A surprisingly positive season for Beirões. They were arguably the weakest squad on paper by the time the season started, but a couple of chirurgical new signings in the first few weeks brought them to a considerably interesting level.
With just 2 wins in the first 11 rounds, Tondela seemed to be heading for another struggling season, confirming the initial predictions concerning their chances before the season started.
However, ‘Beirões’ started a highly positive sequence of 5 consecutive home wins in January and February, which gave them confidence for a decisive month of April where Tondela lost only against big teams in their 6 games that month.
The affirmation of midfielder Jaume Grau and, most notably, the great influence of Mario Gonzalez goals were tremendously important for Tondela’s success after the initial struggle. Men of the house João Pedro and Yohan Tavares were just as influential.
Coach Pako was also a very interesting surprise. His tactical approach gave Tondela a much-needed capacity to adapt to different realities from one week to the next one, which proved to be crucial in that mid-season points-grabbing.
Mario Gonzalez will leave; Yohan Tavares is aging; Murillo is collecting injury problems; the squad remains very short. All these should be enough reasons for Tondela to be a strong candidate for relegation race next season, unless they can bring some surprising fresh new players like the couple they brought this season.