Ewan Urain Exploding With CD Basconia In The Second Half Of The Season
Taking the step to CD Basconia is one of the hardest things that any Lezama product will ever have to do. Each year several players are promoted from Juvenil A, where they have been competing against other youth teams, to feeder club Basconia where they immediately become professional footballers. For many, it takes time to adjust to a much higher level of football. This usually affects the team at the start of the season as so many new players are brought into the squad while others leave.
As expected, Basconia had a slow start to the current campaign. Manager Aritz Solabarrieta was promoted and brought with him over half of last year’s Juvenil A team, which drastically changed the makeup of the squad. Having so many new and young players in the team meant that it would take time to transition properly. Things were further complicated by the fact that Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor, and Asier Córdoba, who were all key players for Juvenil A the prior year, skipped Basconia altogether.
Over the course of the first 15 games, Basconia managed to win just 5 times. The Basauritarras showed signs that there was a lot of talent in the team, but finding a rhythm as professionals wasn’t easy. Solabarrieta was then promoted to manage Bilbao Athletic in December following Gaizka Garitano taking over the first team. Iban Fuentes became the new manager of Basconia, coming from Juvenil B, and the team faced yet another transition.
Interestingly, Fuentes has been able to get the best out of Basconia and the team is playing at a very high level. They’ve lost just once in their last 11 games and have soared up the table. Of course, the new manager has introduced tactics that are working well with the squad, but the players also seem to have found their footing in the Tercera. Several players have stepped up in a big way, but none have exploded quite like striker Ewan Urain.
After joining Lezama back in 2015 it didn’t take long for Urain to show his potential. The tall forward, born to a Basque father and English mother, was a standout player for the Cadete A team in his first season at the academy. However, he was always overshadowed by others. Just last season Ruben Azcona was promoted to Juvenil A near the end of the season and it was easy for some fans to once again overlook the great year that Urain was having.
This season, Urain has made his presence felt and can no longer be ignored or overlooked. The 19-year-old has found the back of the net 8 times in the second half of the season and has 11 total goals for Basconia. He’s equaled his tally for Juvenil A last year and still has 10 more games to add to his account. It’s safe to say he’s found his rhythm. In fact, he’s thriving in the starting role and is gaining confidence with every match.
Standing tall at 1,92 cm (6’3″) Urain is a traditional center-forward and naturally great in the air. He also has the ability to hold up play and knows how to use his strength to protect the ball and shake off defenders in tight space. Urain has an eye for goal and is capable of finishing with both feet. Iban Fuentes has used him mainly as a dangerous target man in the box for Basconia, but he also has a powerful shot. Those who know him best describe him as a pure finisher and his style of play is reminiscent to that of Fernando Llorente who also enjoyed an impressive season with Basconia back in 2003/2004.
It’s not surprising that Urain went relatively overlooked in recent years. He wasn’t the player setting scoring records or dazzling with highlight moments. Instead, the striker was working hard and improving every day, quietly playing well and not looking for attention. Now he’s facing a new stage of his career and development. He’s taken the reigns as the top scoring threat at Basconia and there is a good chance that he will be promoted to Bilbao Athletic this summer.
Other teams are starting to eye Urain as well. Javier Beltrán of El Correo has reported that at least one club from England is interested in signing the striker. Urain’s current release clause is very low, but Athletic do have the option to extend it for two additional seasons. With the way he’s been playing it wouldn’t be surprising at all for him to be offered an improved deal sometime soon.
Fans have constantly been looking for the heir to Aritz Aduriz and their hope is placed in Lezama. Asier Villalibre and Gorka Guruzeta are the two who have had the biggest expectations placed on their shoulders. Ruben Azcona isn’t far behind. It’s never a good thing to put too much pressure on young players. They need the freedom and time to develop and grow into the best player they can be.
Ewan Urain hasn’t been subject to lofty expectations so far, but it’s time that he gets the recognition that he deserves. The 19-year-old has absolutely exploded for Basconia over the past few months. He’s established himself as one of the top young forward at Athletic and still has a lot of room for improvement. Urain is playing fantastic football and he’s proving that he could one day challenge for a place in the Athletic first team.