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The "other" Oviedo: CD Universidad de Oviedo - A historic university with a historic football team (29th October, 2017)

In the 2006-07 Segunda B season, Real Oviedo were relegated to the Tercera - the fourth tier of Spanish football. Predictably so - three different managers (José Antonio Velázquez, Ramiro Solís, Ismael Díaz) took over that season, the squad's top goalscorer, Jon Carrera, had a tally of four goals, and the team didn't win a single game away from home.

As it turns out, the turmoil wasn't contained on the pitch - in 2006 Alberto González took a controlling share in the club. He did not pay social security or tax to the inland revenue and then disappeared - perhaps Cuba, possibly Panama - and is now wanted on two counts of fraud.

But there was another Oviedo team that was relegated from the Segunda B that year too.

CD Universidad de Oviedo, the team that represents the University of Oviedo, also went down in only their third year in the Segunda B.

They have never come back up, and seven consecutive top 10 finishes were followed by a disastrous 2014-15 Tercera campaign, which meant demotion to the regional fifth tier. And they're not even doing well there, with 15th and 12th place finishes - the future isn't exactly exciting...

The idea of ​​creating a club was born in 1960, when the football team of the University of Oviedo won the Spanish University Football Championship held in Barcelona, and several footballers, along with the head of physical education of the University, Manolo García, agreed to present the idea to the rector José Virgili Vinadé, who gave his consent. Thus was created the club with the name Club Deportivo Universitario. Later, it was renamed Club Atlético Universitario (CAU), in 1987, Asociación Deportiva Universidad de Oviedo, and in 2014, Club Deportivo Universidad de Oviedo.

They played their first official game on 29th October, 1961, a 3-1 win against Asociación Deportiva Guillén Lafuerza. However, their first major sporting success was their promotion to the Tercera (at the time the third tier in Spanish football), in the 1974-75 season - a success that ended with a solitary season where they ranked 18th. The second time round, in the 1994-95 season, the club was promoted back to the Tercera and quite surprisingly enjoying a spell of dominance in the division. They were unsuccessful in the 1997-98 promotion playoffs to the Segunda B, gaining only four points out of a possible 18 and finishing last. But the second time they qualified for the playoffs, in the 1999-00 season, they were much more successful, gaining 15 points in six games and ascending to the Segunda B for the first time in their history.

Their Segunda B adventure lasted two seasons - finishing in 13th and 20th place respectively - and the Oviedo-based side have only played one more Segunda B season. In 2006, they finished first in their group - the only title in their history - and qualified for the playoffs. In round one they faced CD Huracán Z and won 1-0 in both the away and home legs. And in round 2, the final elimination round, Universidad de Oviedo faced AD Parla. The Madrid-based side won 2-1 at their home, but when Parla came to Oviedo they were greeted by a packed Estadio Universitario San Gregorio and a 4-2 defeat. Their hard-earned return to the Segunda B was short-lived - they finished 18th in the 2006-07 season.

Since then, Universidad de Oviedo had competed in the Tercera and the 5th tier - between the 2007-08 and 2014-15 seasons they have come 4th, 2nd, 3rd, 2nd, 8th, 2nd, 7th and 19th in the Tercera. That's five out of eight seasons where the team has qualified for the playoffs - and all five times they have failed. In 2008 they were eliminated by Atlético Baleares. In 2009 they knocked out Portugalete but were eliminated by Ourense. In 2010 they were eliminated by Azuqueca. In 2011 they were eliminated by Reus Deportiu on away goals. In 2013 they knocked out Atlético Malagueño and then Granadilla but were eliminated by Cultural Leonesa after extra time.

Universidad de Oviedo, 2012

And in 2015 the team was in the regional leagues, for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The future is not bright. 15th and 12th place finishes in the fifth tier do not inspire.

But it's not supposed to. What inspires is that young people can play in the Spanish football pyramid and have a decent shot at professional football while at university. What inspires is that being in the fifth tier - just two divisions below semi-professional football - is a miracle in itself. What inspires is that it is the only team of its kind - not just some sponsorship or co-directing of the team by the university but the university "being" the team itself.


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