Andoni Iraola Would Consider A Return To Lezama As A Youth Coach

Andoni Iraola

Andoni Iraola has been dismissed by AEK Larnaca (Dundalk Sport)

Athletic legend Andoni Iraola’s first coaching job has come to an end. The 36-year-old was named the manager of Cypriot club AEK Larnaca back in late May and had an exciting start to the season. He lead Larnaca to a Cypriot Cup title at the beginning of the campaign but the team began to struggle in December and Iraola was officially received of his duties on Tuesday.

“Obviously when you start an adventure you like to finish the season”, he told Onda Vasca in an interview. “I’m especially sad either. Things went very well until December, but then we had a series of injuries because of excess matches. We had a bad run and in the end we weren’t able to finish the season. This experience in Cyprus has been very positive for me. As a coach, in my first experience, having been able to play 12 games in the Europa League is very positive. I didn’t have any problems with the club and my exit has been friendly.”

Now that Iraola is without a job there is already intrigue about what he will do next. Athletic President Aitor Elizegi has emphasized bringing back former players and Iraola was asked about the possibility of returning to Lezama as a youth coach. “I would consider it”, he answered. “I will see the options that I have, but I am open to all kinds of proposals. I don’t have a resume to turn down any proposal. I’ll go where I’m wanted, where they think I can contribute, and where it’s a nice challenge. What I have to do is prepare myself to be the best possible coach.”

Reporters also took the opportunity to ask Iraola about his thoughts on the current team at Athletic. “The most important thing is that the first team is doing well and seems to have straightened things up”, he responded. “For now they are improving with Gaizka. Athletic must have the most competent people possible at Lezama. It’s not just about whether they are former players or not, but whether they are good coaches and trainers.” For now Iraola will weigh his options before deciding the next stage of his career, but there is no doubt that he would be welcomed back at Lezama by the fans and players if he chooses to return as a coach.

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