U. Adarve

Unión Adarve

This week I have come across possibly one of the most interesting football stories I have read in many a year. It deals with a Madrid club who play literally walking distance from the Real
Madrid Santiago Bernabéu stadium but who are a million miles away.

The club is Unión Adarve and their presidente is the charismatic Luis Gómez whose team has just been promoted to Segunda B, the third level of Spanish football. There is nothing unusual about a promotion story but when you look into the background it is an amazing (fairy-)tale.

The club is just 25 years’ old and is what is called a “barrio” club. These traditionally gets their players and supporters from one local district or neighbourhood of a city. Often these clubs have kids teams from 4/5 years all the way through to adults and often there is a ladies team, a 5-a-side team and a seniors’ team too. If anybody watched the TV series “Pelotas”, you will know what I mean. Generally these adult teams have no massive ambitions but they are a vital social function of the area. Unión Adarve have done it slightly differently though! With the lowest budget in their Tercera division and after a poor start they got through the league and the playoffs to reach the dizzy heights of 2B! Note also that they do NOT charge for admission …..ever! This season too they have stated again that they will not charge for admissiom. In English terms they are playing at the same level as Portsmouth, Bradford City, Wigan and Charlton ….but their capacity is just eight hundred!

Luis Gómez used a recent article in AS, the national Spanish sports’ paper to make his thoughts very clear about the amateur nature of the lower leagues in Spanish football. It is frankly eye-opening! This week I am looking to make an appointment to see whether we can create some sort of support for the club à la Peña Internacional Malaguista at Málaga CF or, more likely FC Torrevieja with its famous Torry Army.

Whatever happens, I wish them every success.

(PS The season got off to a good start with a 1-1 away draw at Valladolid B)

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