They may have only formed officially in August, but FC Carvoeiro United has already taken its place in the hearts of the community. “The name started as a bit of a joke, but it really represents us well. We’re a mixture of Portuguese and foreign players of various nationalities who have all come together to represent Carvoeiro,” said John Wilson, the team’s treasurer who spoke to Inside along with the rest of the board: president Sandro Pacheco and vice-president Yannick Nicklaus, all of whom play for the team. A dream for many years, the story began with a group of English residents who played five-a-side football at the municipal pitch in Carvoeiro every Monday evening. That was eight years ago, and soon, a number of other nationalities had joined, including 22-year-old Yannick Nicklaus who set the wheels in motion to create Carvoeiro’s very own squad.


“I was invited to train with another local team and thought the standard of our Monday-night football was superior. We decided to get a team together to play a friendly, and it went from there,” said the young founder. First they tried to approach local clubs before deciding that if they were going to make it, they would have to do it on their own. An arduous process followed, with all the necessary paperwork, countless documents, and of course the cost entailed in forming a football club and joining the official football federation. But, with the help of sponsors ­ “especially the local bars and restaurants, mainly Jan and Hemingways” ­ and the commitment and dedication of its members, FC Carvoeiro United (FCCU) was officially founded on August 29, 2014. Playing in the Algarve Football Association’s 1st division (4th tier of the Portuguese football league system), the team’s home ground is actually the municipal stadium in Estombar, granted to them for training and matches by Lagoa Câmara (which also supplies them with a coach for away games). Coached by Paul Atkins, one of the original Monday-night players, the
team trains every Monday and Thursday to prepare for weekly matches every Saturday, which, since the formation of Carvoeiro United, has attracted an ever-growing group of supporters that reflects the team’s international character. With a mixture of Portuguese, English, Dutch, German and other nationalities all involved in the squad, aged between 17 and 38 from around the Lagoa council, the team’s members also have a range of experience, from semi-pros to amateurs, to those who started off in youth academies. “Basically we’re a bunch of lads who are friends,” says John, with president Sandro Pacheco emphasising that the team is a non-profit association: “The club’s fundamental values are playing for pleasure, enjoying the game and respecting others. No one here makes money. Everything that comes in goes towards our costs.” Agreeing that, so far, the team has surpassed their expectations, the boys admit their initial goal is simply getting through the first season. Still in their early days, they hope that by December they will have a strong, established unit, playing in their distinctive orange or baby blue kit. “We are really proud that we’re representing Carvoeiro. The team isn’t made from outsiders, it’s the local community, but we also really need the community’s support,” added the treasurer. “People are extremely proud of Carvoeiro, but they have to show it.” Alongside sponsors, the club is also appealing for muchneeded donations to ensure its survival. Matches cost 2.50 (with a chance to win a prize at half-time) and club merchandise is available to purchase.
Support FC Carvoeiro United by visiting their Facebook page


Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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