Being escorted up an unmarked track to a clearing in the woods, doesn’t normally end well. You’ve seen it happen in all of those gangster/devil-worship/badger-baiting movies. (No? Just me eh?). Thankfully, there is nothing gruesome in this particular corner of La Rioja, but actually something quite wonderful. You see, the people of Nájera have conjured up a woodland wonderland, in the shape of the the Campo Municipal de la Salera. Here they have blasted, leveled and honed the land to create a unique home for Náxara Club Deportivo. A home where bare rock, conifers and some more standard stadium accouterments, have been combined to make a perfect natural amphitheatre.
Náxara Club Deportivo was founded in 1966 and for the first four decades of its existence, played in the lower reaches of the regional leagues. That changed in 2005, with promotion to Group XVI of the Tercera. Apart from a very respectable 13th placed finish in their debut season, Náxara CD have never failed to record a top ten finish. The Tercera title was won in 2010-11 and in total, the club has reached the end of season play-offs on five occasions.
La Salera is situated to the west of Najera, across the the Rio Najerilla, and up the aforementioned unmarked road. It has a capacity of 1500, with seating for 350 in the enclosure’s only covered stand in the south east corner. The rest of the capacity is made up of hard standing on the southern side and western end. Both standing areas have ground and upper levels, with the higher sections perched atop outcrops of rock. High above the western end’s upper area is an unofficial section, where supporters have cobbled together a few planks of wood to form a make-shift platform and barrier in the tree-line. Quite simply, La Salera is brilliant, beautiful and totally unexpected.
Náxara CD reached the final stages of the play-offs for a place in Segunda B in 2017, but lost out to seasoned promotion-getters Peña Sport. They returned a year later, but once again lost out, losing 2-6 to UP Langreo.