Amorebieta – Urritxe

Football has been played on Urritxe since 1915, ten full years before Sociedad Deportiva Amorebieta was formed. Situated to the North East of the town, it remained a basic facility for much of the 20th century, with little in the way of cover and a dirt pitch.

Campos de Urritxe and Txolon – 150 metres apart

In 2000, Amorebieta moved out from Urritxe to allow the complete redevelopment of the site. They didn’t have to move far, just 150 metres to the east where the municipality had built Campo de Fútbol de Txolon, a small enclosure with an artificial pitch. Meanwhile, Urritxe was getting its first significant stand, a raised structure with four barrelled vaults that were cantilevered over 500 seats. The rest of the ground was made up of hard standing and was opened in time for the club to start the 2002-03 season. Urritxe was officially inaugurated on 12 October 2002 when Racing Santander played Athletic Club in a friendly. Underneath the main stand is a collection of changing facilities, a few shops and a bar. Not bad for a combined cost of € 1,320,000.

Racing & Athletic walk out at Urritxe (12/10/2002)

As for the club, they kicked around in the regional leagues for the first thirty five years and during the late 1940’s Spanish International goalkeeper and local boy Carmelo Cedrún, started his career with the club. Amorebieta first reached the Tercera in 1962, staying for six seasons and clocking-up two third place finishes in the process. They returned to the Tercera in 1982 and embarked on a stay that would last 30 seasons. During this period, Amorebieta qualified for the end of season play-offs on 8 occasions, with failures in the seven attempts up until 2011. The 2010-11 season was different as the club secured their first Tercera title, then beat CD Manacor 4-0 over two legs to earn a place in Segunda B for the first time.

Urritxe in 2015

The upward momentum continued as Amorebieta made a flying start to the 2011-12 season. Strong form at Urritxe and a tight defence saw the club finish fourth and enter the end of season play-offs. Unfortunately, their play-off hoodoo returned and as they lost 1-3 to Real Balompédica Linense. Over the next decade, Amorebieta continued to post a series of top ten finishes, and rarely finished below halfway. Then in a truncated 2020-21 season, the club finished third in its sub-group and qualified for the play-offs for a place in La Segunda. COVID protocols meant that the usual two-legged format was scrapped in favour of single knock-out ties. Their first match was played at the Estadio Nuevo Viveiro in Badajoz, and Amorebieta beat Linares Deportivo 2-1 to advance to the final. The final saw Amorebieta paired with CD Badajoz. The Extremaduran team had the advantage of playing in their home stadium, but Amorebieta prevailed, winning 1-0 with a goal from Bilbao in the 22nd minute.

Lezama – A home from home for SD Amorebieta

After the euphoria over promotion had died down, thoughts turned to a first ever season on Spain’s second tier. In particular, the club’s Urritxe home was wholly inadequate to host La Segunda matches. Faced with a very tight timescale and the unpalatable expense of upgrading their basic stadium, Amorebieta turned to their Basque neighbours Athletic Club. A season-long stay was agreed, some 16km north west of Urritxe, at the Lezama training facility. Whilst it is sad that the high point in the Amorebieta’s history will not be staged at their home of 96 years, this pragmatic approach will go some way to ensure that their step into the professional leagues does not break the bank.

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