Call yourself a Spanish football fan? Matthew Hirtes certainly does. His latest Spain Buddy guide is all about La Liga new boys: Aragon’s SD Huesca.
SD Huesca….in 90 seconds
The concept of an away day on the football front doesn’t really exist in Spain. Making home games feeling more partisan than in, say, England’s Premiership. La Liga debutants SD Huesca will be hoping their 7,638-capacity Estadio El Alcoraz (named after the 1096 battle pitching Moors vs Christians) in the hills of San Jorge proves just as much a fortress as the nearby Castillo de Montearagón of yore was.
Huesca CF, CD Huesca, and UD Huesca have come and gone. But SD Huesca, formed in March 1960, look set to stay. Perhaps their greatest legends are the squad which took them up to the Primera Liga for the very first time, courtesy of a second-place finish in 2017-18’s La Liga 2.
Although their top goalscorer remains José Antonio Palacino who netted 114 goals in 278 games. The scourge of opposition defences in the 1970s, the powerful centre forward was born and bred in the wild west of Extremadura. Before his footballing talents transported him east, to Barcelona, Valencia, and then Aragon.
Combative midfielder Luis Helguera, the younger brother of Real Madrid and Spain star Iván Helguera, certainly put in a shift at the latter stages of his career. Returning on a permanent basis to his homeland after a four-club spell in Italy, Helguera would pick up a record 20 yellow cards in 2010-11. He retired after SD Huesca relinquished their 2A spot with relegation in 2013.
SD Huesca Form Guide
The SD Huesca trophy cabinet is a pretty bare one. Aside from winning some lower-league titles, they triumphed 3-0 on aggregate over the B team of local rivals Real Zaragoza to secure 1974’s Spanish Amateur Championship. Their Primera Liga debut was assured with a 2-0 away victory over Lugo with Jorge Pulido’s backheeled goal triggering emotional scenes involving visiting fans showering their fellow supporters with the contents of confetti spray cans.
Club Shop Essential Purchase
Join the in crowd at the Estadio El Alcoraz by sporting this season’s latest fashion, the first-choice red and blue replica shirt.
The closest hostelry is a 10-minute walk from the stadium, Avenida Martínez de Velasco’s Bar Restaurante El Cerro. On the same avenue, the main road to Zaragoza, La Parrilla Gombar offers a range of set menus as reasonable in price as they are generous in portion size. However, for a meal to remember the city by, for all the right reasons, head to the slightly further afield Restaurante Dommo Huesca which is celebrated for its inventive tapas.
There are 11 SD Huesca peñas. These range in size of membership. The smallest is the Peña Pim Pom Fuera with 31 members and the largest is the 328-strong Peña Frente Serrablés who have their very own Facebook page.
Damage to Your Wallet
2018-19 season-ticket prices escalate in price from the cheapest children’s one in the Gol Sur for 100€ (50€ if renewing) to the dearest adult’s one in the Tribuna Central costing 490€ (245€ if renewing). You can also, in theory, buy matchday tickets online. Although, frustratingly, this page resembles a yo-yo; being down as much as it is up.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.