Olhanense spring surprise

By Chris Wright [email protected]

Flamboyant Abel Xavier takes the reins as the Olhão based club start rebuilding for the coming season.

The 40-year-old former Portuguese international full-back was best remembered for his crazy, fluffy bleached hairstyles. He played for Benfica, Bari (Italy) and PSV Eindhoven before being signed by Everton in 1999 where he made 43 appearances over three seasons.

He impressed Liverpool manager Gerard Houiller who paid €1 million to take him across town in 2002 – the last player to play for both Merseyside clubs.

He later went on to play for Middlesbrough where, following the UEFA Cup tie against Skoda Xanthi, he failed a drugs test. He was found guilty of using a banned anabolic steroid and, although he has always denied any wrongdoing, he was banned for 18 months which was reduced to 12 months on appeal.

Xavier first came to prominence as a member of the Portugal U20 side that won the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1991. He has played alongside some of the world’s great players – including Luis Figo, Jorge Costa, Steve Gerrard and latterly David Beckham at LA Galaxy (USA), where he ended his playing career.

This is Xavier’s first managerial appointment and as yet he does not yet have the necessary UEFA 4th level coaching badge required by the league.

Porfirio Amorim, who has the required qualification and was the former sporting director and coach of Trofense, has been appointed as his deputy. At Wednesday’s press conference Xavier said: “I had a wonderful four years on Merseyside and hope to bring some of the dedication and commitment shown by those clubs to the Olhanense set-up.”

Xavier, who is fluent in Italian and English, was also able to translate for Italian entrepreneur Igor Campedelli, who said there were encouraging times ahead but fans must be patient as the squad of youth and experience will take time to be moulded into a cohesive unit.

|| Embargo lifted

Olhanense have provided all the required documents and certificates to the satisfaction of the Professional Football League, so the embargo on signing players has been lifted. Olhanense have wasted no time in signing Yuri Machado, a 21 year-old keeper from Paulista (Brazil); Jorge Ribeiro, the former Portuguese international left-back; Hernan Novick, a 24 year-old midfielder from Uruguay and Victor Bastos a 23 year-old central defender from SC Braga.