Now That Cuco Ziganda has become the manager of the Athletic first team, there is a huge vacancy in his former role at Bilbao Athletic. There are several great candidates that could fill the role, but the club wants to be careful to select the right man who will keep the focus on player development. It was recently reported that Gaizka Garitano was the man that President Josu Urrutia wanted in the role and it can now be confirmed that he has been contacted.
Gaizka Garitano grew up at Lezama and played in over 100 games for Bilbao Athletic. He was never able to make it to the first team, but did go on to play for Eibar, Real Sociedad, and Alaves. He began his coaching career at Eibar before moving on to Real Valladolid and, most recently, Deportivo La Coruna. Sources close to Garitano say that he does like the fact that coaching Bilbao Athletic will come with less stress because the focus will be more on developing players than wins and losses. However, he is still weighing up his options and Athletic is patiently waiting for a decision.
Athletic’s interest in Garitano could make things complicated for Joseba Etxeberria. The former club legend dreams of one day managing the first team and took a step in that direction last year when he was named the coach of CD Basconia. However, he now has an offer to take over as SD Amorebieta, which would be a step up from the Tercera to the Segunda B.
Etxeberria would like to be promoted to the Bilbao Athletic position, but so far the club has not contacted him about the vacancy. He still has two years left on his contract, but there is a chance that he could leave if he doesn’t get the chance to move up to the reserve team. The report from El Correo goes on to say that Athletic could allow Etxeberria to take over at Amorebieta as a “loaned coach” if that is what he wants to do next as he seeks to continue growing as a football manager.