeated with seven victories and three draws.

But the problems arrived soon, one week later the team suffered the first defeat on the season hosting Pontevedra CF (1-2), by the end of 2013 Juvenil A was tied at the first place with RC Celta (35 points in 16 matches).

And then it came the worst moment on the season as the team suffered five straight defeats: 2-3 Vs. Atlético Perinés, 2-3 Vs. Sporting Gijón, 0-1 Vs. Real Oviedo, 0-1 Vs. Veriña and 0-2 Vs. TSK Roces. Suddenly, the team was out of the race for the title. By matchday 22, the team was third, 13 points under the first place and 12 points below the second position.

It is hard to explain how this happened. There were no big casualties at the team and the lineups were similar to the ones of the first games. It seemed the team lost confidence and the coach didn’t find the solutions.  Now, the goal was different, because with only eight games remaining the new target of the youngsters was to reach the Copa Del Rey.

The strategy of the coaching staff was different for the final stretch of the season. Now the players that were normally performing with Fabril (Ángel Fernández, Toni Insua, Róber and Fornos), were sent back to the Juvenil A squad, and even Dani Iglesias was picked for the Galician derby. So, the last part of the tournament was positive, with the team clinching four wins and three draws within the last eight meetings, including a 1-2 win visiting RC Celta. But it was too late, Juvenil A ended third at the standings, 17 points under champions Racing Santander and 14 below runners-up RC Celta.



Goalkeeper Anxo Pérez. Photo: Iago Díaz

Manu Nogueira, the top-scorer on the season. Photo: Iago Díaz

Midfielder Gabi Sanini. Photo: Iago Díaz

Centre-back Hugo Díaz

Right-back Gabi Gónzalez. Photo: Iago Díaz

Striker Pancho Cotos. Photo: Iago Díaz

Winger Óscar Garcia. Photo: La Voz de Galicia
THE PLAYERS
32 players had minutes with the team during the 30 games on the season. It’s a large number, but not surprising taking in mind the rotation had between Fabril, Juvenil A & B. It can be said that on this season the more interesting players were the defenders, after all they were more experienced than the attackers. Goalkeeper Anxo Pérez was the normal starter at the goal and often offered a feeling of security at the goal.

Then the defensive line is more than impressive, with three centre-backs with a great future: Quique Fornos, Róber Suárez and Hugo Díaz. Fornos only played 13 games with the team, because he was busy covering the gaps at Fabril and was the only player at this team picked by a Spanish national team: the U-17 squad, which a couple of weeks ago played the UEFA Elite Round. He even was a starter with the first team for the visit to FC Arouca (July 31). It was a friendly game in which the senior squad was on strike.

Róber is used to perform with Fabril and is considered to be the successor of Uxío Marcos, while Hugo García is a solid centre-back that two weeks ago trained for the first time with the senior squad coached by Fernando Vázquez. He even scored three goals on the season and was also the player with more minutes on this season (2,408). Jorge Saavedra was the other centre-back with an important participation on this tournament.

The full-backs also called the attention; Sergio Pereira is considered to be among the best players at the team, but on this season he only played 7 games after suffering a knee injury. Still, the positions was well covered thanks to Gabi Gonzalez, Toni Insuaand even some of the centre-backs, like the case with Fornos.

Gabi González is a Swiss/Spanish right-back that was just completing his first year with the team. He only missed three games on the season, including the closing game against CD Lugo. There was even time to allow the presence of Álvaro Naveira, the left-back of Juvenil B promoted for the last stretch on the season.

There were some interesting players at midfield too. The season was dominated by two lads: Gabi Sanin and Diego Enjamio. The first is considered to be “the next Álex Bergantiños”, a director at midfield territory that’s 18 and that seems ready for Fabril; actually he already played for Depor B even brining an assist for the team. Meanwhile, Enjamio is a more offensive option that ended the season with four goals in favour.

The contribution of Ángel Fernández to the team was more discrete a he only played three times at División de Honor, but it was because he spent more time with Fabril. This despite he was only 17. It is another player with a future role at Depor B. Meanwhile, Jorge De Dios was able to play again after the serious knee injury. He still needs to regain his old form.

In attack, the numbers were discrete. If in past years the team had players scoring more than ten goals (Dani Iglesias, Luis & Lemos) and even more than twenty (Álex Pérez, 21 on the season 2010/11), this time no one netted a double digit mark. The best scorer was Manu Nogueira (8), a central attacker often used on the left wing during this season.

Pancho Cotos was the second best scorer (7) and was one of the six players of this team that had the privilege to perform for the first time during the friendly against FC Arouca. Then Samu Rodriguez was the third best scorer (6), while José Fandiño, who was coming after scoring 22 goals with Cadete A on the previous season, barely played due to an injury. Juan López scored three times in 18 matches. To explain that all of them are young and were living their first year at this team, so there’s room for improvement.

Álvaro López, who in the previous year scored 29 goals with Juvenil B, was now moved to the wing and his contribution was reduced to three goals. Óscar ‘Pinchi’ García only made 16 appearances with the team, because he spent the half of the campaign playing with Fabril. Still, he contributed with 4 goals and is considered to be a future promise following the footsteps of Lemos. Ismael Quevedo and Kike Carranza were the other wingers with an important participation on the season, the later was the four best scorer at the team (5).

CONCLUSIONS
Transition year at Abegondo and mainly at Juvenil A. The problems at the start of the season didn’t invite to be optimistic; however the team had a solid start that suggested that, after all, the youngsters were contenders for a title the club hadn’t won since four years ago. But a bad start in 2014 pulled the team down and back into a reality that was always there. In the end the third place isn’t considered to be a bad outcome.

The defense was the most solid sector at the squad with some of the players even alternating between the team and Deportivo B. A sign that better times could come. At midfield there were a couple of interesting players with an important role at the team, while the attackers were too young to have a bigger weight at the team. Fornos, Róber, Óscar Garcia, Ángel and Gabi Sanin are players called to have a spot at Depor B ahead of next season. There are other candidates, but it depends on the casualties at Depor B or instead they need one more year at Juvenil A.

* Calendar

* Team stats

ARCHIVE NEWS APR/14

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