Iraia Iturregi was officially unveiled as Athletic Club Women’s head coach at a press conference in San Mamés.
The iconic lioness, who is the side’s second-top appearance maker, emphasised her belief in the quality of the squad.
Club president, Aitor Elizegi, and director of sport, Joseba Aguirre, joined Iraia at her media presentation.
“It’s a very happy day for me because being the Athletic manager is a privilege,” Iturregi said about making the step up from being head coach of the reserves. “If I were to describe the perfect moment to take over, perhaps I would have chosen another – maybe at the beginning of the season, starting from zero.
“But what is ideal doesn’t always happen and you must confront reality in the face.
“It’s a talented group that aren’t showing the best of themselves at the moment. But I believe we can turn things around. We have to trust in the work.”
Iraia knows the squad well, having spent the majority of her playing career with Athletic before becoming the reserve-team manager in the summer of 2019.
“In this changing room, there’s an excellent group of humans who will never throw in the towel when faced with adversity,” she said.
“We have to focus on finding a solution for our weaknesses and supporting the players in the aspects that they are already doing well.”
Athletic Club face Basque rivals SD Eibar in just 48 hours. Although Iturregi has little time to prepare for the match, she insisted that it’s a must-win fixture.
“It will be a special match,” Iraia added. “We know each other well. We’ve decided to prioritise the clash with Eibar and then afterwards we’ll have time to mark out how we want to continue.
“We’re confident we can win three points before the 15-day break in play. Our absolute priority is to beat Eibar.”
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