Football was born in Camargo, as in other areas of Spain, due to the influence of the English who worked in the mining exploitations of this region of Cantabria and in 1917 the club was founded that over the years ended up becoming the current Union Montañesa de Escobedo. A team that this season has been proclaimed champion of its group in Third Division and next week will participate in the draw of the promotion playoff to Second Division B. A category that has never stepped and that deludes Luis Merino, president who brings the command of the entity for almost four decades. A lifetime dedicated to his team. "I have the same enthusiasm as the first day, but also the rest of the people who work here. Many do not know, but the secretary has been with me since I arrived. " A man dedicated body and soul to modest football that dreams of seeing the shield of his entity shining in the bronze division.
At 68, Luis Merino is, along with Isaac Cardoso, CF Pozuelo leader of Madrid, the longest-serving president of Third Division football. Linked to the club since 1980, two years later he took the reins of the UM Camargo in what was presumed a passing adventure. The beginning of that path does not stop. After 37 years watching games every Sunday, this retired teacher continues to enjoy every weekend and this season has a new opportunity to make the leap with his team to Second Division B. "Now we have a good field. I took the team in First Regional in a dilapidated state with depressing facilities. Since then, we have been three times champion of the Third Division and we have played 15 phases of promotion ", he recalls in his conversation with ABC. In none of them was the goal achieved, but next week another attempt will begin. "I would be very happy that the UM Escobedo promoted, but it also gives me, in quotes, a little fear. The change of category is great, "he adds. (When and playoff draw time).
A president who has sanitized his club and who feels grateful for the recognition of the work he receives from the neighbors of Escobedo, a small town of 1,700 inhabitants although in the region of Camargo where the population is located exceeds 35,000 . The club does not reach 300 members, but this year has returned to proclaim champion of Third Division and next Monday will meet his rival in the playoff of promotion. "In times of crisis, knocked on the doors and I can say with pride that people told me:" Look Luis, I can deprive myself of other things, but I will not eliminate yours ". I believe that we have always demonstrated to our environment the seriousness of the management, "he says. "They have come to call me the Lendoiro de Camargo because of my reputation as a hard worker when it comes to negotiating," he says while laughing.
Dedicated for years to teaching, a profession he combined with the presidency of UM Escobedo, he fondly recalls the anecdote of how one of his classmates presented him to the new professors: "This is Merino, president of El Escobedo and, in his spare time , teacher". A phrase that reflects the unconditional surrender to his club. "I keep the illusion of the first day, when I'm missing I'll be the first to take the step to leave it."
30 years in the Third Division
With the modesty that prevails in this football, Luis Merino boasts of his management in the offices, but also highlights a sports data. "The UM Escobedo is the only club in Cantabria that has always been in the Third Division since it was founded as Territorial. We have managed to preserve the category for 30 years. " This season, Luis Merino can see the dream that resists him come true. "Last year we played the promotion playoff for the last time, but we did not achieve the goal. Let's see now". His team has been proclaimed champion, but on the last day he lost one of his best players due to injury. A player with an illustrious surname because Laro Setién is the son of the Betis coach. "It's a shame because you'll have to stand for eight or ten weeks," he explains.
But UM Escobedo is above all a team and despite the important absence of Laro Setién, the president relies on the work of Pablo Casar and the group to finally see his dream of promotion fulfilled. (tagsToTranslate) president (t) escobedo