Winning start for Olhanense


Several hundred fans turned up at the impressive Colina Verde Golf & Sports Resort at Maragota near Moncarapacho on Monday night to watch Olhanense take on Football League new boys Crawley Town in a pre-season workout.

Four dedicated supporters from Crawley had flown over on the morning of the game and were flying back later that evening. The superb Colina Verde pitch, only installed earlier this year, enabled both squads to play open attacking football.

Steve Evans, the Crawley manager, was full of praise for the facilities: “We were here for a few days before we played Manchester United in the FA Cup and we were able to prepare ourselves in the superb surroundings. We are hoping that the week we’ve spent here now will enable us to acquit ourselves well as we start life in the Football League.”

Former Arsenal, Reading, Yeovil and Hereford player Ben Smith gave the visitors the lead after 33 minutes. Sporting loanee Wilson Eduardo and Nuno Piloto scored in the second-half to give the home side a 2-1 victory.

New signings Luís Figueroa and Victor Meza whose arrival was delayed by a volcanic eruption in Chile.
New signings Luís Figueroa and Victor Meza whose arrival was delayed by a volcanic eruption in Chile.

Ten of Olhanense’s summer signings were given a useful run-out by manager Daúto Faquirá, who was pleased with his players fitness levels.

New signings right-side defensive midfield Luís Figueroa and forward Victor Meza only arrived from South America the previous day having been delayed several days by the clouds of ash spewing from Chile’s Puyehue volcano, which grounded flights at airports in the capitals of Uruguay and Argentina.

Figueroa has appeared twelve times for the Chile national team whilst the Argentinian Victor Meza did not hide his enthusiasm for what it says is “the biggest challenge of his career” as the two players make their first foray into European football.

The Algarve side have also signed Portugal U20 international Salvador Agra from Varzim but have lost loan player Bruno Pereirinha, who has been recalled by Sporting.

Brighton fans set to invade Olhão

Some 800 Brighton fans are expected in the Algarve next week. The team, managed by former Chelsea hero Gus Poyet, arrive on Monday and play a Spurs XI on Tuesday evening (kick-off TBC) at the Albufeira Municipal Stadium and on Wednesday, July 20 v. Paris St Germain, also at Albufeira kick-off at 8pm, according to the PSG website.

On Saturday evening, July 23, the most important pre-season friendly will be against SC Olhanense at the José Arcanjo Stadium.

Watch this space in next week’s paper for details of kick-off time.

The Expat Supporters Group, thanks to the input of the Algarve Resident newspaper and advertisers from the Algarve and Sussex, are printing 1,000 souvenir match day programmes.

In addition, a limited edition of commemorative scarves will be on sale. The programmes and scarves will feature the new Brighton logo only officially launched two weeks ago.

Olhanense President Isidoro Sousa said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the supporters from Brighton as our two seaside communities meet for the first time. The club is very proud of its expat fans group which is unique in Portuguese football. The club will be donating fifty percent of the proceeds of the game to the Portuguese Red Cross so we hope as many people as possible will come along and make it a festive occasion.”