Deportivo La Coruña will begin the 2014/15 season in the Primera División, after a slim but precious victory over Real Jaén, courtesy of a Carlos Marchena header. The win ensured Dépor will finish second in the Segunda División.
The victory will come as a major relief to both Fernando Vásquez, the Dépor manager, and the supporters, after their promotion push threatened to grind to a halt in recent weeks. With promotion now secured, everyone can relax ahead of the final game of the season against Girona, who are still in major danger of being relegated to Segunda División B.
Vásquez will be aware of the desperate need to add a goalscorer to the squad ahead of next seasons assault on La Liga, with Atlético Madrid loanee Borja Bastón the only player to register double figures, with ten goals.
With Diego Costa potentially leaving Atlético, it remains to be seen whether the Brancoazuis can keep hold of their top goalscorer on a permanent basis.
Dépor did boast a strong defence this season, conceding the second fewest goals in the league, with twenty-year-old academy product Pablo Insúa impressing at centre-back.
Promotion will be particularly sweet for Manuel Pablo, who has tasted both the highs of winning La Liga with Deportivo, and the heartbreak of relegation, twice.
At the age of 38 Pablo was still able to feature on twenty-five occasions this season, captaining the side, and showing no desire to retire any time soon.
Deportivo have relied on experience to gain promotion. Insúa, Bryan Rabello, Borja Baston, Juan Carlos Real and Juan Domínguez were the only players aged 24 or younger to start at least 15 games, with Baston and Rabello on loan from Atlético and Sevilla respectively.
There will be a concern that ageing legs will not be able to sustain Deportivo's survival in La Liga next season, so an injection of youth is vital in the summer.
Whilst no team has a given right to play at the top level, Deportivo should remain a regular fixture in La Liga, with the Riazor stadium one of the Primera División's historic grounds.
La Liga will be a richer place next season with the inclusion of Dépor, as well as plucky Eibar, as long as they are able to overcome the financial politics that are currently placing a cloud over celebrations in the Basque Country.
The acid test for Deportivo will be not just surviving in La Liga, but thriving, and ensuring that they are no longer a yo-yo club, destined to forever endure the roller-coaster cycle of relegation and promotion.
If they make it through their first season back in La Liga, Manuel Pablo has every chance of becoming La Liga's oldest player, a fitting title for the last bastion of the Superdépor side that won the league title in 2000.
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