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The second miracle of Amorebieta


Highlights: The Biscayan team, which ascended back to the Second Division two weeks ago after being colista in the seventh day, aspires to keep in the elite a town that barely has 19,800 inhabitants. The team was led by Haritz Mujika, who took the reins after the dismissal of Iñigo Vélez de Mendizabal in the middle of the previous season. "We knew we were on the right track, so we didn't rush into anything," says Asier Goiria.

The Biscayan team, which ascended back to the Second Division two weeks ago after being colista in the seventh day, aspires to keep in the elite a town that barely has 19,800 inhabitants

The staff of Amorebieta and leaders, team that has promoted to Second.Javier Hernández Juantegui

Life goes on in Amorebieta, 19,800 inhabitants, as if a miracle had not occurred just two weeks ago. The neighbors circulate calmly through the streets of the town, motorists respect the speed limits and the surroundings of the municipal field of Urritxe, on the other side of the Bilbao-San Sebastián highway, do not present the appearance of having been the scene of a strange phenomenon, that a modest football team ascends to the Second Division again, Let him stubbornly go against the tide again.

💙 Another feat completed.
💙 Another story to tell.

👏🏻 ZORIONAK, @SDAmorebieta!! #PrimeraFederación | #ElFútbolDePrimera

— First Federation (@Primera_RFEF) May 28, 2023

The first was in a hostile environment, in the crowded Vivero de Badajoz and before the local team, in 2021. Against all logic, Amore beat an opponent who had only lost two games all season. It was promoted, played in Segunda and was relegated, although fighting for permanence until the end. He didn't give anything away even though he paid for the hazing. But in the village they begin to get used to miracles, or maybe they are not. The blue team was colista in the seventh round this season. "And the buzz among the fans was already beginning," acknowledges president Jon Larrea. "We knew we were on the right track, so we didn't rush into anything."

The players also thought the same. "It was normal that there were mismatches," acknowledges Unai Marino, one of the two players of the team who survived in the squad after the relegation from the Second Division. "The whole squad was new, we started pre-season a dozen," he recalls. "But the doubts were from outsiders. Here, at home, we knew that things were being done well," says Asier Goiria, the sporting director of Amorebieta; "Little by little we went out and got good results."

The team was led by Haritz Mujika, who took the reins after the dismissal of Iñigo Vélez de Mendizabal in the middle of the previous season. He had retired as a footballer in the Biscayan team and joined the technical team. Circumstances put him in front, and the club trusted his judgment. Gradually, the Amorebieta began the climb. "Eldense was nine points apart, but we did not see it unreasonable to reach them to dispute the first place," acknowledges Goiria.

Then, a misfortune within the club, became catharsis. Aitor Larruzea, director of the old Amorebieta, of those who painted the stripes of the field, sold tickets or acted as a delegate with the children, appeared dead, of natural causes, in his hotel room where the team was staying for the match against La Nucia, in Alicante, which was suspended by agreement between both clubs. It was a very hard blow for a very familiar club. "But after that," says the sporting director, "we had to play three games in a week. Against the leader, Eldense, the suspended in La Nucia, and against Real B. We won all three and made a big jump in the standings." According to the president, "that was the biggest stick of the whole season, especially on a personal level."

"We started to believe that we could assault the top spot," says Jon Mikel Magunagoitia, Amore's starting goalkeeper, a boy from the village who left the club's youth teams to integrate into the Eibar structure and play last season at Zamora before returning home. He is only 22 years old and has already starred in a promotion. "For a player from here, who started in the lower categories, it's very big," he says. "Also, you feel the warmth of the fans, which in the last few games has been incredible. On the day of promotion, against Bilbao Athletic, seeing the entire blue stand is unforgettable".

The Amorebieta was reinforced in the middle of the season with the Australian Ryan Edwards, and with Julen Jon, the son of the legendary Athletic player Julen Guerrero, who arrived on loan from Real Madrid, and who contributed four goals to the team's baggage.

The promotion came to the third, because the Amorebieta could climb three days from the end against Logroñés. That day he moved more than a thousand fans to Las Gaunas, who returned satiated after a morning on Laurel Street, but sad after the tie in the discount of the local team. "It was a great goal and there's nothing to say," says Magunagoitia. His partner, Unai Marino, acknowledges that it was a blow, "but we had no anxiety. Asier Goiria had told us that such an achievement is achieved in the last corner and skidding, and we wanted to show him that we could do it sooner."

They had to wait two more days. "I had warned him. It's not easy, nobody gives anything away here," replies the technical director. It could not be in Logroño, nor at home, with Urritxe crowded, against Nástic, who played the permanence. It happened in Lezama, which will be his home next season, against the subsidiary of Athletic. There the joy overflowed. But in the directive they kept a cool head. "We know that it will be a complicated challenge again," acknowledges President Jon Larrea, "but it does not catch us as newbies. We have the experience of last season. We'll have to get to work, but now we know what needs to be done." Among other things, to get Amorebieta to play in the village. "Now the conditions are not met, but we are working on a project so that Urritxe can host Second Division matches." The directive does not want to give more details, "because it is the City Council that must know first", but it does advance that the CVC fund that the club subscribed the previous season, will serve to finance a large part of the works.

They will have to set up a template for the category, "in which the sporting director is already working", but they must also convince Goiria to stay one more season. ". The first thing is to close your renovation. We are advancing in the negotiations, he has asked us for time, but I am optimistic," says Larrea. "We've done well with him." What no longer hangs over the heads of the leaders of Amorebieta, is the obligation to turn the club into a public limited company. "In our first year we had to take the matter to the Assembly of members because it was mandatory. When it ceased to be, we threw it away." For Larrea, "it is neither good nor bad to be a public limited company, but for the reality of our club and our people it may not be the best option." A timely amendment to the Sports Law, inspired by the PNV, which will govern the village after the municipal elections, paved the way.

After the second miracle of Amorebieta, the club faces the challenge. "It won't be easy," they all repeat, "but it will be nice, just like the other time." This Saturday, Amorebieta has been proclaimed champion of the 1st RFEF, by beating Racing de Ferrol in the final (3-2 in the aggregate round trip), in its last game in the category before playing next season in Second Division.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-06-10

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