Ontinyent CF 2 v 2 CD Torrevieja (01.03.2015)
Club Deportivo Torrevieja. Not a name synonymous with the Spanish footballing greats. But down on the Costa Blanca in southern Spain there is a unique football story developing. Guest writer Chris Darwen tells us more…
So, I made it on to the coach with my very limited Spanish. Yesterday I headed off to Ontinyent with the club I’ve just started working with as a commercial and PR guy. CD Torrevieja are my local professional club and like many at the 4th tier level in Spain, have professionals on the technical side but volunteers running the club out of a mere love for the game. Obviously, having moved here, I have offered my services – whatever they may be!
Why did I want to get involved with my local side? Well, it is fairly simple really. As anyone who knows me knows, I love football and it has been pretty much all I have been interested in since the age of eight when I learned that liking football and being half decent in goal was a good way to avoid getting the usual playground treatment dished out to slightly awkward, geeky kids. Therefore, having moved to a part of the world that is paradise due to the success of the books I have written, I have plenty of free time to go with the enthusiasm I have for lower level football. It is real down here, none of the top tier privileges. TV money doesn’t exist, players regularly go months without being paid as clubs all across Spain struggle to make ends meet. The experience that I have had being a part of Real Oviedo and their supporters trust has changed my life and I vowed that if I had the chance to help another club, in whatever way was possible, then I would jump at it.
So what do I hope to do for CD Torrevieja? Well, I want us to be a club that people look at and go “yeah, they are a fantastic example of a small club that are run properly.” I want us to be self-sufficient, so we don’t have to rely on the deep pockets of our wonderful President to stay in existence. I want to help us be a club that not only the locals respect, but football fans across the world have an interest in. I hate to refer back to Real Oviedo as the situations are completely different. Real Oviedo were on the verge of extinction, CD Torrevieja are not. But that experience showed me that football fans are a global community and that if we have something of interest to them down here on the Costa Blanca then they will get involved.
Every penny counts at this level, and I hope to help us raise more pennies!
The coach headed off to Ontinyent yesterday afternoon and made a couple of stops in Elche, the town of our local La Liga side with whom we have a formal affiliation. This is where Jeff Scott, our Vice-President and Treasurer, joined the journey and we spent the next six hours or so talking non-stop about the club, football in general, and post-match, about the day’s events. Jeff has been with the club in various roles since 2008 and has survived eight different presidential regimes, so will be critical in my efforts to boost the clubs profile.
Over our pre-match coffee I met the club President for the first time, a wonderfully warm man called Vicente Boix. Vicente is in his fifth season as President and the love and passion for the club oozed from him. Jeff introduced me and explained my connection with Real Oviedo, and Vicente dropped the bombshell that our strong, bearded centre back Alexis Egea was none other than the son of the current Real Oviedo manager, Sergio Egea. This revelation made me almost fall out of my chair, if there was ever a sign that I was meant to be involved at Torrevieja, this was it.
So on that note it only seems right to tell you a bit more about the football club. They are based in Torrevieja – a coastal town on the Costa Blanca located close to Alicante, and the club play their home games at the 6,000 capacity Estadio Vicente Garcia. The blue and white stripes from the club crest are replicated across the terracing and seating inside the ground (see photos below). CD Torrevieja play in the Spanish Tercera Division 3a, which is the 4th tier of the Spanish football league pyramid. The 4th tier in Spain is quite a complex system and is split into 18 regional groups consisting of approx 360 teams. CD Torrevieja currently play in Group 6 and you can see the current league table by clicking here. 18 teams, one from each group will be promoted to the third tier at the end of each season.
Photos above: Estadio Vicente Garcia – The home of CD Torrievieja…
Today though, they were playing away at Ontinyent CF – a football club based in Ontinyent, a small town located in a region of Spain that will be much more familiar to you by name – Valencia. The club play at the modest 5,000 capacity Estadio El Clariano (see photos below).
The first half was disappointing, many misplaced passes from both sides and very little to entertain the crowd who found their main source of fun to be our manager, the passionate and animated Galiani. Ontinyent took the lead after about 13 minutes, a corner being headed home by someone standing completely free in the six yard box. Whatever Galiani said at half time made an impact, as did his swift substitution. Brani replaced the quiet Cesar, and the wide man on loan from Elche made an impact. He was busy, both with and without the ball and his work rate alone seemed to raise the players around him. A sweeping cross field pass from Eddy found Brani on the right and his pace drew a foul from the Ontinyent left back, who by now realised he was going to have to earn his match fee.
The resulting free kick from Adrian was poor, but it led to the corner from which Ruben arrived late and powered home a headed equaliser. You could feel the tension ease immediately, we hadn’t scored since January 11 and suddenly we looked like a threat from all over the pitch. In the 70th minute the ball fell to Obele in the penalty area and he swept home the second from eight yards. It looked like a rare home defeat for Ontinyent was on the cards, but there was to be another twist. Our skipper, Jorge, picked up two quick bookings leaving us to fight out the final fifteen minutes with ten men. Galiani switched us to the predictable 4-4-1 leaving Obele isolated up top and the pressure on the back line increased. With just five minutes to go we failed to deal with a set-piece missing three chances to clear our lines and the ball was forced home from close range.
The main stand at Ontinyent CF…
A point is a point, and the run of five defeats has been brought to an end. It is clear to me that this is a team with ability and when their desire to work as hard as the opposition kicks in we look dangerous. It was a shame that we could only do that for thirty minutes yesterday, but when we passed the ball with a tempo and started to press in groups we were the better side. If the dream of a play-off place is to come true then 30 minutes of performance needs to become 95.
So why am I telling you all this? It is simple, really. CD Torrevieja needs more members, shareholders if you like. This is a beautiful club based in the Costa Blanca, one of the warmest and welcoming climates all year round on the planet. Now, I know many of you reading this will have bought memberships/shares in other clubs, so why not consider expanding your portfolios? Those of you in the Football Manager community, well there is at least one fansite out there that is looking for a real club to partner with, get involved with and be a real part of. For everyone else, just imagine how cool it would be to tell your mates down the pub, gym, on Facebook, or where ever that you have just become a member of a Spanish football club and that you are heading over there for the weekend very soon?
Clubs like this need members. More members means more income to the club, which means the club survives. More members means more people care, and want to see the club do well. More members means that more people turn up and get behind the players. More members means increased exposure for the club, which could turn into more sponsorship and as I have said, every penny counts at this level.
Through this blog article I passionately urge you to consider becoming a member of this cracking little football club, and to be part of something really exciting. If you are a member elsewhere, one more won’t hurt right? If you are just reading this blog because you love football, I dare you to get involved because if you get half the fun I have had from being with Real Oviedo then you will have made the best small investment of your life. If you are an Football Manager addict like me, how about becoming a member, then downloading the FM database I have created for you and manage CD Torrevieja, the club you will part own, to La Liga?
Why do we need more members? The reason is to help the club become self-sufficient. Too many clubs across the world rely on the deep pockets of their president, and ultimately run at a loss every season. I fully believe we can change that at CD Torrevieja. By becoming a member you will be helping fund the club. Every penny we raise through memberships and donations will contribute to clubs running costs; paying the players, buying the kit, hiring the coach to the away matches, maintaining the ground, paying the officials, and registering players. Every club that doesn’t have the privilege of loads of TV money coming into their bank account has to worry about how these bills get paid, so you would genuinely be part of helping the club function. We currently have 26 new members, and I have set myself a target of getting this to at least 100 by the end of this season, but my big aim is to get it to the levels of clubs that have inspired me, such as FC United of Manchester and Real Oviedo.
What do you get for being a member?
Socio Membership lasts 12 months and costs only €50 for a new member and €20 to renew the next year (£37 and £18 for those in the UK).
The offer to new members includes:
- Flexible payment terms (up to 5 monthly installments so you can be a full member by the 2015/16 season).
- Membership card
- Weekly e-newsletter
- International members (non-Spanish residents) will get entry to matches for €5
- Your name on our list of members on our website and in the club programme (unless you don’t want it there).
- A vote in the AGM – have your say in how your club is run
- The CD Torrevieja socio card giving you exclusive discounts at local shops, restaurants and businesses.
- A thank you letter, obviously!
Sales pitch over, if you would you like to become a member, you can register your interest here.
To visit the CD Torrevieja official club website you can click here.
If you have any questions that you would like to ask Chris about the club and the membership scheme please drop him an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!
You can also follow Chris on Twitter @comeontheoviedo