Squad news


22 Apr 2015
Once again the team had an irregular season; at the middle of the league campaign it had a seven-point advantage over RC Celta, but a bad second round left the team second at the standings.

Déjà vu for Deportivo Juvenil A. Last season the team had a strong start, but later suffered a series of defeats at the end of the first round and the team ended third behind Racing Club and RC Celta. Now, in order to recover the leadership had in past years, the club hired José Ramón González as the coach of the team. This time the good results lasted a little longer, but the team ended falling and was only able to end second despite having a good advantage at the end of the first round.

The group 01 at División de Honor Juvenil, a league created for U-17 players in Spain, has been dominated by Racing, Celta, Depor & Sporting during the last decade. For the campaign 2014/15 it was expected a big fight between Deportivo and Celta for the first place, which gives a direct ticket to the Spanish Champions League and subsequently to the UEFA Youth League. The first two places also compete in Copa Del Rey.

And the preview was fulfilled as Depor and Celta battled for the first place until the last five matchdays. Deportivo had a strong start winning 13 of the first 15 games, the team only lost once in this frame (0-1 at Veriña, Sept 27) and even defeated Celta at Abegondo (3-1, Sept 21).

Actually, the team stablished a new mark at the club clinching eleven straight wins. José Ramón was praised for how quickly his lads understood the new style. By matchday 15, which marks the middle of the season, Deportivo was the undisputed leader having a seven-point gap over Celta and Racing Santander.

The second round was simply a disaster. The team only won seven of the fifteen matches disputed in the period and suffered important defeats, including the second derby on the season at Madroa (2-0, Jan 11) plus suffering unexpected losses like the one at home before Tropezón (0-1, Feb 15). In the end the team ended second at the standings, nine points away from new champions RC Celta Juvenil A.

There are many explanations to this situation. First to all the injuries, by the end of the season the coach had to pick lads from Juvenil B in order to fill up the gaps. Keeper Anxo Pérez suffered a long-term problem, while top-scorer Óscar García skipped several games due to physical problems.

Left-back Álvaro Naveira and attacker José Fandiño also skipped some games due to physical problems, while winger/defender Sergio Pereira and attacker Manu Nogueira returned until the last stretch after been dragging injuries from last season.

It’s also true that the lads lowered their performance in the second part of the season, while coach José Ramón didn’t find the solutions to fix the problem and keep the level of the first round. He even pulled down players from Depor B in the attempt to change the scenario, like it happened with centre-back Enrique Fornos, who made eleven appearances with the team.

Pancho celebrating one of the goals Vs. Celta in the game played at Abegondo

Great season for centre-back Hugo Díaz

Keeper Javier Ortega during a training session with Manu Sotelo

Miguel Real & Alberto Leira during a training session with the first team at the Riazor

Oscar García, the Pichichi on the season

The derby played in A Madroa

31 players had minutes in the league season; six of them were lads coming from Juvenil B in order to play one or two games. Anxo Pérez and Héctor Portela were the keepers, but the first sustained an injury and the club signed Javier Ortega from Villarreal during the winter window. He was the starting goalie at the end of the season leaving a positive impression.

Among the defenders there’s one that shines above the rest: Hugo Díaz. The centre-back and captain of the team is the set-pieces specialist, he scored ten goals in 28 matches with the team and was even one of the four lads that debuted with Depor B at Tercera. 

Pablo Marti was his normal partner at the centre of the defence, though in the last stretch of the season Quique Fornos was pulled from Fabril in order to play there. Miguel Muñoz was the normal substitute for the position coming out from the bench and there was even time to allow the debut of Bamba Ndiaye, a Senegalese inscribed in the winter window and that played for the first time in the last matchday before Real Oviedo (3-3).

The sides were one of the sectors that suffered the most with the injuries, Right-back Gabi González spent some time in the sidelines and didn’t display his full potential, so Blas Alonso was placed there. At the left, promising Álvaro Naveira was promoted from Juvenil B for this season, but an injury reduced his presence, though in the end he played in 25 of the 30 matches. Meanwhile Sergio Pereira returned from a long-term injury and this time was used in a more offensive position. Pedro Alvedro also had an importance presence as a substitute.

There were some interesting things at midfield. José Moure was promoted from Juvenil B and demonstrated that he can be the motor of the team. Meanwhile experienced Hugo Rama was signed from Xuventude de Oroso and left a positive impression, been the fourth best scorer at the team with six goals.

One of the disappointments on the season was Alberto Leira, more was expected from a talented midfielder that was about to enter in the negotiation with Atlético Madrid for Borja Bastón, but ended at Villarreal CF and returned to A Coruña with high expectations. But he didn’t convince in his 20 appearances with the team, though he remains to be one of the most talented players at the squad.

Perhaps the best sector on the season were the wingers, mainly two lads: Óscar ‘Pinchi’ García and Miguel Real. There was the debate if Óscar should be promoted to Fabril (he played there on the previous season) or if he should be allowed to complete his last year with Juvenil A. In the end he stayed and turned to be the top-scorer on the season with 16 goals in 23 matches. At times he left the impression of been the best attacker of the team performing at the right wing.

In the case of Miguel, brother of Juan Carlos Real it was his first season with the team, he was very important performing on the left wing. He scored three goals and was even invited to train with the first team together with other lads at the squad.  Nicolas Sánchez was another winger with an important presence and ended scoring six times.

At the centre of the attack, no one left the impression of been an undisputed starter. Álvaro López played in 20 of the 30 games on the season, but was only a starter in the half of those games (he scored 5 goals).

José Fandiño returned from an injury at the beginning of the season and scored 4 goals in 13 presentations, but later suffered a new problem that sidelined him. In the end José Ramón had to pull Pancho Cotos in order to fill the gaps.

Pancho was called to play his second season with the team, but at the beginning of the year he was sent to Depor B and turned to be a fixed starter performing as a playmaker, in 2015 he returned to Juvenil A as the team was lowering his performance. Juvenil A didn’t improve, but Pancho had enough time to become the third best scorer with 7 goals in 15 matches. Finally, Manu Nogueira returned after the injury sustained at the end of last season, he only played the games, but it was enough to score three goals.

A second place isn’t a bad outcome at División de Honor, after all one of the seven second places in Spain (the league is divided in seven groups) has the chance to qualify to the Champions League (in this opportunity Depor is the third best second place), while the second spot also allows to take part of the Copa Del Rey.

However, taking in mind how the situation was at the middle of the campaign, it should be considered as a frustrating campaign for Juvenil A, because it had the first place at reach and all the good work was wasted in a very poor second round. Next season the coaching staff should emphasize the fact that the team needs to keep the same level for a longer time and avoid a third straight season with ups and downs.





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