When you see what has happened to football clubs in the region of Extremadura over the past decade or so, you can't help but worry when another little club emerges from a small provincial town and try their luck in the national leagues. Arroyo Club Polideportivo won Group XIV of the Tercera with consummate ease in 2012, and then overcame their play-off hoodoo to beat SD Ejea and bring Segunda B football to the 6500 inhabitants of Arroyo de la Luz for the first time.
|The sporting pride of Arroyo de la Luz|
Formed in 1968, Arroyo has always played on the municipal pitch to the south east of the town, although back at the very beginning it was little more than a dirt pitch with a local flour mill providing the changing facilities. The ground was officially inaugurated on 27 June 1971. It took 30 years for the club to debut in the Tercera and their visit in the 1997-98 season was fleeting, with Arroyo finishing 18th and returning immediately to the regional leagues. A second spell in the Tercera followed in 2002, but the next three seasons were spent at the wrong end of the table, culminating in a humiliating 2004-05 campaign which saw Arroyo win just three matches. Arroyo returned to the Tercera for the 2009-10 season and this time, they were an altogether more convincing outfit. After finishing fourth, the club faced CD Alfaro in the first round of the play-offs and racked up a 3-1 win. Unfortunately Arroyo capitulated in the away leg in La Rioja, losing 4-0. A year later and a third placed finish saw them qualify for the play-offs again. This time Gimnastica Segoviana had their number, winning 2-1 on aggregate.
|Arroyo's west stand - with appendage |
Arroyo has been totally dominant in Group XIV of the 2011-12 season, winning their first ten fixtures and not suffering a reverse until week 27. Home form was particularly impressive, with all but one of their matches ending in victory for the hosts. The Estadio Municipal is perfectly respectable and functional, with a maximum capacity of 3,000. It was remodelled in the summer of 2007 when the dirt pitch was replaced with an artificial surface. A 35 metre covered stand was erected on the east side, which also houses the changing facilities. It features press facilities at the rear, but also a strange post-box like appendage which is stuck to the right of the stand. The rest of the ground is made up of temporary bleachers behind the goals and a short seated stand on the half-way line on the east side. This stand was added during the 2011-12 campaign and brings the stadium's seated capacity up to 500. Since 2010, the stadium has also hosted a summer academy ran by Real Madrid, the first ran by the club outside the Comunidad de Madrid.
|Well, the stadium is ready for Segunda B - Is the team?|
Arroyo proved a safer bet than Sporting Villanueva, who were the last side to emerge from Extremadura, finishing in 15th position in both the 12-13 & 13-14 campaigns. They also bring the added bonus of a lively local derby against CP Cacereño
, who lie barely ten miles to the east.
Labels: 2BG4, Extremadura, Segunda 2B