Ebbsfleet United’s 2016/17 squad had an excellent first workout across 90 minutes against Portugal’s LigaPro (Second Division) contenders SC Olhanense. In high temperatures at the 2,000-capacity Estádio da Nora in Ferreiras, Albufeira, Fleet fielded a strong starting lineup against a top-quality side who had begun their own pre-season programme two weeks ago. Trialist Evan Lopes was also given a start.
Captained by new signing Dave Winfield in our new away kit for this game, Fleet competed well against a side that were once Portuguese champions but the locals went ahead in the 11th minute courtesy of Jorman Aguilar. A second followed on the half-hour mark when Italian midfielder Lorenzo Galassi converted past Nathan Ashmore and a third, rather harsh on the Fleet, was scored just before half-time by the rather exotically named Martin LK (Martin Luther King Junior Morais Simões)!
More of a practice match than anything else, Daryl McMahon gave the second half over to his substitutes with all but Charlie Sheringham – who had a minor thigh strain – taking part. Fleet’s second-half performance in the heat was excellent and they registered a deserved goal 20 minutes from time when Mark Phillips got on the scoresheet. A fourth from Olhanense in the final two minutes was again somewhat harsh, this one scored by former Modena striker Doudou Mangni.
Vice chairman Peter Varney told FleetOnline, “It was a great workout and that was the main purpose of the game. They were a very, very good side and ahead of us in that they have been back training for a fortnight already. We were especially good in the second half in really hot conditions.”
Fleet rounded off their week’s training camp with a final pool session (below) before it’s back to the UK and the first of our pre-season schedule of games away at Deal Town next Saturday.
EUFC: Ashmore, Fish, Miller-Neave, Winfield, Greenidge, Cook, Rance, Kissock, Lopes, Bubb, Shields. Subs (second half): Miles, Parkes, Boulding, Phillips, Connors, Kedwell, Clark, Lewis, Deering, McLean.