It’s Time For CD Tenerife Fans To Dream

Aridane’s winning goal in this 1-2 victory at Eibar was a peach, actually it was more than that, it was a peach, a plum, a pineapple, and a pomegranate. Survival in the Segunda, our first objective after coming up in the summer, is now assured, we are nestling in comfortably for a promotion play off spot, and the dream of a top two automatic promotion place is a real possibility.

Seven minutes in at Eibar we were a goal down with no Ayoze Perez to call on but the quality and belief of this squad turned that all around as every player turned it on. The Eibar goal came from a free kick curled in from the byline, it eluded defence and goalie and was toe poked in by Bovedo. Time to get to work, coach Alvaro Cervera again surprised a few experts by starting Nano and Juanjo as the main strikers with Rivero supporting and Edgar on the wing. There was a scare after 14 minutes when the Tenerife defence hacked at the ball but couldn’t clear it, Moyano had the cool head and saw it off.

Morales was the thorn on the home side, he was through for an easy goal before an offside call, Roberto blocked the shot superbly at close range. Tenerife nearly leveled before the break but a crisp shot bounced out off Nano. Our little group in Suters Bar were quite relaxed about going in a goal adrift, that will be the Cervera effect. Less than 10 minutes after the restart Ayoze Diaz had a free kick a good distance out on the left, he floated it over in a similar style to Eibar strike and Bruno put it in the net with a neat flick of his head.

Suso came on for Edgar and was unlucky not to score after Nano picked him out with a cross field ball. Aridane took over from Juanjo and Cristo swapped places with Nano, the youngster did well. Then came that very special goal, Aridane was on the edge of the penalty area with markers ahead of him, he looked up and launched his guided missile into the top corner of the net. There were a few jitters before the end, a back header left Roberto trying to claw the ball back from a corner and an ambitious bicycle kick could have spoilt the party. Eibar missed their easiest chance in stoppage time but fired into the side netting. Fortune favours the brave, this CD Tenerife side and their coach just keep on daring and the fans are having to upgrade their hopes with each game. 

Honey You’re a Sweetie, A Real Big Cheese

For 363 days a year Los Cristianos starves itself in preparation for the Feria de Alimentos Canarios, the Canarian Food Fair, or as I call it, a right good spread of yummy cakes, cheeses, honey, and wine – but apparently that wouldn’t fit as well on the posters.

It makes my mouth water just to see the double marquee going up in the week before the two day feast. This year a heavy band of rain swept across Tenerife limiting the live outside music and herding visitors in big swells whenever the skies opened. It would have been rather rude of me not to try as many tasters as possible, there was more sampling going on than at a L.A record producers studio.

Let’s have a look at some of the more unusual treats on offer. How about the liqueurs, from Fuerteventura there was a goats milk liqueur, smooth and at 15% guaranteed to have you bleating on the front lawn after a full bottle. There were plenty of spices on offer and a couple of stalls selling sea salts with different flavours, the La Palma ones came in test tubes, very trendy.

Organic bread from Guia de Isora was doing well as was the more traditional large unsliced loaves, bloomers, baps etc from Santiago del Teide. Sweets got a good look in with Arona tempting all with wafer biscuits made with turron, normally a Christmas sweet treat. Healthy influences are all the rage, Fuerteventura had some cactus juice which is supposed to be a major energy boost, maybe if Wylie E Coyote had tried some he would have caught that Road Runner. Avocado Oil caught my attention, I tried some in a spread form on a square of toasted bread and was then quite shocked to read you can also rub it on your skin or into your hair. The squeezed pulp of our green friend gives up potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all good for skin and bone ailments.

The old favourites were still highly prized, local cereal gofio in food and drink form, cheese by the stack, luxurious Lava Chocolate, and honey and jam that would have Pooh Bear in ecstacy. I went a bit easier on the wine this year, just a few cheeky swills but the bottles were clinking well in the bags of departing visitors. The rain was an unwelcome guest and kept the staff on their toes but this tenth edition showed there is still a hunger for more traditional Canarian food and drink.  


A Hero Three Pop Stars And A Camden Invasion

Stood on the coastal promenade of Playa Paraiso at 5am with ITV Daybreak reporter Jonathan Swain and live saving hero Adam Cramer I was a trifle cold in just shorts and Armada Sur t shirt. An afternoon call had shifted me from Las Vistas beach but I only found out en route up west that ITV were putting me in the Grand Hotel Callao overnight. I felt guilty for feeling cold stood next to an incredibly brave man who had dived in the wild sea to save a young girl, sadly two female British doctors died, hence the media frenzy.


Back down south I expected the rest of the week to be calmer but how different it turned out. There is a constant stream of British swimmers to Arona to train at the municipal outdoor pool and they all stay at Hotel Paradise Park just along the road from me. I ran into the Camden Swiss Cottage swimming club and of course arranged to do some interviews and photos about their visit. What a smashing bunch they were, young people don’t just grunt at the world from their sealed introverted cyber landscape, these 31 swimmers between 14 and 19 years were dedicated, ambitious, and loving every moment of life.


The Camden club is one of the biggest in the UK, they have 3,500 people in their programme, there are 40 clubs in London, and many more throughout the country, that’s a whole bunch of hope and inspiration for the next generation. Packing in two hour training sessions twice a day, setting aside three hours study time each day, and paying their own way to come to Tenerife this was a great example of how sport can make lives better. I have  been known to knock Arona council when it is deserved but their sports facilities are wonderful and a magnet to other countries. At my final early morning visit Helsinki swimming club were just taking over the lanes from our London friends, and the pool is well used by local schools and the public.


If you think I push Hotel Paradise Park a lot it could be because I write their blog for them so I got a heads up for a mini concert on Thursday night. Three singers from La Voz (Spain’s The Voice) were in Tenerife for a mini tour and doing a promotional gig in the Yaiza bar, I was there like a shot. The three rising stars were Tina Riobo from Santa Cruz, Ainhoa Aguilar from Adeje, and semi finalist Damon Robinson originally from California but long term settled in Granada. Even at this fledgling stage of their careers they aroused plenty of interest, people were eager to get their photos taken with them on the red carpet. Many of the audience were Brit holiday makers with no real idea of what they were getting but the trio won them over with some rousing soul, Motown and pop classics mainly in English.


As the Easter school holidays had begun in the UK, there were lots of young children encroaching onto the edge of the dance floor, the singers may not get many future audiences with so many tiny tots scribbling, playing, and bopping but they did well and should all make good careers for themselves. I have to say Damon was by far the best, he interacted more with the audience and oozed cool confidence, his version of Stuck On You, the Lionel Richie classic, was his big hit on La Voz and went down a storm here as well. I thought I might get called up to at least add some doo waps but maybe they have heard my singing at football.








It Just Gets Better For CD Tenerife

Even when free wheeling in the second half CD Tenerife showed plenty of flair and with better finishing should have had thee score board spinning. We really are a spoilt bunch of fans this season, it’s worth the entrance fee just to see the lovely touches from Suso and Ayoze Perez.

It’s true Alaves are in a relegation fight and gave goalie Roberto a quiet afternoon but the defence must take some credit for the way they shackled 19 goal striker Viguera, Moyano was back at his outstanding best on the right and Bruno is majestic these days. Ricardo skied an early effort over the goal and Ayoze was making fools of the centre backs. Aridane was out injured, Juanjo came in and filled the deep striking role brilliantly. Ayoze and Suso shared some neat interplay on the right before setting up Juanjo who stroked the ball into the net after 14 minutes.

In the week Ayoze was reading poetry for a government campaign, today his feet were waxing lyrical, the way he tricked two defenders before laying the ball off to incoming Suso deserved a goal but the flying winger slid in just the wrong side of the post. The second goal was from a very dodgy penalty, the ref conjured up a handball from an aerial clash and Ricardo converted the spot kick. I lost count of how many chances went begging for Ayoze, near the end of the first half he cut in and released his low shot, it bobbled along in front of the goal line, if a worm had popped its head up it would have gone in.

Hot, sweaty, and buzzing are not members of a boy band but the way we all felt at half time, this had the makings of an avalanche. It was a slightly subdued performance in the second 45 but Tenerife still made plenty of chances. Cristo curled a testing ball in from the left but Goitia dealt with it fairly easily. Ayoze shaped up for a shot and hit it straight at the keeper as the midfield controlled the game with Aitor Sanz back pulling the strings. Maybe earlier subs could have  breathed fresh life into the game but then again maybe a pin up girl  could have brought me a chilled beer, sometimes you can be too demanding. Edgar replaced Cristo after 73 minutes and was soon followed by Ros for Ricardo and Rivero for Juanjo.

Velez had a cheeky penalty shout when he went down in the Tenerife area, more likely shock at getting to see the goal at close quarters. There were no worries of a comeback, Tenerife were in charge and Alaves were saved late on by a defenders clearance off the goal line. Almost at our survival target and in the promotion play off zone the only disappointment of the day was the 11,554 crowd. This special team deserves even more support as we head to the climax of the season.


Two Points Dropped For Off Target CD Marino

If Sosa Espinel’s dug out had been a boxer it would have begged the ref for protection. The CD Marino coach vented his frustration after an evening watching his team spurn chance after chance to draw 1-1 at home to CD Laguna. It should have been a comfortable victory margin but they had to withstand a late rally against their ten men.

With the top spot to hold on to Marino came out fired up, Murci and Balduino both looked sharp, Murci nearly turned the keeper for an early chance and then had a close shot blocked by Dani between the sticks. The build up play from midfield was impressive with Lamine and Airam pushing up to support the attack and Yosimar laid on some good service from the left flank. It took 23 minutes for the breakthrough, another good raid ended with skipper Airam making a strong run to head a Marino lead.

That should have heralded a bucket full but Marino couldn’t convert their dominance into goals, Balduino wrapped himself around a metal support after sliding in from a tight angle only to see his shot hit the post. Kirian brought Balduino crashing down in the penalty area just prior to the break but the ref wouldn’t point to the spot. The chances were still coming in the second half, Lamine rose for a powerful header but it lacked accuracy and Yosimar curled a shot just past the post.

Laguna had hardly troubled Alberto but when Richard dwelt too long on the ball near the corner Gaizka dug it out and crossed for Cristian to get a surprise equalizer after 54 minutes. It woke up Marino and they surged forward again, Murci did well to put the ball across the visitors goal after a corner but there wasn’t any blue shirts on hand to finish the move. Sub Juanmi forced a save just outside the post and Balduino drilled a shot wide with the goal gaping. Lagina goalie Dani rode his luck, he needed a second grab to stop a low shot from Balduino and did worse when dropping the ball, it bounced off a defender to Mendy but his poke shot missed the target. When Richard got sent off after 70 minutes it made the task harder but Marino were still the better side.

Airam blasted another effort wide, Lamine won the ball well only to unleash a soft shot that the keeper smothered and Balduino had another couple of near misses. A break from Laguna saw them shoot over the bar and Alberto denied them when the ball was sailing into the top corner of his net. A draw keeps Marino cemented in the top four places but in two legged play off games they will need to kill teams off at home.

From Out Of Africa To Out Of Arona

One day you’re the big fish and a few hours later you’re a pile of ashes on the beach, so ended the Arona Carnaval 2014. Bursting with tradition and colour the theme of Africa was more in the drum rhythms than the costumes but as always the commitment to the cause was admirable, it takes a lot of stamina, or dancing juice, to keep the party spirit bubbling.

The Coso parade on Sunday afternoon was spectacular, the make up and fancy dress were as creative as the parking all the way up the hill, the gruas were juggling motors all weekend. It doesn’t seem to matter what the weather is like in the build up, the Coso is always baking hot, the wind subsided and the feathers and finery didn’t need too much holding in place.

The route from Paloma beach to the Los Cristianos cultural centre was packed, many had taken chairs and picnics with them for an early start, others bagged prime positions on bar forecourts, but most stood along the roadside waiting patiently. It’s very much a family day all round, several generations could be seen in the parading groups, costume skills have been passed down the line and a few marshals kept everyone moving at a brisk but not hurried pace.

There’s always a sprinkling of famous look a likes, Michael Jackson was waving his white gloves, Captain Jack Sparrow was shivering a few timbers, and Uncle Sam was peddling around trying to show he was the real Captain America. The biggest stars are the Carnaval Queens and their dames of honour, 22 year old Lucia Cathaysa Mesa was radiant in her creation La Ultima Conquistadora. It took a good couple of hours for the procession to work its way to the showground for more music and dance.

Monday was the traditional sardine cremation with its outrageous wailing widows escorting it to the beach to be set alight amid showers of fireworks. I gave it a miss this year to scrape my round up together but I tried interviewing the sardine in the afternoon, it didn’t have a lot to say, maybe it had an inkling of what was to come. Roll on next year, take a bow Arona, it was another cracker.


Ayoze Shows What Porto Are Missing

A lesser man might have been peeved by the blocking off a big money move to Champions League football with Porto but Ayoze Perez was at his brilliant best as CD Tenerife got a well earned 1-1 draw at Deportivo.


Tenerife hardly touched the ball in the first 15 minutes and their hosts took advantage of some hesitant goal keeping by Roberto for a 3rd minute lead by Lopo from a free kick. Ayoze Diaz had a let off when he failed to clear a danger ball, Bergantinos blasted his shot wide. Gradually Tenerife warmed to their task and Ayoze Perez was a real handful for Deportivo, he laid off an inviting pass to Edgar who shot wide. Deportivo looked like a side worthy of their second spot in the table, Roberto did well to palm away a hard shot. Coach Alvaro Cervera broke from his usual cautious away formation by playing Edgar on the left and Suso on the right wing but it left the midfield a bit weak and after 38 minutes the coach replaced Edgar with Rivero.


The second half opened with Roberto tipping away a dipping shot and then making a low stop at the post. Ayoze switched to a wider position on the left and Deportivo were reduced to hacking him down when he set off on one of his tricky moves. Marchena gave away with his lunge on Ayoze and Ricardo coolly dispatched the penalty to equalize. There were a few tense late moments, Cristo made a well timed clearance at the post to ensure the point that kept Tenerife 7th place and on course for a promotion play off position.


Poptastic Carnaval Day In Los Cristianos

I used to be young and hip but now I’m more like hip replacement, well I felt a bit like that at the daytime Carnaval celebrations in Los Cristianos. There was a definite shift away from the old guard of crooners and spangly jacket singers, the main stage featured international artists from the 40 Principales hit parade. Most of the artists were DJ’s like Marien Baker from Valencia, the first act I saw. She had the crowd pumping up the jam and jamming up the pump but it seemed a bit of a waste of the massive stage to have one person basically operating a lap top, but I am an old fogey.


The sun was playing hide and seek and the wind was whipping up a bit, the large suspended speakers were swaying as well as the crowd. This years Carnaval theme of Africa was just a loose guide, most people had their own idea of fancy dress and there were some great outfits. In the supermarket earlier in the day I noticed the booze section was taking a hammering, around every little corner and in the midst of little huddles in the dance zone interesting mixes were going on in 5 litre water bottles. As the afternoon wore on the crowd grew bigger and more boisterous, Yanella Brooks was one of the more animated acts, she strode the stage like a prowling tiger and belted out some top tunes.


Further down by the old beach the comparsas dance groups were doing their stuff in the Plaza del Pescadora with stunning outfits and close harmonies. I was going to get up and dance myself but I twinged a muscle carrying the gramaphone into the parlour the night before. There was to be a fancy dress competition later, tough one to call as so many had made an effort, it was nice to see whole families adopting themed looks. For some reason my camera seemed drawn to the rather attractive ladies in the most flimsy of costumes – Ding Dong! All through Los Cristianos music was thumping, glasses were clinking, and bodies were bopping. I left at quite an early stage but could still hear the bass lines from my apartment.


After popping over to Parque de la Reina to see CD Tenerife get a great 1-1 draw at Deportivo I returned for a few cheeky beers. The fair was packed and the music was louder than ever, I was thinking about going on the Viking long ship but after a few more Dorada’s standing up was my biggest challenge and anyway it would have been very messy.


Oh Baby Santa Cruz Is Hard To Ignore

Come on how many capital cities can you go to and be confronted by a huge babies head at the entrance of a public park. Take a bow Santa Cruz, this bronze sculpture Carmen Dormida (Carmen Sleeping) by Antonio Lopez and it is rather haunting and worrying in equal measures.

The sculpture at Parque Garcia Sanabria is on loan from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts until 30 May and if everyone who had their photo taken with it put a euro in a bucket the city would be rich in money but suffering a bucket drought. I couldn’t help wondering if there is another sculpture somewhere of a mother with a very pained cross eyed expression on her face.

I always pop into Parque Garcia Sanabria anyway as it is very beautiful and often contains some unusual activity. The floral clock is always another popular focal point but it is away for repairs at the moment, the replacement flower display was marking time in fine fashion. It wasn’t meant to be an artistic visit, just a bit of mooching around but all the statues and sculptures seemed to catch my eye. The lions on the General Serrador bridge over Barranco de Santos normally purr away in peace but I felt the need to snap them today.

There was a chilly wind blowing across Tenerife but the sun was out and away from the shade it was good, hardly any reason to wrap the trees up. Just behind the Plaza de España a recent art project saw local ladies crochet decorative sleeves for the saplings, this too was getting plenty of passing interest from the cruise liner passengers spilling into the city. The main harbour, or airport as our friends from Gran Canaria might call it, was fairly quiet today but the huge Mein Schiff liner made a colourful addition to the skyline.

There was a little sprinkling of rain at one point so I adjourned to a few central spots, the Parque Bulevar commercial centre has housed the Carnaval museum for the last two years but the costumes were nowhere to be seen and instead of wild Carnaval dance music it was The Communards song Small Town Boy entertaining the sparse trickling of shoppers. Further on past the Plaza del Patriotismo the balustrades of the Circulo de Amistad building made me cast my gaze upwards. Museums are great in Santa Cruz, I popped into the Museo de Bellas Artes (museum of fine arts), a strange mix of traditional and experimental.

The first floor had PSJM – A Cultural Decade 2003 to 2013, it was commercial images like cynical variations on corporate advertising and some video displays. The upper floor has several halls of Royal Academy portraits and huge religious scenes covering whole walls. These works are a permanent display, I recognized many of them from my last visit to the museum a few years ago. All good stuff and free entry, don’t go on a Monday as most of the big museums have that as their closed day. By now it was time to head back south but I will return soon and see what other surprises the city can offer me.



High Five And Hands On A Play Off Spot For CD Tenerife

Someone was going to get a spanking, and Ponferradina were the lucky recipients as CD Tenerife blitzed them 5-0 with Ayoze grabbing a glittering hat trick. It has to be said that the visitors were poor but the power, speed, and lethal finishing of the Tenerife attack would have carved up anyone on this form.

With a near full squad to pick from, Carlos Ruiz edged out Alberto from the heart of defence, Ayoze Diaz held off Raul Camara at left back, and Ricardo and Aitor Sanz returned to fire up the midfield. Tenerife were a little slow out of the blocks but soon found their rhythm. Suso had borrowed Usain Bolts trainers again and streaked down the right to pick out Ayoze after 11 minutes, the youngster flicked the ball to the side of his marker and tucked it in the net. It was going to be a tough afternoon for Ponferradina, especially Pio born Yuri who got plenty of crowd stick. Lara tried to be flash with a couple of practice strokes at a free kick before connecting and wasting their first chance of the half. Tenerife carried on pummeling them, a ball in from Suso passed across their goalmouth as their goalie made a despairing dive.

The second goal arrived from a Cristo corner, Ayoze showed his skills are not just ground based as he scored from a sharp header. It was one way traffic, even some wild tackles and harsh referee calls couldn’t stem the flow. Moyano and Suso linked up well and set up Aridane to add the third. The big man doesn’t always get credit for his contributions, when the ball came to him he had two defenders breathing down his neck but his strength allowed him to hold them off, drag the ball aside and flick it past the keeper – just call him twinkle toes.

Tenerife dozed off a little towards the end of the half, Juande had loads of space as the defence stood still but his shot was feeble. Dare we hope for more in the second half, we certainly did, Aitor Sanz missed a chance to make it 4-0 with a soaring shot, Ayoze was hungry for his triple, two defenders squeezed him and he stumbled but instead of taking a dive he used his momentum to turn and fire the ball in the net. It was richly deserved and he rushed to share the moment with a surge of fans, that’s 16 goals now.

Juanjo replaced Aridane and Edgar swapped with Ayoze Perez and had an impressive 10 minute cameo, he put a pass onto Juanjo’s head, and his nod was a close effort. Then in injury time Edgar cut into the edge of the box, picked his spot and stroked the ball into the top corner to make it 5-0. All five markers would have graced any game, next stop second placed Deportivo. Aitor Sanz will be out after completing another group of five bookings but Diego Rivas will return as back up goalie, a big sigh of relief as we got through his suspension without untried Carlos being exposed to senior action.