Vitoria – Ellakuri (Laudio)

It must be very difficult to establish a credible sporting challenge in a community that is exclusively the realm of one dominant club. This is the burden that CD Vitoria has had to carry throughout its 70+ years. A club not so much in the shadow of Deportivo Alavés, but practically exiled from the sporting conscience of the city of Vitoria. There have been a few highlights, such as a period when it stood toe-to-toe with its more illustrious neighbour in the 1950s, and more recently, a union with another Basque club that has seen a return to the third tier of Spanish football.

“Ellakuri? It’s a stadium in Laudio, but that’s not important just now!”

The club was founded in 1945, as the sporting society of a local iron & steel manufacturer. Taking the name Sociedad Deportiva Armentia y Corres, the club competed in the leagues established by the business community in Vitoria, winning the championship in 1946 & 47. Buoyed by this success, the club joined the Guipuzcoana Federation in 1948, and a year later changed its name to Club Deportivo Vitoria. This coincided with a move away from its first home of the Campo de Lakua, to the municipally owned Estadio de Mendizorroza. By the beginning of the 1950s, CD Vitoria was established in the fourth tier of Spanish football and pressing for promotion to the Tercera. This was achieved in 1956, thanks in part to success in the Copa de Guipuzcoana, and the reorganisation of the Tercera by the Spanish Federation. CD Vitoria would spend six of the next seven seasons in the Tercera, including a memorable 1960-61 season, which saw them press Deportivo Alavés for the Tercera title, before finishing runners-up, four points adrift of El Glorioso. The club entered the playoffs and was paired with Burgos CF. A 2-2 draw at Mendizorroza was followed by a comprehensive defeat by 0-4 at the Estadio de Zatorre in Burgos.

The Estadio Mendizorroza served as a home from 1949 to 1974

That really was as good as it got for CD Vitoria. Relegation from the Tercera followed in 1963, and over the next 45 seasons, the club flitted between the 4th & 6th tiers. Their diminishing appeal led to a move in 1974, from Mendizorroza to the Campo Municipal de Urrate.  This was a basic field in the northern suburb of Abechuco, which was to remain their home for the next 30 years. The 1980s & 90s were a particularly dark period for CD Vitoria, with 16 of the 20 seasons spent in the 6th tier. Eventually, things started to improve in 2004 with promotion to the Regional Preferente. This was to be a final swansong for the Campo Municipal de Urrate, as the municipal council decided to turn the area into parkland and allotments. In 2005, CD Vitoria moved to the Campo Municipal de Betoño. This was where Deportivo Alavés trained and their reserve team hosted home fixtures. Two season-long visits to the Tercera were achieved in 2007-08 & 2011-12.

The Campo Municipal de Urrate played host from 1974 to 2005

After a further return to the Tercera in 2015, the club attracted the attention of SD Eibar, who was on the lookout for a reserve team, having disbanded their own in 2012. Eibar had just reached the heady heights of La Primera, and in June 2015 the two clubs signed an agreement that would see CD Vitoria act as an affiliated club. The 2015-16 season saw the club achieve a respectable 6th placed finish in the Tercera. It would also be the last at the Campo Municipal de Betoño, as CD Vitoria move away from their home city, and set up residence some 12km to the west of Vitoria, at the Campo Municipal de Arrate in Nanclares de Oca. The 2016-17 season saw CD Vitoria finish runners-up in the league, then overcome CD Azuaga, Club Atlético Cirbonero & Atlético Astorga in the playoffs to win promotion to Segunda B for the first time. The debut in Segunda B necessitated another move, this time back to Vitoria and the Instalaciones Deportivas de Olaranbe. Situated to the southeast of Vitoria, the main stadium had previously hosted matches at Segunda B level when CD Aurrerá de Vitoria clocked-up 8 seasons at this level between 1995 & 2003.


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The move to Olaranbe proved controversial, with both Deportivo Alavés and CD Aurrerá Vitoria lodging protests. They stated that the statutes of Olaranbe only allowed its use by teams from the province of Álava. Whilst CD Vitoria met this requirement, they claimed that SD Eibar did not. After securing another season in Segunda B with a 15th placed finish, CD Vitoria was on the move again. In August 2018, the club announced they would play at the Estadio Ellakuri in Laudio while maintaining their academy in Vitoria at the Campo Municipal De Futbol La Vitoriana. The move to Laudio, some 50km northwest of Vitoria, also sees the Estadio Ellakuri return to hosting Segunda B matches, after the resident club Club Deportivo Laudio spent the 2013-14 season in the third tier (This nearly led to the club folding, but best not mention that!).

The Estadio Ellakuri – A third home in three seasons for CD Vitoria

The Estadio Ellakuri sits halfway up a picturesque valley about a kilometre to the north west of the centre of town. Both the main stand, which seats 500 and the covered Grada General date from 1978. In 2010, the municipality installed red & white bucket seats in the main stand and new roofs were added. The Grada General got a lick of paint and a new blue synthetic running track was installed. All of which makes Ellakuri a pleasing mix of colour and quirkiness. Add to that the beauty of the surrounding countryside, and you will struggle to find a more picturesque location in Segunda B.


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