Portimonense: shaping up

Portimonense, and Portuguese professional football in general, is eagerly awaiting the determinations made by Thursday’s council of ministers meeting due to map out a return to relative normality.

The indications are that training can resume during May with the remaining 10 first and second division league fixtures of the current season being played out in June and July – subject to strict health controls being applied.

Meanwhile, two players in particular are hoping to benefit from the long interruption. Dener, with the Algarvians since 2014 and with 71 appearances to his name, is aiming to reclaim his regular starting place just behind the forward line following some setbacks.

In contrast to the long-serving 28-year-old, who has signed a new contract until 2024, fellow Brazilian Matheus Guedes is only just beginning his career at the top level. Having made the switch from Santos to the south of Portugal during the winter, the imposing 20-year-old central defender – 1.95m – has so far featured in 14 games (three goals) for the U-23s and looks certain to move up in the near future.

Less promising is the outlook for ‘eternal talent’ Marlos Moreno. Loaned out by Manchester City where he failed to make an impact, the now 23-year-old striker has not scored in 18 appearances for Portimonense and could be on his way in summer.

Also on the look-out for a new club, albeit for different reasons, is third choice goalkeeper Carlos Henriques – currently on loan with Covilhã – who has not been able to get past regulars Gonda and Ricardo Ferreira.

By SKIP BANDELE