Never was the phrase ‘a game of 2 halves’ more apt for the Britanicos, than season 2006-07.
FC Británico de Madrid first team playing in the Santillana League were so fast out of the blocks that it wasn’t till just before Xmas that they lost their first game and this a one nil defeat to the leaders Instalacion Pumo. Win it and the first team would have enjoyed a Happy Festive season at the top of the league. What a shame they went into the game without 6 of the regular players, forcing changes in personnel and positions. During the game the consistent Dan Mullarkey received a blow on the back of the head forcing another change.
By the time the first part of the season had finished the team were joint second along with Transportes Professionales, both teams keen to keep up the pressure on the leaders.
The second half started with a wonderful match and well deserved draw with Transportes leaving both clubs still well placed to challenge for the top spot. Difficult to explain but this draw seemed to serve Transportes better as they went on to hardly lose a game, while FC Británico de Madrid suffered 4 successive losses. Instead of a serious league challenge FC Británico de Madrid now faced a battle to finish in the top 3. A couple of wins against teams in 5th and 6th in the league and a draw against Pumo meant they went into the last league match knowing that if they won they would finish 3rd for the second season in a row. Unfortunately a goal conceded in the last 5 minutes against Kiosko Leon prevented this and the team had to settle for 5th position.
Contrast the start of FC Británico de Madrid first team with that of FC Británico de Madrid second team. After 4 games not a point gained and the dream management partnership of Rami Ali and Rob Turner was on the verge of turning into a nightmare. But these 2 are nothing if not resilient and determined. Rob took himself off the front line to anchor the midfield and Rami worked tirelessly behind the scenes thinking about different formations and ensuring everyone was involved. This resulted in some weeks having players who couldn’t even make the bench. It was inevitable that there would be a recovery and the first signs were there even before the return of Dave Hughes. A couple of victories before Christmas and the team could look forward to the New Year.
Enter Dave Hughes another catalyst in the upturn. 7 goals after 2 games became 13 after 5 games and so on as Dave went about breaking every Britanicos goalscoring record whichever existed and establishing a few new ones. The final tally was 42 goals in half a season. This helped the team to lose only one more league game and reach the semi final of the Bunwer Cup, a one nil loss and Dave didn’t score. It was not all Dave as in the final of the Consolidation Cup they played without him and walked off with the trophy, sterling performances from regulars Mike Ojo, Prince, Jack and departing American Brent Ferguson proving a solid base to victory.
At the end of the season the FC Británico de Madrid represented United Kingdom in the Mundialito in Madrid. This is a tournament at a level higher than the Saturday Leagues and invariably the club comes up against some of the stronger immigrant teams. In the first game the players dropped to their knees when Chile scored with virtually the last kick of the game depriving the club of their first ever point in the competition. An indifferent performance against Morocco resulted in a 5 nil defeat before the club recovered to put 9 past Angola and a first victory in the tournament.
During the season there were a number of other matches including a win and a defeat against Paraguay the winners of the Mundialito and internal games like England v Rest of the World and Veteran Matches.
The club also held their regular Sala Inter Company Tournament at Colegio Nino Jesus near the Retiro. It was sponsored by Nexus for the first time. Barrie Jackson of Nexus was in attendance and presented the winners Don’s Deli with the trophy. This has led to Nexus sponsoring the club for the next 2 seasons.
At the end of season dinner the annual awards went to the following:
Players of the Year
First Team: John Mckeon
Second Team: David Hughes
Most Sporting Player
First Team: Shared Marco Bos and Warwick Smith
Second Team: Paul Reidy
Club Pichichi: Dave Hughes
Special Award to Non-Brit: Brent Ferguson
Warwick Smith also played in the annual Santillana League Select Match and Andre Fareos was chosen to play for a Mundialito Squad of all participating countries against Real Madrid ‘C’
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