The Unión Balompédica Conquense celebrated its 75-year history on April 16, a long journey for the representative football club of the city of Hanging Houses. On that date, it was officially established under the presidency of Apolinio Pérez Llandres. The black and white club is the result of a process of a series of mergers of soccer teams that began to emerge since 1920. As early as 1945 there were only two teams left in the city: Cuenca CF and Balompédica CF, who joined to form the Conquense Balompedic Union.
The first official game of the new club was played on September 8, 1946 in the old field of ‘La Fuensanta’ against CD Toledo and ended with a 2-4 in favor of Toledo, according to ABC journalist José Luis Pinós, great chronicler of the team. That season of 1946-1947, the Unión Balompédica Conquense competed in group VII of the Third Division after accepting an invitation from the Spanish Football Federation to play in a newly released category. In addition, at those decisive moments, a board of directors chaired by Jesús Moya Gómez took over the presidency of the club.
During the following decades and to date, the Balompédica has been militant between the Third Division and the Second Division B, with the occasional step back towards the Regional.
Joaquín Caparrós and Ángel Pérez, historical
The Utreran Joaquín Caparrós Camino He is already a veteran coach, whose football and family roots come from Cuenca and its province. Caparrós played for Balompédica Conquense in 1978 and, later, in the 1992-1993 season, he was their coach. In addition, this Sevillian directed San José Obrero, Motilla and Campillo. He also made an incursion into the province of Ciudad Real to train the Manzanares and the Gimnástico de Alcázar.
Caparrós himself has indicated his attachment to Cuenca; in fact, he owns an apartment in the city. So much is that roots with the city of Hanging Houses that the Cuenca City Council baptized on June 9, 2019 with the name of ‘Joaquín Caparrón Camino’ to the municipal field called ‘La Beneficiencia’ until then.
Secondly, Angel Perez Saiz he has been the longest-running and most successful president in the club’s history. Born in Priego, this businessman with businesses in Madrid became president of the Balompédica in the 1997-1998 season, a position he left in the 2008-2009 campaign. During his tenure, he reduced the club’s debt despite the efforts of Rafael Mariana, his predecessor in office.
In the purely sports section, the Cuenca team stabilized in Second B based on straightforward work and without any speculation. The footballing and social zenith reached Balompédica with the final of the play-off for promotion to the Second Division, a milestone that deserves a separate chapter. Ángel Pérez passed away at the age of 80 on December 16, 2019.
One step away from Second
The Unión Balompédica Conquense touched sporting glory on June 26, 2005. That hot day, the La Mancha team was able to achieve the highest level in its history and was one step away from professional football. It was the second leg of the final for promotion to Second, played in the morning and in an entire ‘Santiago Berrnabéu’ stadium, which was populated with almost 70,000 spectators in its stands; of them, some 6,000 spirited followers of the Balompédica.
The game was epic, exciting and tense. The Basque Miguel Zurro, who at that time was the coach of the black and white squad, remembers this: «We had eliminated Real Burgos in the semifinals and the Real Madrid subsidiary was waiting for us for the grand final that was already giving us the ticket for promotion. We lost the first leg with a full 0-2 at La Fuensanta, with the second goal scored by Jurado in the 91st minute. The first was scored by Roberto Soldado. Even so, during the week I spoke with my footballers that we could come back if we played our tricks well ».
«I repeated it to him in the hotel in Madrid, where we concentrated on Saturday, since I had a hunch that we were going to strike. And we almost did it, since Alberto Alejandro made it 0-1 and then a goal against Mikel Rico was disallowed for a foul that was not by Santi Castillejo. Alvaro Arbeloa gave Castillejo himself a cathedral penalty, which the referee did not punish as such. In those two decisive plays, with the VAR arbitration system that exists now, they would have been revised in our favor, for sure ”.
For those who love statistics, these were the line-ups of that decisive match:
– Real Madrid B (currently called Real Madrid Castilla): Diego López; Palencia, Robles, Arbeloa, Paredes; De la Red, Javi García, Adrián Martín, Trashorras (Álex Pérez, m. 86); Jurado (Borja Valero, d. 63) and Roberto Soldado (Adrián, d. 89).
– UB Conquense: Sebas; Galiano, Víctor Marco, Lozano, López Garay; Barber (Mikel Rico, m. 57), Lalo, Jornet, Alberto Alejandro (Zafra, m. 85); Amezaga and Jorge Pérez (Castillejo, 57).
Present and future
In 2019, the Conquense descended to Third, a category in which it continues. Last May it was about to drop to Preferential, which would have meant a severe setback for the entity considering that it is gradually reducing a debt that not long ago came close to a million euros. Ángel Mayordomo, who has just completed one year as president, although he was already at the head of the management board since 2019, affirms: “With my ten board members we are working hard to move our project forward. We are immersed in the transformation of the club into a Sports Limited Company. For another order of things, we have a soccer school of about 400 boys and girls, and with the youth team in the Junior Honor Division as a standard. There is the strength of the future of the club, without a doubt ».
Meanwhile, Economist & Football, from Grupo Herce, is in charge of the sports section, headed by Paco Rubio, former president of Numancia, a company that is interested in building a Sports City in Cuenca.
Mayordomo adds: “We have about 500 members, which are not many, but we are excited about increasing that number. We must take into account adverse circumstances, such as the current bad state of ‘La Fuensanta’, which has forced us to now be playing in the field ‘Cristina Martínez’, and there is the coronavirus. In short, everything has a negative influence. In any case, we are planning a meeting with the City Council to discuss these issues.
Finally, the president explains that he cannot reveal the budget for this season until the general assembly of partners is held, in two weeks. As for the events to celebrate this 75th anniversary, they have left it for next year.