Joseba Etxeberria “The Core Of The First Team Must Be Lezama”
After weeks of speculation, Joseba Etxeberria has finally been announced as the new manager of Bilbao Athletic. The club legend spent several years coaching at Lezama before going abroad and has now returned home with excitement. Etxeberria addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon and explained that his goal is to prepare players for the first team.
“I am happy to return home with this very nice challenge and a great responsibility. The demand is maximum. Bilbao Athletic isn’t just any team, it prepares players for the first team. I know the club well, the players and the facilities. The priority is the players and helping prepare them for the first team. The core of the first team must be Lezama. I hope to get started quickly.”
After leaving Athletic to coach abroad, Etxeberria believes that he has grown as a manager. That being said, his ideas are still the same and he plans to incorporate his style of football at Bilbao Athletic. Players must be pushed to improve and training dictates how the team will compete during matches.
“My experiences at Amorebieta and Tenerife were good and I learned a lot. I am a better coach than when I left. I haven’t changed much because I have clear ideas. I believe a lot in training. What you work on one day will be reflected during competition. My demand can be good for these players. I like teams that play very fast and are intense. It’s a way of living, with great intensity. The players have to see the coaches as a point of help, but they also have to feel the demand. If one drops their level another one will be ready. In professional football there is no time to relax.”
Etxeberria has a great relationship with first-team manager Gaizka Garitano. The two are close which will help them work together to make Athletic even better. Etxeberria made it clear that his only focus is leading Bilbao Athletic and believes that the development of the team is the most important thing at the club.
“I spoke with Garitano even before going to Tenerife. There are always coaches with whom you are closer and want to learn from each other. He knows that we are coming to help, to try to make sure that the first team has the best players to win games. We have a very good relationship. Our closeness is necessary for stability on a daily basis. The first team has a good coach. I’ve seen his work in recent months and it’s been outstanding. I am coming to help. In the future we will see how I have served the club. My relationship with Gaizka and Patxi is very good. The most important thing is the team. I’m not thinking about the first team though because my commitment is to Bilbao Athletic.”
Joseba Etxeberria has a great track record working with young players at Lezama and understands Athletic as well as anyone. El Gallo, as he is affectionately known, has always been committed to the club. Etxeberria is excited to be back at Lezama and is ready to get to work with the young players who are the future of Athletic.