By Steve Hibberd
It was late July when Torry embarked on their first pre season friendly, but now all eyes are firmly on the start of the new Preferente league season. For on Sunday 2 September (ko 7pm), Torry welcome newly promoted Horadada to Nelson Mandela Stadium. Having already played 7 friendlies, a mixture of higher and lower opposition, they are well prepared for what promises to be a successful league season.
They had intended to fit in 8 matches, but unfortunately last Saturday, the opposition cried off only a few hours before kick off. Evidently, Idella CF (a club formed from the ashes of Elda, who went bust through financial irregularities) could not field a side, which is a poor excuse at such a late stage. Hopefully most fans were notified of the cancellation, but those who did turn up were treated to Torry´s squad training.
Friendly number 6 involved a home match against Murcian 3rd div side UCAM ´B´ (Catholic university of Murcia). Although there was plenty of actions for the fans to enjoy, ref Lopez Larrosa took centre stage by booking 5 Torry and 2 visiting players. Being an ex referee in English senior leagues, I find it amazing that local Spanish refs fail to understand that friendly means exactly that, whereas by using more common sense, cards could be implemented more sparingly.
They are book happy enough in league matches, but we live in hope that next season will be different. In a match that Torry dominated, the visitors best chance arrived on 32 mins, a shot by Camacho which was well saved by Juampe.
Torry fought back well, and on 42 mins, a centre by Fran found Manez, but his effort was blocked on the line. On the hour mark, Bruno played the ball through to Revi, but alas his shot was off target.
Torry´s endeavour was rewarded on 72 mins, when a free kick by Cabillo was headed on by Rodri for Akapo to score from close range. The game finished 1-0, fully deserved for a hard working Torry outfit.
A trip to Santa Barbara Stadium in Petrel proved to be the venue for Torry´s last run out. This was hosts Petrelense first pre season friendly, and it showed. Relegated from Preferente div last season, they held Torry 0-0 at half time, but then the floodgates opened. Torry captain Jorge made it 1-0 on 59 mins, then 6 mins later, an assist by Manez was finished off in style by Revi to make it 2-0.
On 67 mins Omar scored from close range (strange but true!), before Revi notched up a brace 13 mins later to make it 4-0. Torry sub Ulises scored on 90 mins, then in stoppage time, the hosts grabbed a consolation goal. So although a rampant Torry took a while to get going, this 5-1 victory is an encouraging sign that goals can be forthcoming.
Fresh from this victory, the Torry team were in evidence at the offical launch of the new kit, and promotion of season tickets. Held at the clubs HQ in the town centre, the event was attended by the Queen of Salt, local PP councillors and of course Torry Army members. Unfortunately, none of the ruling local government officers bothered turning up, or even replying to the invitation.