For the second consecutive season the Rojillos finished in second spot in the RFEF 3 (Fifth Tier) and once again their dreams of promotion disappointingly ended in the first phase of the playoffs.

There was a lot of optimism at the beginning of the season with the arrival of the new manager Argentine Leonel “Pipa”Gancedo. The former River Plate and Osasuna player had played football at the top level but his reign as manager of the Rojillos lasted around four months. Even though his side was yet to lose a match, the club had felt his relationship with the players was poor and was deteriorating so the UD Lanzarote board decided to part ways with the 53 year old.

It was a massive decision for the hierarchy of the club to make because the backlash from the fans and press was huge but unless you are at the training sessions then it is impossible to give a non bias opinion. Nazareno Brindisi along with Sergio Hernández took over the responsibility.

Typically the Rojillos lost their first game following the departure of”Pipa”in a 2-1 away defeat in Fuerteventura versus CD Herbania, and in a season dominated by four clubs they slipped from first to fourth spot in an instant.

Raúl leading out the team with delighted club mascot Alejandro.

To compound the problems, on the final day of the winter transfer window the league´s best player and top goal scorer Di Renzo upped and walked out after receiving an offer from a team in a higher division leaving the club no time to find a replacement.


Despite the turmoil, the Rojillos then went unbeaten for the next seven matches winning five of those and had moved up to third spot before facing a tasty home match versus the league leaders CD Tenerife B. A win for Lanzarote would have taken them to within a point of their opponents.

Football is all about moments and every club will have defining moments over the course of the season. On this crunch day Lanzarote had three massive moments and none of them were good. In only the second minute wing back and without doubt one of the clubs best players Alex Cruz suffered an injury that would keep him out for the rest of the season.

The Rojillos persevered and were playing some great football, in the 25th minute a wonder strike by Javi Martín from 25 yards struck the underside of the crossbar. The ball clearly bounced over the line but in that situation it is impossible to blame the linesman as he was in line with their last player on the edge of the box, so understandably he couldn’t be sure and therefore didn’t award the goal. Lanzarote continued to press and on the stroke of halftime were rewarded when Chucky Pierce fired home to take a well deserved 1-0 lead into the break.

The third big moment occurred in the 60th minute, incredibly the same crossbar was rattled from a 10 yard blast by Tenerife striker Ethany, however the ball had clearly landed on the line but this time the same linesman awarded a goal amid huge protests from players and fans. I will defend the linesman on his first error but he had no defence on this occasion as he had a clear view and this “phantom” goal was a pivotal moment in this match and on the remainder of the season. The team was in disarray and the league leaders punished the Rojillos with a second and winning goal shortly after.

The fallout from this was that Lanzarote were now seven points adrift from the top and that only automatic promotion spot. Again the Rojillos fought back taking 22 out of a possible 27 points to reduce the gap to three points but it wasn’t enough as they finished in second spot.


Confidence was high going into the playoffs and in the ¼ final first leg Lanzarote returned with a credible 1-1 draw versus CF P.P. San Mateo and knew that as long as they avoided defeat in Arrecife they would be in the semi final as the team with the better league finish has the advantage but only after extra time.

Many thought the result was a foregone conclusion and Lanzarote were already in the semis. The Gran Canarian side were having none of that and in the first half were much the better team and could feel aggrieved going into the break only on level terms.

A crushing end to the season.

Lanzarote improved in the second half but the visitors were giving as good as they got and the match was forced into 30 minutes of extra time. In under a minute of the restart San Mateo stunned the 2500 crowd with a well worked goal. The Rojillos fought back and Santi Rosa shaved the post in the 117th minute and at the death, captain Ayoze Pérez struck from close range from a corner but the keeper smothered the ball and Lanzarote´s season had ended there and then.

Attendances have been superb this season.

Every Rojillo player gave their all in that match but they just didn’t connect as a unit and paid the ultimate price. Credit must also be given to CF San Mateo as they were positive from the start and played a superb match and deservedly progressed to the semi final.


On many occasions I have been asked and I have seen on social media with absolute no credibility at all, the accusation that “the club does not really want to be promoted because it would be too expensive for them”. My wife in our shop in Costa Teguise has been asked this and I usually just laugh it off but once a ridiculous rumour has spread so much people actually believe this Daily Mail nonsense.

If Lanzarote were promoted the club would gain handsome funds from the Canarian government and the Spanish Football Federation covers the costs of flights and accommodation. It is cheaper for Lanzarote to be in the fourth tier rather than the fifth. There is no mention of any conspiracy with the Conejeros (locals), possibly because it is nonsense.

I don’t think people realize how insulting this is for anyone connected to the club but especially for the players. They read these posts and comments, and of course brush them off as foolish but nevertheless they see and hear it including our four captains Ayoze Pérez, Raul, Alejandro and Ruyman. Can anyone say that any of these four leaders don’t want promotion? The most remarkable thing I feel is if a fan does believe this fantasy then why would they waste their time and money watching them?


Back to reality now and onto the many positives. The fans player of the season was Adrián Machín following a wonderful second half to the campaign where he scored on seven occasions and was a delight to watch.

UD Lanzarote player of the season 2023/24 Adrián Machín.

Another cause of celebration is the team’s qualification in Spain´s Premier Cup competition the Copa Del Rey. Lanzarote has a rich history in this competition beating La Liga sides such as Athletic Bilbao, Mallorca and CD Tenerife and losing narrowly to Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and the great Real Madrid side back in 2002. It is a dream but this is one of the reasons all of us love this sport so much because the impossible is made possible.

A great source of income for the club has been the match day raffle with its six great prizes. The club wishes to express its thanks to our formidable raffle team with Pilar leading at the front, Jacci in midfield and Lorraine in defence. Lately and with the good attendances Leigh has come in and performed a majestic role acting as sweeper, so you might as well have your one Euro ready for a raffle ticket and pass the girls with ease.

Our great raffle team being charmed by Antonio.


Martin and Sarah from Colorworks has for the umpteenth year kindly produced our posters free of charge that are pinned up in all the bars by myself in Costa Teguise, Dave Bateman, Roberta, and also Jacci in Puerto Del Carmen whilst Sam and Kim cover Playa Blanca. Thank you guys, this has taken a heavy burden off my knees and I am, as is the club delighted in the dedication that you all show.

Bar Arenas and many others in Playa Blanca have our posters kindly put up by Sam and Kim.

I would like to thank Nigel Busby for once again informing me of my many errors when writing reports, updates, etc. The poor lad sends me an apologetic text so I won’t be offended informing me of my mistake(s). I hugely appreciate it Nigel.

There are so many people to thank including the sponsors, all who donate for the raffles and our superb photographer Chus Romero whose standard of photos is improving year on year.

I wish to thank our club president Juan Carlos Albuixech and all of the clubs directors for their passion, hard work and determination in their endless fight for promotion. I am confident that the club is in good hands especially with the incredible amount of work from the clubs general manager César Saavedra. If anybody has any doubt of passion that leads this club then I urge you to spend a week with this man, he, along with his wife Davinia are the engine of UD Lanzarote.

Winners Iain and Della of one of the Gran Rifa prizes being congratulated by the clubs general manager César Saavedra and President Juan Carlos Albuixech.

It would be impossible for me to dedicate so much time to the club if it wasn’t for our customers that visit our shop in Costa Teguise or the market stall in Teguise every Sunday morning to buy club merchandise, so to all of you, thanks. My wife Anna is usually in the shop and most people think that she is the lady that just sells the shirts but I couldn’t even begin to describe the work she puts in bringing every product to fruition.

Our shop in Costa Teguise is at CC Nautical, Local 25 (behind Café Oppa) and will be open throughout the summer with its normal opening hours of Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and also every Wednesday from 5-7pm. The merchandise stall at Teguise market will be open every Sunday from 9.30am to 2pm.

Keeper Ruyman outside our shop in Costa Teguise.

Finally the heart of a football club is its fans and UD Lanzarote is fortunate to have the biggest following in the league, home and away. On behalf of all at the club we would like to thank everyone who comes to the matches, all our overseas supporters and a special thank you to those few who every year will buy their Goldcard especially from Overseas or that become members (socios). You guys must dread that email coming through normally in August asking if you will continue your membership. I will be in touch.

The Trifulka fan club are passionate about their club and those of you that don’t know them they are the noisy ones on the end. They sing from start to finish and create the atmosphere within the stadium. On occasions the other side of the stand is quieter but that is understandable as there are holidaymakers just wishing to see the match and sometimes people just want to enjoy the spectacle without the noise. It’s great when members of the Trifulka pass by and encourage others to clap, cheer and sing. Keep it up guys as we need every type of supporter.

Members of the Trifulka fan club celebrating with the players.

The 2024/25 season is likely to start early September but as most of you know the Spanish Football Federation only release the fixtures a few weeks before the start of the season. This is frustrating as so many people want to plan their trip around a match but as soon as the fixtures are released I will post them on Facebook, Lanzarote football club and the website www.lanzarotefootball.com. Season tickets will be available in August.

I hope that you all have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you all at the beginning of the 2024/25 season.