Jokin Ezkieta “It’s A Day That I Will Always Remember”
Jokin Ezkieta made his Athletic debut on Tuesday night, but the goalkeeper never expected to see the field. Iago Herrerín was shown a red card just two minutes into the game which forced Ezkieta onto the field in a difficult situation. Along with making a big save in the second half, the 23-year-old helped Athletic win the penalty shootout to advance to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals.
“It’s a day that I will always remember,” Ezkieta said after the match. “I’m very happy for the team and for all Athletic fans. It will be difficult to repeat this so I just want to enjoy the moment. Sometimes things like this happen and you always have to be prepared. Since it happened today I had to come on and get plugged in as soon as possible to help the team.”
The goalkeeper was happy to have the support of the rest of the team and just tried to shake off the nerves. In the end, Athletic won the game which made the debut even better. In addition, by making his debut Ezkieta will also be receiving a bonus that was included in his contract.
“Everyone has encouraged me and my teammates showed me their confidence. Many things go through your mind at the beginning, but you try to remain calm and only think about what you need to do to help the team. Even if it’s your debut it’s another game. In the end it worked out and luckily I’ll remember it forever.”
Like others, Ezkieta says that the team never felt as though they were going to lose the match. Athletic continued to fight until the final whistle and goalkeeper was happy to have played a significant role in the final result.
“We always believed that we could turn the game around. I wouldn’t have felt defeated until the referee blew the whistle and we were losing. We scored three important goals and it was a rush every time. I think the way the game played out pushed the team to win the penalty shootout. I try to do what I know, which is make saves and help the team. I’m very happy with how things have turned out.”
With Unai Simón cleared to train again after recovering from mumps, Ezkieta will soon return to Bilbao Athletic where he has been the starting goalkeeper. The Kumeak are one of the favorites to qualify for the promotional playoffs and Jokin Ezkieta will play a major role for the team throughout the remainder of the season.