Patxi Salinas “When I Received The Call From Athletic I Didn’t Even Have To Think About It”
Patxi Salinas is the new manager of CD Basconia. The former Athletic defender was officially presented on Thursday after signing a two-year contract to return to the club and coach the Basauritarras. Salinas was brought up in Lezama and made over 300 appearances for Athletic during his 10-year career before becoming a coach after retiring. Coming back to his boyhood club was an easy decision to make.
“When I received the call from Athletic to join the technical staff and work at Basconia, the truth is that I thought very little about it”, Salinas admitted. “It was a fantastic idea for me. I’m happy, excited and eager to start, to get to work. There were other projects, but the truth is I didn’t even have to think about it because it’s Athletic.”
Having already coached youth teams at Celta Vigo and Athletic, Salinas understands the importance of developing young players. He explained that seeing players reach higher levels is always rewarding and he’s excited to work with the next generation.
“When I left football I spent two years working for Celta in the lower categories and then I also had time here, at Athletic, in 2005. I had the great luck of training that generation of San José, Iturraspe, Unai Albizua, and others. This new challenge is very exciting. Working with young guys is fantastic, especially when you see those fruits later in the Primera. Working to form players that you know will be able to play for Bilbao Athletic or the first team in a very short time is an important challenge. I’m happy about this life.”
Sporting Director Rafa Alkorta has put a heavy emphasis on signing coaches who are already very familiar with Athletic. Salinas knows what it’s like to come through Lezama and eventually make it to the first team. “I am a product of Lezama”, he said proudly. “I made my debut when I was 18 and I had the great luck of participating in that wonderful team that won two league titles, one Cup, and one Super Cup. I’ve played more than 300 matches with Athletic and I think the guys can see themselves reflected in me. My dream was to reach the first team and I did it.”
As a coach, Salinas will emphasize hard work and also prioritize the development of young players. He knows that his job is preparing the next group of footballers for the first team and sent a message of encouragement to his players that they can achieve their dreams.
“My goal is to work day to day, to be as honest as possible, try to develop football players, improve, teach concepts that can be useful in the future and, obviously, work for Athletic. When you join a club like this, the objectives are to work so that tomorrow the kids are better footballers and can reach the first team. The message to my players is to fight, work hard every day, and sacrifice to achieve that dream that we all have as kids. They have the possibility to play for Athletic because they are so close. They are two steps away from achieving it.”
Patxi Salinas isn’t the only former player to return to the club this summer. Joseba Etxeberria was also presented as the new manager of Bilbao Athletic last week and the pair will work closely with Gaizka Garitano. With three experienced coaches leading the teams the future is very bright for Athletic Club.
🔛 "Estoy contento, ilusionado, con muchas ganas de empezar y sobre todo de trabajar"
Entrevista a Patxi Salinas 🎥👀🔽 pic.twitter.com/3FvXI0fPqT
— Athletic Club (@AthleticClub) June 13, 2019