In the first season under manager Gaizka Garitano, Bilbao Athletic has become one of the strongest teams in all of the Segunda B. The Katxorros have played an extremely balanced game from front to back and have several starlets capable of taking over matches, such as Iñigo Vicente and Gorka Guruzeta. It did take a few months for the team to find their rhythm under a new coach, but ever since January they have been firing on all cylinders and haven’t lost a single home game since the first fixture of the season.
Sunday’s match against Tudelano at Lezama was the final fixture of the season and it carried tremendous weight. Bilbao Athletic only needed a single point to guarantee their place in the promotional playoffs and they played like a team with a purpose. Although the visitors were able to cause a couple of dangerous moments, the Katxorros dominated from beginning to end and won 2-0 thanks to goals from Iñigo Muñoz and Gorka Guruzeta. Iñigo Vicente was once again the star of the show while the defense kept Tudelano quiet for the majority of the match.
With a fourth place finish Bilbao Athletic will now be seeded against a second place club from another table, with their possible opponents being Deportivo B, Villarreal B, and Marbella. The draw for the first round of the playoffs will take place on Monday at 16:30 and will feature two legs which will be played on the 19/20 of May and the 26/27 of May. The Katxorros currently do not have any major injury concerns in the team, which is important, but they will have plenty of time to prepare for their next opponent.
Regardless of what happens in the promotional playoffs, it has been an incredible season for Bilbao Athletic under Gaizka Garitano. The manager has turned the reserve team in a fearsome opponent and one of the best sides in all of the Segunda B. Now, the real work will begin as the Katxorros will battle to earn a place in the Segunda which would be a great opportunity for young players to take the next step in their development without having to leave Athletic. The race for promotion has now begun.