Andoni Iraola Admits It Was Strange To Coach Against Athletic Club

Andoni Iraola Aritz Aduriz

Andoni Iraola and Aritz Aduriz played together for several seasons (AC)

Athletic came up against a familiar face to end the preseason as the Lions defeated Andoni Iraola’s Mirandés 2-1 on Thursday. The club legend recently took over the Mirandés manager and is hoping to lead the team to a successful year in the Segunda. After the match, Iraola admitted that it was strange to go against his former club but that he was solely focused on his own team.

“It felt strange, especially in the warmups when you see players who have been your teammates and the people of the club that you worked with for many years, but when the game started you are focused on your own. I was watching my team and what I saw today as been good for us.”

Earlier this week Athletic starlet Iñigo Vicente joined Mirandés on loan and Iraola wasn’t shy about being willing to welcome more players to the team. Asier Villalibre has been linked with a move to Anduva but the manager refused to discuss specific names at this point.

“Athletic has many interesting players that could help us. Villalibre? You will have to ask the club. We have many players who have come from other reserve teams from the Primera that want to bet on them in the future. We are open to those options. Iñigo Vicente will be a great player for us but he needs more training sessions to get our rhythm.”

Andoni Iraola’s position at Mirandés has already seen the club quickly build a strong relationship with Athletic which could benefit both moving forward. Vicente will have the opportunity to play regular minutes this season, not to mention training under an Athletic legend, and more could follow. As manager, Andoni Iraola is opening important doors but his ultimate goal is still to lead Mirandés to the best season possible.

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