Segovia – Estadio de La Albuera

Gimnástica Segoviana Club de Fútbol was founded in 1928 as Sociedad Deportiva Gimnástica Segoviana and has used a number of grounds before settling at La Albuera. Originally, the club played at the Campo de La Dehesa, but due the the pitch not meeting the minimum regulated dimensions, moved in June 1932 to the Campo de Chamberí. During the Civil War, Chamberi served as a park for military vehicles, and wasn’t cleared for sport purposes until March 1940. Then in 1942, the Frente de Juventudes (Nationalist Youth Front) took control of Chamberi, leaving Gimnástica homeless, and as a result unable to join the RFEF relaunch of the Tercera.

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Pitch Imperfect – Campo de Peñascal

Gimnástica was left to play friendlies at a number of borrowed grounds, some in the neighbouring province of Valladolid. Finally, on 23 April 1944, the club played its first match at Campo de Peñascal, a basic municipal enclosure in the north east of Segovia. The ground featured just one, short covered enclosure on the northern side of the ground and had a particularly troublesome dirt pitch, renowned for its poor drainage. In May 1973, an attempt was made to improve the surface. So that it could handle two matches at weekends, a mixture of lime and cement was added to the dirt surface. Unfortunately it rained during the first two matches played on this chemical concoction and 56 players and officials ended up in hospital with burns. The ground remained closed for over a year until the local municipality was satisfied that the surface was safe.

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La Albuera sports complex in the 1990s

There were no troubles with the surface when the club moved around half a kilometre to the south east of the Campo de Peñascal in June 1977. Their new home was on the eastern fringe of Segovia at La Albuera. To begin with, the Estadio de La Albuera also had a dirt pitch, but his was replaced with a grass surface in 1982. Forty years on, and there has been relatively little change to the enclosure. The 60 metre long main grandstand is positioned on the north western side and has 674 seats under a cantilevered roof. The stand is flanked by two short uncovered terraces. Five steps of terracing did feature behind both goals, but these were demolished in 2010, and have been replaced with hard standing. Terracing also featured on the east side of the ground until 2010, when of the only significant change the the stadium’s layout took place.

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La Albuera before the terraces came down and the tribuna went up

During the summer of 2010, a full length stand was constructed in place of the terrace on the south east side of the enclosure. This raised cantilevered stand has seven rows of mainly green seats, with “Segovia 2016” picked out in white seats. This was to promote the city’s (unsuccessful) candidature for the 2016 European City of Culture. La Albuera’s makeover was completed with the addition of a boundary fence, which is striped in various shades of green and matches the cladding of the new stand. All of which has changed La Albuera from a rather plain stadium to one that is still simple, but now vibrant. 

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Rub of the green. The new look did better luck for Gimnástica… sort of!

Gimnástica has spent all but a few seasons in either the regional leagues or the Tercera. It’s not for the want of trying, as  Gimnástica’s record in the Tercera is very good, having qualified for the play-offs 16 occasions. The club’s three separate visits to the third tier have all lasted a solitary season. Their first venture into Segunda B was in season 1999-00. Seven wins and a total of 35 points saw the club finish 19th and drop back to the Tercera. Eleven years later, Gimnástica was back in the third tier, and despite a lower points tally of 30, they finished 18th, but well adrift from safety. The 2017-18 season saw Gimnástica gain a new high of 39 points, but alas, relegation was not avoided, and it was back to the Tercera. 

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