Casimiro Torres Ibáñez FC Torrevieja’s new manager

One of Torrevieja’s prodigal sons has returned to the fold, as former Real Madrid and Castilla player Casimiro Torres Ibáñez, has taken up the post as manager of FC Torrevieja, as of Wednesday October 19, 2011. After a superb start to the present league campaign, FC Torrevieja dropped from first to eighth and due to what could be termed a lack of confidence in the team’s third manager in 2011, José Manuel García Payá has been replaced at an early stage to allow Torres time to mount a new promotion challenge this season. Most recently Torres has been managing Cartagena’s ‘B’ team La Union, however due to financial cutbacks, found himself out of a coaching position, although he has continued to be involved with overseeing the development of Torrevieja’s youth squads for a number of years.

The 52 year old had an illustrious playing career, which started as a juvenile with Torrevieja C. F. (1977-1978 before being scouted and turning professional at 19. Always known by his first name, Casimiro, he played for six professional clubs, starting with Real Madrid’s B team, Castilla C. F. (and one game for Real Madrid during 1978-1983), Cartagena F. C (1983-1985), Celta de Vigo (1985-1986), C. D. Logroñés (1986-1988) and Elche C. F. (1988-1990) before hanging up his playing boots at the relatively early age of 30 and moving into coaching and management.

Casimiro Torres Ibáñez, was born in Torrevieja (Alicante), the June 18, 1959 and played in the famous King’s Cup final between Real Madrid and Castilla, which they lost 6-1, on June 4, 1980, a game which was to change the structure of leagues in Spain immediately afterwards, to avoid the possibility of today’s La Liga teams coming up against their own ‘B’ teams in competitions!

Castilla, as Real Madrid’s junior ‘B’ team played in the ‘second’ division, as it then was and beat a number of first division teams to reach the final, which they subsequently lost to their ‘owners’! However, due to Real Madrid participating in the European Cup, as runners up, the following year Castilla played in the Cup Winners Cup, only to lose in the first round against West Ham United, winning in the Bernabeu by 3:1 but losing at Upton Park 5:1 after extra time. That West Ham United team also featured former Torrevieja FC Director of Football Tommy Taylor; small world that it is!

A year and a half after his European debut, at age 22 he played just one game in the Spanish first division with Real Madrid on April 11, 1982, in Castellon, before being transferred to Cartagena where he spent two seasons before moving to Celta de Vigo, just before the 1984-85 season. He debuted with Celta de Vigo on August 31, 1985 in San Sebastian, against Real Sociedad, which ended in a 1:1 tie. He played just 15 matches in the first division in what would be his only season in Vigo, which was a disastrous season for the team and saw them relegated with only fourteen points from 34 games, finishing as the bottom club!

At the end of the season he withdraw his contract with Celta de Vigo and took the opportunity to return to play in first division, with the CD Logroñes (where he played a leading role) and then moved closer to his home to play in Elche. On returning to his hometown and played one season with Torrevieja in the Segunda B but had to retire at a relatively early age of just 30. In 1993 he was the head coach of Torrevieja CF, when they were playing in the Third Division before financial obligations brought their downfall and ended his first spell as manager of the club.

Local football ‘knowledgetorian’ Steve Hall noted “For 5 seasons Torrevieja CF competed in the 2B Division before the financial obligations of competing at this level began to take their toll. Heavily in debt, unable to pay their players or creditors, the club were relegated at the end of the 1993/94 season back to Division 3. Worse was to come as the Spanish FA relegated them a further division (back to Regional Preferente) for failing to meet their financial commitments. At the same time (1993), a new football club was set up in the town, Club Deportivo Torrevieja. The club played in 2nd Regional. It is this new club which began to climb the football “ladder” and reached Regional Preferente Division in 1996 at the same time that Torrevieja CF dropped down to 2nd Regional Division. Also in 1996 the new club adopted its current name FC Torrevieja and it is this team that today represents the town.”

A well respected left side defender, he is known for his no nonsense approach and discipline, and although he only scored five goals in career, over his 320 games he only received 16 yellow and two Red Cards over 12 seasons as a professional footballer. He has been involved as a coach since entering management with Club de Fútbol Gandía (2000-2001) before moving closer to home with Elche CF (2001-2003), CD Eldense (2006-2007), Novelda CF (2007-2008) and Club Deportivo La Union, which he managed from 2008 until the end of last season. At the end of the 2010/2011 season, La Union where third in their league and reached the promotion playoffs, however they were eliminated in the first round against Montañesa CF. At the end of the season, the subsidiary agreement between the club and FC Cartagena was not renewed and unfortunately for La Union but fortunately for Torrevieja, Torres found himself out of a job but being in the right place at the right time, he now finds himself back in the driving seat and looking to drive his home town team to promotion to 2B.