Athletic Bilbao B

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Bilbao Athletic
Club Athletic Bilbao logo.svg
Full nameAthletic Club
Nickname(s)Los Leones / Lehoiak
(The Lions)

Los Cachorros / Katxorroak
(The Puppies)
Founded1964; 56 years ago (1964)
GroundLezama (Field 2)
Capacity3,250
PresidentAitor Elizegi
Head coachJoseba Etxeberria
League2ª B – Group 2
2018–192ª B – Group 2, 6th

Bilbao Athletic, officially named Athletic Club "B", is the reserve team of Athletic Bilbao, a football club based in Bilbao, in the autonomous community of Basque Country. The team will play in the Segunda División B in the 2019–20 season. Founded in 1964, the team holds home matches at the small stadium attached to the club's training facility at Lezama, holding 3,250 spectators[1] or occasionally at San Mamés Stadium, with its 53,500-seat capacity, for important fixtures.

Reserve teams in Spain play in the same football pyramid as their senior team rather than a separate league. However, reserves cannot play in the same division as their senior team. Therefore, Bilbao Athletic are ineligible for promotion to La Liga. Reserve teams are also no longer permitted to enter the Copa del Rey. In addition, only under-23 players, or under-25 with a professional contract, can switch between senior and reserve teams. In recent years, most of Bilbao Athletic's players have been graduates from the club's youth setup ('cantera') via the farm team, Basconia.

History[edit]

The Bilbao Athletic name was first used in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, when both La Liga and the Copa del Rey were suspended; most of the top Athletic players had joined the Euzkadi XI, a team put together at the suggestion of José Antonio Aguirre, the president of the Basque Country (and himself a former Athletic Bilbao footballer). Euzkadi went on tour to raise funds for the Basque cause, and also played in the Mexican domestic league. However, at home the Campeonato de Vizcaya had resumed in 1938. With their best players abroad with Euzkadi, Athletic could only field weakened sides and, to avoid possible shameful results damaging the club's reputation, chose to enter under the name Bilbao Athletic (the name was derived from the two clubs that merged in 1903 to become Athletic Bilbao – Bilbao Football Club and Athletic Club).[2] Despite the low expectations, they still won the championship and entered the 1939 Copa del Generalísimo.

Aerial view of the team's mini-stadium at Lezama, 2019

The name was revived in 1964, when Athletic Bilbao decided to establish a reserve team with Agustín Gaínza as coach. The new Bilbao Athletic initially played in local regional leagues before winning promotion to Tercera División in 1966, under Rafa Iriondo; in 1969 they first reached Segunda División.

In 1983–84, with José Ángel Iribar as coach, and an emerging Julio Salinas as striker, the reserves finished in second place, only trailing Castilla CF; both teams were ineligible for promotion, and Salinas won the Pichichi.

Bilbao Athletic dropped back down to the third level in 1996, but the main squad continued to be nurtured with several players who had spells with the reserves.

Bilbao Athletic played home games at San Mamés during the 2015–16 season due to league requirements, but attracted crowds of only a few thousand for most games.

After 19 seasons in the Segunda División B, Bilbao Athletic returned to the second tier after defeating Cádiz CF, 3–1 on aggregate, in the promotion playoffs.[3] However in their campaign in the Segunda they were reliant on the same group, a core squad of 20-year-olds who had never played at such a high level before, and despite battling performances in most of their games, a pattern of narrow defeats led to the team finishing bottom and being relegated back down at the first attempt.[4] Somewhat ironically, the promoted teams that season were CD Leganés whose squad included three players on loan from Athletic who would have been eligible to play for Bilbao Athletic that season, as well as the parent club's local rivals Alavés and Osasuna.

Premier League International Cup[edit]

Athletic have competed in the Premier League International Cup (an Under-23 tournament, all matches splayed in England), with most of the players selected for their squad drawn from Bilbao Athletic plus some younger additions from Basconia and the Juvenil squads (the rules permit the use of a limited number of overage players, but Athletic do not use them). In 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17 the club qualified from their group but were eliminated in the quarter-finals, while in the 2017–18,[5] 2018–19 and 2019–20 editions, they bowed out at the group stage.

Background[edit]

  • As farm team:
    • Club Atlético de Bilbao Amateur (1964–66)
    • Bilbao Atlético Club (1966–72)
    • Bilbao Athletic Club (1972–91)
  • As reserve team:
    • Athletic Club B (1991–2006)
    • Bilbao Athletic (2006–)

Season to season[edit]

Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1964/65 4 1ª Reg. 17th DNP
1965/66 4 1ª Reg. 1st DNP
1966/67 3 1st DNP
1967/68 3 3rd DNP
1968/69 3 1st DNP
1969/70 2 13th Round of 32
1970/71 3 5th 3rd round
1971/72 3 9th 1st round
1972/73 3 5th 3rd round
1973/74 3 13th 1st round
1974/75 3 8th 1st round
1975/76 3 4th 2nd round
1976/77 3 4th 1st round
1977/78 3 2ªB 5th 2nd round
Season Tier Division Place Copa del Rey
1978/79 3 2ªB 7th 2nd round
1979/80 3 2ªB 12th 2nd round
1980/81 3 2ªB 3rd DNP
1981/82 3 2ªB 10th 2nd round
1982/83 3 2ªB 1st 2nd round
1983/84 2 2nd 2nd round
1984/85 2 15th 1st round
1985/86 2 7th 1st round
1986/87 2 6th 3rd round
1987/88 2 17th 4th round
1988/89 3 2ªB 1st DNP
1989/90 2 3rd Withdrew[nb 1]
1990/91 2 13th N/A
Season Tier Division Place
1991/92 2 13th
1992/93 2 15th
1993/94 2 14th
1994/95 2 16th
1995/96 2 18th
1996/97 3 2ªB 12th
1997/98 3 2ªB 2nd
1998/99 3 2ªB 6th
1999/00 3 2ªB 8th
2000/01 3 2ªB 6th
2001/02 3 2ªB 6th
2002/03 3 2ªB 4th
2003/04 3 2ªB 11th
2004/05 3 2ªB 9th
2005/06 3 2ªB 6th
2006/07 3 2ªB 15th
2007/08 3 2ªB 15th
2008/09 3 2ªB 11th
2009/10 3 2ªB 15th
2010/11 3 2ªB 12th
Season Tier Division Place
2011/12 3 2ªB 8th
2012/13 3 2ªB 3rd
2013/14 3 2ªB 5th
2014/15 3 2ªB 2nd
2015/16 2 22nd
2016/17 3 2ªB 8th
2017/18 3 2ªB 4th
2018/19 3 2ªB 6th
  1. ^ Before the start of the competition

Current squad[edit]

As of 9 October 2019[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Spain GK Jokin Ezkieta
2 Spain DF Jon Sillero
3 Spain DF Jon Rojo
4 Spain DF Javier Murua
5 Spain DF Daniel Vivian
6 Spain MF Unai Vencedor
7 Spain FW Asier Córdoba
8 Spain MF Oihan Sancet
9 Spain FW Andoni Tascón
10 Spain MF Antonio Salado
11 Spain FW Jon Morcillo
12 Spain FW Gorka Guruzeta
13 Spain GK Ander Iru
14 Spain FW Iñigo Baqué
No. Position Player
15 Spain DF Oier Luengo
16 Spain MF Oier Zarraga
17 Spain MF Julen Bernaola
18 Spain DF Jesús Areso
19 Spain DF Imanol García de Albéniz
20 Spain MF Víctor San Bartolomé
21 Spain FW Ewan Urain
22 Spain FW Juan Artola
23 Spain DF Álvaro Núñez
24 Spain DF Aitor Paredes
25 Spain MF Beñat Prados
26 Spain FW Rubén Azcona
27 Spain FW Jon Cabo
- Spain DF Odei Arrieta

Honours[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Third tier
  2. ^ a b Promoted directly
  3. ^ Not promoted in 1967 play-offs
  4. ^ Not promoted in 1969 play-offs

Stadium[edit]

For playing big matches, they use San Mamés, the first team stadium.

Bilbao Athletic in training

Selected coaches[edit]

Famous players[edit]

Note: this list contains players who have appeared in at least 100 games for the first team.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Athletic: El campo 2 de Lezama sube su aforo hasta los 3.250 espectadores". Mundo Deportivo. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Bilbao Athletic history". Athletic Bilbao. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  3. ^ "El Bilbao Athletic, a Segunda 19 años después y el Cádiz tendrá que esperar" [Bilbao Athletic, into Segunda 19 years later and Cadiz will have to wait] (in Spanish). EFE. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  4. ^ "El Bilbao Athletic empata contra Osasuna y pierde la categoría" [Bilbao Athletic draw with Osasuna and lose the category] (in Spanish). El Correo. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Report: Swans U23 0 Athletic Bilbao B 2". Swansea City A.F.C. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  6. ^ BILBAO ATHLETIC 2019-20; Athletic's official website
  7. ^ "El "Cuco" Ziganda agranda su trayectoria deportiva - Navarra Deportiva" [The "Cuco" Ziganda enlarges his sports career] (in Spanish). 29 May 2017. Retrieved 21 May 2018.

External links[edit]