Barcelona – Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque

RCD Espanyol has a long history of developing local players that ultimately reach the first team or go on to play for other Catalan clubs. Prior to 1994, this was achieved through agreements with local clubs affiliated to Espanyol, rather than a specific reserve side. These affiliate clubs would then grant first refusal on a talented player. In 1990 the existing arrangement with Centro de Deportes Hospitalet broke down and led to Espanyol reviewing the process of developing players. In August 1990 they signed a collaboration agreement with F.C. Cristinenc, a team from Santa Cristina d’Aro, around 100km to the north east of Barcelona. A year later, full affiliation was agreed and the club changed its name to F.C. Cristinenc-Español, but continued to play in Santa Cristina d’Aro.

The main arena at the Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque

In 1994 the final transformation took place when the club moved to Barcelona and Estadi de Sarrià, and changed it’s name to Real Club Deportivo Español B. Under the guidance of Paco Flores, the 1994-95 season was a great success with the Tercera title won with only 2 defeats. Espanyol B then saw off the challenges of Pinoso CF, Águilas CF& CF Sóller in the play offs. In the summer of 1995, the club took on the Catalan version of its name, and the reserves became known as Real C.D. Espanyol de Barcelona B.

The main stand at the Ciutat Esportiva 

There is an inevitable element of inconsistency that goes with running a reserve side, young players get drafted into the first team and even younger ones replace them. So it should come as no surprise that Espanyol B has had it stays in Segunda B punctuated by drops back into the Tercera. That’s not to say that at times they have performed well in the third tier and on three occasions they have made the play-offs to La Segunda, but have failed to progress.

The Ciutat Esportiva now named in honour of Dani Jarque

After Sarrià closed in 1997, the club used a few grounds in the Barcelona area. For the 1997-98 season they played at Estadi La Caixa, then moved to Parc del Migdia for three years until 2001. Play-off games during this period were switched to Montjuic. In 2001 the club opened its Ciutat Esportiva at Sant Adrià del Besòs in the south east of the city. The main pitch features a cantilevered stand on the west side and open seating on the east side. Four other pitches are used for first team and reserve team training and Espanyol’s women’s side play here as well. The site also has a club shop and some offices, essential given that the main club offices are 20 miles across town at the RCDE Stadium in Cornellà – el Prat. On 21 January 2012, the facilities officially became known as the Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque, in honor of the former Espanyol player who tragically passed away on August 8, 2009.

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