Santa Clara

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Liga

Round 34

2022-05-14 21:30 More Previews
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Season Guide
2021/2022

Santa Clara

In


Mohamed Buldini (att) Académica, Paulo Henrique (def) Penafiel, Ricardo Fernandes (gk) Académico de Viseu, Kennedy Boateng (def) SV Ried; Ricardinho (mid) Torreense - return from loan

Out


João Lucas (sp)(def) Académica, Ukra (sp)(att) ending contract, Diogo Salomão (sp)(mid) ending contract, Lucas Marques (sp)(mid) CD Mafra, André Ferreira (sp)(gk) Paços de Ferreira, Fábio Cardoso (k)(def) FC Porto

An excellent performance in 2020-2021 for Açorianos. In fact, it was their best season ever, having reached European competitions for the first time in their history. Santa Clara has been doing very well in recent years in building their squad. Açorianos have been careful and sensible in their approach to the market, and this season seems to be no different. For now, only the key centre-half Fábio Cardoso left, while there are rumours about Morita and Carlos Júnior having a few clubs interested in them. Keeping last season's backbone has been the club's high priority. Kennedy Boateng arrived from Austria to replace Cardoso at the back, but for now João Afonso seems the partner for Villanueva. Keeping Morita will be crucial to keep the high quality in midfield. But there are good news with Anderson Carvalho and Rúben Oliveira now free of the constant injuries that bothered them last season. Keeping the talented playmaker Lincoln for his 3rd season in the club is a great achievement. In attack, it would be great to keep the star of last season, Carlos Júnior. The winger was the biggest source for creation in attack. Ukra and Salomão left after disappointing seasons. Segunda Liga second top scorer Bouldini arrived from Académica and may be an interesting addition. Coach Daniel Ramos should keep rotating between the traditional 4-2-3-1 (with Lincoln as n.10) and a 4-3-3 with a more compact midfield. In any version, Açorianos will try to keep their positive, attacking style, mixing possession and direct style at times.

Target


Granting a top half position like in all recent seasons is seen as the obligation. Picking up a European spot for the second time in a row would be great.

Season Review
2020/2021

№6: Santa Clara

Excellent season ended in European qualification and record for points at Primeira Liga. Coach Daniel Ramos managed to improve last season’s performance and brought Açorianos to their highest achievement in competition. Açorianos struggled to get into a positive form, as they picked only 4 wins and lost 7 times in the first 14 rounds. Coach Ramos took a while to find the ideal shape and XI and that resulted in Santa Clara having a poor first part of the season. However, as soon as a stable lineup was finally found, Santa Clara started an impressive run from late January to mid April, where they almost only lost to big teams. The arrival of Japanese Morita had a major impact on the team as they finally found their true balance. Marco in goal and Cardoso at the back found a new reliable partner this season in Venezuelan Villanueva. Morita is a great asset, together with Anderson in the middle, giving enough backup for Lincoln to focus in creating plays. Cryzan intercalated good moments with some quiet games. The star of the team was unquestionably the winger/forward Carlos Júnior. The former Atlético MG reject finally lived up to his potential this season and was the references in attack that the team needed after Thiago Santana was gone. Santa Clara is expected to be a solid force for next season, but it will be interesting to see how they will cope with playing European midweek games for the first time in their history.


Player of the Season: Carlos Junior

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