If you have ever visited the island of Fuerteventura, then there is every chance you have passed by the front door of the Estadio Los Pozos. Located on the road from the airport to the capital Puerto del Rosario, this simple council-run stadium has only once seen its resident club's sparkle on the national stage, before disappearing in a puff of debt-ridden smoke.
|Los Pozos on the descent to the airport|
Los Pozos was opened in 1954 and was a basic enclosed ground with a dirt pitch for the first forty years or so. Even with the installation of an artificial surface in 1990's, Los Pozos was still incredibly basic and featured no stands, a shallow southern terrace and hard standing around all four sides of the pitch. CD Fuerteventura was the stadium's resident club, but they were outshone by a team from the north of the island, CD Corralejo. Founded in 1975, Corralejo played at the Estadio Vicente Carreño Alonso and became the first club from the island to feature in the Tercera when they won promotion in 1987. More was to follow when promotion to Segunda B was achieved in 1994, however that 94-95 season saw the club finish 19th and return to the Tercera. Corralejo returned to Segunda B for the 2002-03 season and just avoided relegation, finishing 15th. The following season saw an improvement of sorts with a fourteenth place finish, but the cost of travelling to the mainland took its toll and at the end of the season Corralejo pooled its resources with CD Fuerteventura to form Unión Deportiva Fuerteventura.
|Now where shall I sit? |
Based at Los Pozos, UD Fuertevenutra made a decent start to the 2004-05 season, but just two victories followed in the second half of the season resulting in a 17th place finish and relegation to the Tercera. Promotion back to the third tier was accomplished in 2007 with wins over Zalla & Torrevieja in the play-offs. With additional funding and a refurbished stadium to boot, UD Fuerteventura made a serious attempt at promotion to La Segunda in 2007-08. A third place standing in the league earned a play-off against Alicante CF. The first match at Los Pozos ended in a 0-0 draw, but the return leg saw Alicante romp to a 3-0 win. Clearly this was a single shot at the big time, for the 08-09 season saw budgets cut and the club struggle to a 15th place finish. In fact budgets were cut so severely that the players went unpaid for most of the season and the club was demoted to the Tercera. Worse was to follow, for despite starting the 09-10 season, the club's financial position was too grave to continue and it resigned from the league following the 0-3 defeat away to fellow islanders Pájara Playas de Jandía on 3 January 2010.
|Well, at least the roof looks sturdy - Los Pozos' southern stand|
Unión Puerto del Rosario now call Los Pozos home, and after the 2007 rebuild, it is quite a respectable little stadium. The main focus of the refurbishment was the building of a main stand on the northern side. The close proximity of the main road behind this raised, open stand means that it tapers from east to west. In the centre is a boxy red building that houses the stadium's only concession to any corporate guests or club officials. Opposite the main stand is the stadium's only cover. This southern stand utilises the old terrace and has around 200 red and white seats have been screwed on to the old steps. A rather makeshift press box has been erected at the rear of the stand. Over this jumble hangs a shallow cantilevered roof, the supports of which have been bolted to the wall of an adjacent basketball court. Los Pozos has a capacity of 2,000, but with attendances for Unión's games barely reaching three figures, you should have no trouble finding a seat.
Labels: Canarias, Tercera or Below