FC Santa Coloma coach Xavi Roura told UEFA.com that he has taken "enormous satisfaction" in leading his team to their fifth Primera Divisió title – and doing so as underdogs.
The newly crowned champions went into Sunday's final play-off round encounter against nearest challengers UE Santa Coloma knowing they needed only to avoid a heavy defeat in order to lift the title at the Camp d'Esports d'Aixovall. Alex Rodríguez gave his team the perfect start when he netted after just four minutes and despite Luis Miguel Do Nascimiento's equaliser arriving minutes later, Roura's side held on to earn a draw. "We had a three-point lead going into the match and knew that with a draw or a low scoring defeat we'd be OK," Roura explained.
FC Santa Coloma lost out last season to UE Sant Julià yet they put that disappointment behind them this time around, going unbeaten through the league's play-off phase. "It's quite strange that last term we had a huge squad of players but we lost the title race while this season we've given a chance to a few of the younger players and it's worked well for us," the coach said.
"To finish without a defeat in this last stage is terrific, especially as nobody considered us favourites. You have to remember that Sant Julià have a big squad and were the number one choice for many to triumph this year. However, they experienced what we went through last season. UE Santa Coloma surprised everybody; they were expected to be there or thereabouts, but no one thought they'd be so consistent."
FC Santa Coloma for have now earned is a place in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, something Roura is very much looking forward to. "Although we are semi-professionals, competing in Europe is of huge importance," he said. "Every year, we as a nation are improving; last season Sant Julià got through the first qualifying round against SP Tre Fiori from San Marino while this club have had the opportunity to play against the likes of FK Partizan and Maccabi Tel-Aviv."
With their UEFA Champions League adventure still some way off, FC Santa Coloma's more immediate concern is the Copa Constiució which is entering its final stages. "Right now the team will have a week off to rest," Roura stated. "Our squad isn't very big but with the Copa Constiució the players have an opportunity to form an even tighter bond while enjoying competing in another tournament."
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