The 2020-2021 regional football season finally kicks off this weekend with CD Jávea making the short journey to Dénia to take on local rivals in the opening game of the campaign. The game will take place this Sunday 18th October, kicking off at 5.30pm, and there will be limited capacity in the Campo Diego Mena available for spectators who will be required to wear a face mask and observe social distancing.
Head coach Diego Miñana has had plenty of time to prepare his squad over the summer as the continuing health crisis made the return of competitive football uncertain for some time. Eventually the authorities gave permission for the season to begin in mid-October and the FFCV announced a new format which sees the Valencian Regional Preferente split into six smaller groups instead of the normal four.
Miñana, considered one of the most prestigious coaches in regional football, has worked to build a strong side for the new season, one to build on the potential of the last couple of seasons which have seen CD Jávea push for promotion. Last season was brought to a premature end by the COVID-19 health crisis with Jávea finished 5th, four points adrift of the top three. With Miñana’s appointment in May, the club have made no secret of their desire to finish amongst the promotion play-off positions this season.
Several new faces have been brought in to strengthen the squad, including Argentinian striker Juan Cruz Jorrin and midfielder Luis Carlos who both have plenty of experience at Third Division level as well as Cameroon striker François Obele who arrives from CFI Alicante, a strong side which finished runners-up in Group IV last season.
A decent pre-season campaign produced five victories and two draws. A single goal from Guerrero, last season’s top scorer, secured a victory over Third Division side CD Olimpic whilst the striker was on hand again to hit the back of the net in a spirited 2-2 draw against FC Jove Español, also from the higher division. Miñana’s squad has shown the potential to be a major force this season in a difficult group.
There could be some familiar faces in the Dénia side on Sunday, captained once again by former midfielder Carlos Ribes. Striker Panucci never had much luck at Jávea and was released midway through the season to join UD Oliva for the rest of the campaign. Renzo Ridao also failed to shine during his time in Jávea and returns across the hill to his former club. Popular midfielder and free-kick specialist Dani García, who topped the scoring charts for Jávea in the 2013/2014 season, could also make an appearance as well as striking power-house Faye who finished top scorer for CD Jávea at the end of the 2015/2016 season.