With Portimonense’s next official match against Vitória de Guimarães not due to be played until the evening of Sunday, September 23, manager António Folha will have had three full weeks to assess his eighth August deadline signings and put together a hopefully more potent starting eleven.
Part of this process has been the scheduling of several practice matches which so far has seen the club’s experimental first choice team take on its U23 side last Friday. Fluminense on-loan striker João Carlos only took four minutes to get on the score sheet as the ‘seniors’ went on to record a 3-1 win. A further rehearsal is due to take place today (Wednesday) with Louletano providing the opposition while Farense are pencilled in for Saturday.
Two principals still missing from action are Shoya Nakajima and Jackson Martinez. Both are in the Far East albeit for different reasons – Jackson has returned to China to settle his personal affairs while Nakajima was called up by Japan for two friendly internationals. The first of these against Chile did not take place last Friday as an earthquake struck the Hokkaido island venue, but Tuesday’s match with Costa Rica in Osaka saw Nakajima in the starting line-up for the first time, proving to be the most active player on the pitch as well as setting up the opening goal during the dominant 3-0 victory.
By SKIP BANDELE