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Santa Cruz de Tenerife Part 8 – Rekindled Spirit

It’s arguably our best season to date with an all-time record points tally and Champions League football secured for only the second time in our clubs history.

A typically strong finish to the season took us close to the unimaginable, just 3 points off winning the title. We finished on 81 points, our highest ever points tally! Barcelona and Real Madrid occupy the top 2 spots, as expected.

Immerging Youth Talents

Abdou Diakhate

With only modest finances it’s very difficult to compete with the big spending heavyweights of Barcelona and Madrid. With that in mind I’ve been concentrating on bringing in young talent over the past couple of seasons and developing them into first team regulars. The end of year awards are proof that it’s been a productive business model for us:

  • The La Liga ‘Young Player of the Year’ award went to our wonderkid midfielder Abdou Diakhate of Senegal. He’s become a staple and reliable force in the center of the park, contributing to all game phases as a box-to-box midfielder. He finishes the season with an AV R of 7.71, 7 goals and 6 assists
  • 2nd place went to our young South African playmaker, Phakamani Mahlambi, with an AV R of 7.53, 1 goal and 10 assists

Further Rewards

It’s a team effort of course but finishing 2nd in the ‘Spanish Manager of the Year’ award, behind Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde, was a nice touch. More importantly though our collective efforts won us the ‘Spanish Most Improved Team of the Year’ award, as voted for by the Spanish press.

Dominic Oduro wins the ‘Fans Player of the Season’, again, and ‘Young Player of the Season’, again. Demarai Gray is our ‘Signing of the Season’ with a 7.54 AV R, 7 goals and 10 assists.

Upgrades and Development

£8.5M has been pumped into upgrading the youth and training facilities now that the season has come to a close. I’ll be looking to expand the stadium too if possible so we can take full advantage of our current European status. Some decent Champions League gate receipts will undoubtedly boost the club finances.

Transfer Dealings

A number of exciting young prospects will be joining the club pre-season. With high potential, relatively low wages and long term contracts they feel like risk free investments. A cohort of regens have signed along with Chidiebere Nwakali and Demarai Gray, who’ll be making his loan deal permanent for £9M after a sensational season down the right flank.

Demarai Gray