The case of Santa Clara is, at this moment, unique and unprecedented in the panorama of the main echelon of Portuguese football. While all the other teams return, on the limit, today to the pitch with individualized training, the Azoreans will continue the initial plan, that is, with the players to fulfill the program at home. And for several reasons.
The first is that there is still no response from the Regional Government to the request made for the use of grass pitches, since the timing of the deflation is different in the Azores, and changes from island to island, with São Miguel pointing to this possibility only on the 25th. Then because the coach himself, João Henriques, remains in quarantine in a hotel in Ponta Delgada and should only be discharged in the middle of this week. And then because, no matter how good a will, the stadium and sports complexes in Laranjeiras and Lajedo do not offer the security conditions required in the context of the current situation.
End of season off the island
In this scenario of uncertainties, a fact is already accomplished: Santa Clara will not play any of the five games they have visited, until the end of the season, at the São Miguel Stadium. The sports venue, owned by the Regional Government of the Azores, does not meet the required safety requirements, so the reds will move weapons and luggage to the Mainland.
The definition of where the camp will be held for the conclusion of the championship has not yet been decided, awaiting indications from the League as to which stadium (or stadiums) will compete in the missing challenges. From there, they will select a place to stay on internship during the weeks necessary to conclude this season.
Aveiro, Coimbra, Leiria or Algarve (stadiums of Euro-2004) are the strongest possibilities for Santa Clara, venues that are without competition from the League, but the possibility of rotation is not ruled out. Tomorrow’s meeting in the League should clarify these doubts.