Manzanares - Campo Municipal de José Camacho

Not too many people from outside of the Region of Castilla-La Mancha have heard of Manzanares Club de Fútbol, but as you know from earlier posts, that doesn't stop this site from spreading the word. I'm indebted to Nick Puñal, who grew up in Manzanares and until July 2012, managed the club's social media, for providing most of the pictures and the background information.
The Larios-inspired Eagle on the club crest above the old entrance to the ground
Football had been played in Manzanares since the early 1930’s and the number of amateur clubs in the town grew to five in the years immediately after the Civil War. Whilst providing plenty of local interest, these clubs, namely Gimnástica Manzanares, Castilla, Manzanares FC, Renfe CF and Olimpia Manzanares did not pose much of threat beyond the provincial boundaries. However, in the late 1940’s José Camacho Malpica sought to unify the town's clubs in order to build a squad capable of playing in the national Tercera Division. Finally, in 1949 the town had a unified team as Manzanares Club de Fútbol took it's first steps.
Campo Municipal de Educación y Descanso in 1968
The club played at the Campo Municipal de Educación y Descanso from 1949 to 1969. This was a basic enclosure on thCalle Alfonso Mellado around 400 metres south of the present location. José Camacho Malpica's dream of Tercera football came to fruition in the late 1950's when the club spent four seasons in the Tercera, with a best finish of eighth in 1959-60. The club moved north to their present ground in 1969, which included a short covered stand seating 309 on the west side. Given La Mancha's extreme weather, the ground featured an earth pitch until the late 1980's.
Very dapper - The main stand and top notch artificial surface
Manzanares CF returned to the Tercera in 1989 and to mark the ascent, the stadium received a serious make-over. The main stand was refurbished and expanded to seat 1000 people. Hard standing was added to all other  areas of the ground, raising its capacity of 5,000. During an eight year stay in the Tercera, the club achieved two fourth place finishes and therefore qualified for the end of season play-offs for promotion to Segunda 2b. The first in 1992-93 saw Manzanares finish bottom of their group behind, Atletico Malagueno, Jerez CF and Mairena. Three years later and the club was back in the play-offs, but once again finished bottom of the table behind  Cacereno, Isla Cristina and Maracena.
Campo Municipal de Fútbol José Camacho. Long name, small ground.
After a four year spell back in the Tercera at the turn of this century, Manzanares CF dropped to the regional leagues. The club replaced the troublesome and expensive natural pitch with an artificial surface in 2004 and last season, Manzanares CF returned to the Tercera and finished in a creditable thirteenth position. Suitated within the town's sports complex, the Campo Municipal de José Camacho is a well maintained and bright provincial stadium, perfectly suited to Manzanares needs. You can read more about this fantastic little club here.

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