Uncertain outlook

THE FAILURE of the region’s two principal football clubs to achieve promotion to the Superliga has had drastic consequences after the end of the current season. At Olhanense, manager Paulo Sergio, has thrown in the towel and has taken charge of Santa Clara on the Azores.

His replacement will be Manuel Balela, who has been working in Morocco’s second division. The experienced coach, who will return to Portugal this month, has had one previous spell at the club. Star winger Jorge Vidigal has also left Olhão. The 28-year-old has joined newly promoted Beira-Mar and may be followed by Alnoudji, Silva, Branquinho and Moses if the club’s asking prices are met. The formation of a limited company injecting new funds has been postponed.

In Portimão, manager Diamantino Miranda is staying, but most of the current team has been dissolved. Duka has retired and will become assistant coach, while a total of 11 players have not had their contracts renewed. Only goalkeeper Fouhami, the defenders Pessoa and Abreu and a brace of midfielders have been retained. In a radical move to restructure the squad, young local players are sought to go into the next season. On a more uplifting note, Portimonense will have a player at the World Cup in Germany: the aforementioned Marco Abreu has been called up to represent his native Angola.

Lower leagues: Messinenses celebrated promotion to the national second division for the first time in their history, following a 1-1 draw at Ferreiras. Hundreds of travelling fans feted coach Luís Coelho, who managed the same achievement with Silves the previous season. The share of the points also saved the opponents on the day from relegation, while Lagoa fulfilled a similar objective by beating Beja 2-1. Both teams will remain in the third division next season.

Senior football is set to return to the Algarve’s capital following a disastrous 12 months that saw Farense ejected from the regionalised third division. The Faro club, which has been in freefall for the past five years, will make a new beginning in the Algarve district league, either under its present banner, or in conjunction with Algarve United. In the latter case the new club will be called “Algarve Farense 1910”.