Iñigo Vicente “Having Iraola As A Coach Is Incredible”
Iñigo Vicente has readily admitted that it’s always taken him time to adapt to a stronger level of football. After shattering records at Lezama the starlet struggled at first when he took the step up to Basconia and then again when he was promoted to Bilbao Athletic. In the end, Vicente’s exceptional quality always rises to the surface but it came as no surprise when the winger was sent out on loan to Mirandés before the start of the season.
On Friday the 22-year-old took part in a virtual press conference with other Athletic players who are away on loan and discussed the importance of making the most of the opportunity to prepare to fight for his place at San Mamés.
“Leaving on loan is something good for us to grow a lot. If we weren’t going to have a place at Athletic then it was important to look for minutes and to gain experience so that we can return to Athletic and enjoy being there in the coming years. The goal of a loan is to mature and earn a place on next year’s Athletic squad. It’s what we are all working for.”
It would take a few weeks for Vicente to find his footing in the Segunda, but he eventually became a key player in the team. Having played very well, with three goals and four assists, there is reason to believe that he will have a place in the Athletic squad moving forward.
“Many things are heard out there. I have to demonstrate many things, demonstrate everything, but I haven’t done that yet. I’m looking forward to going home and showing everyone that I can stay at Athletic and contribute a lot next season. I’ve had a great season at Mirandés. I’ve scored goals, given assists, and I think I have merit to return to Athletic. There are still eleven games to play and people need to see that I can come back and earn a place.”
Vicente has thoroughly enjoyed his time with Mirandés, especially being able to play under Athletic legend Andoni Iraola. Learning from the former captain has been an invaluable experience.
“Having Iraola as a coach is incredible. I saw him succeed at Athletic when I was little. He was captain for a long time. Now having the opportunity to learn from him, to be taught about all the things he’s experienced, is very gratifying. I’m very happy to have a coach like him and I’m glad he’s doing well with Mirandés.”
Iraola almost led Mirandés to the Copa del Rey final but were eliminated in the semifinals. However, Vicente could still have the chance to play for the title following the recent decision to postpone the match until next season.
“For a kid like me who has been at Lezama all his life, playing a final with Athletic is there greatest thing there is. To be able to win it and celebrate with the fans, who are the ones who deserve it most, would be incredible. I would be proud to be able to play it.”
Vicente has been impressive in his 27 appearances for Mirandés so far this season but a permanent place at Athletic isn’t guaranteed. When Iñigo Vicente returns from loan he will be given every chance to prove that he deserves to stay in the first team and it will be up to him to seize the opportunity.