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    19 June 2023

    Introducing Bournemouth’s Latest Addition: Meet Andoni Iraola, The Cherries’ New Manager!

    A History of Overachieving Everywhere He Has Been

    Andoni Iraola is an ambitious young thinker who has always been at the forefront of modern tactics and always looking for new ways to improve his team’s performance.

    Iraola began his career as a player and spent 15 years with Athletic Bilbao, where he helped lead them to two Copa del Rey finals, a Europa League final and qualified for the Champions League in his four seasons as captain.

    In his first venture into management with AEK Larnaca, Iraola led the Cypriot side to qualify for the Europa League group stage for only the second time.

    At little-known Spanish second division side Mirandes, he steered a team destined for relegation to a mid-table finish – as well as leading them to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey by knocking out La Liga heavyweights Celta Vigo, Sevilla and Villarreal!

    Rayo Vallecano’s Rise To La Liga

    After leading Rayo Vallecano to a promotion via the play-offs, Andoni Iraola inspired them to qualify for European football earlier in the campaign despite being one of La Liga’s worst-run clubs.

    Rayo hail from the fiercely-proud working-class neighbourhood of Vallecas in Madrid. Their stadium has no wifi in the press area and until recently had no tap water in the bathrooms. The club still have no online ticketing service, leading to thousands of fans queuing overnight last year to secure season tickets!

    Iraola’s Rayo had a reputation for being one of the most effective pressing teams in Spain, playing with a high block and forcing teams into errors in dangerous areas.

    If we only dedicate ourselves to defending and counter-attacking when we can, I think we won’t stay up because if a rival is able to get on top of you they end up creating chances and scoring and overcoming you,” said Iraola.

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