Club name: CD Basconia
Level: Tercera División
Stadium: Polideportivo Artunduaga
Maximum Capacity: 1,500
Ticket Prices: 15€
How to arrive: Metro to Ariz station and 15 minute walk from there.
This weekend I took a trip to Basauri to see another Athletic Club affliate play, CD Basconia. I may have had a staunch hangover and the weather was pretty miserable but, nevertheless, I fearlesly travelled to Basauri. After all, what better cure for both ailments than some live football.
The club, founded in 1913, has spent all of its history in the Spanish lower leagues, becoming a mainstay of the Tercera División over the past 20 years. The club’s nature changed massively in 1997 when they signed an agreement to become an official affiliate of Athletic Club, effectively making them the Basque giant’s ‘C’ team. The ranks of the squad are filled with promising youngsters with the oldest members normally being around 20 years old. The developmental ethos of the side means that the roster is ever changing. Each year some players make the jump up to Bilbao Athletic whilst others having failed to make the mark drop out usually going on to join rival Tercera or Segunda División B sides. These players are then replaced by the next batch of young Basques hoping to become professional footballers.
Basconia are currently managed by ex-Eibar player Ander Alaña, and along with Bilbao Athletic, they are a vital cog in Athletic Club’s top-class player producing machine. Unlike, with a lot of English Premiership sides, players come into the first team set up at Athletic with a fair amount of game time already under the belt. The experience gained in the lower leagues is absolutely essential. By time the lucky few from this current squad reach the heady hights of La Liga, it is entirely likely that they might have already played over 100 games for either Basconia or Bilbao Athletic against tough and, at times, physical opposition. As they say: There is no better way to learn how to play football, than playing football.
Since 2008, CD Basconia have played their home games at the Polideportivo Artunduaga in Basauri. The stadium is part of a huge sporting complex that includes tennis courts, a swimming pool, an athletics track, a gym and a cafe.
Down to Logistics
I took the metro to the Ariz station. Once there I left through exit marked Valencia. From leaving the metro station I walked down Calle Valencia until I was on Calle Catalunya. Here I turned left and walked across a bridge. On the other side of the bridge I turned left at a small roundabout and continued until I arrived at the sports centre. At the ground I went to the ticket office and paid 15€ for my ticket.
Basconia definitely began the game in control, the young guns had plenty of possession and loads of intent, with every player seemingly looking to move forward as soon as they had the ball at the feet, but they were missing precision. Too many passes were misplaced in the final third and they failed to capitalise on their early dominance. Around the 20 minute mark, Getxo with a definite physical advantage started to find their feet and play their way into the game. They came to close to going one up against the tide of play when a fine pass found the no.3 Ander close to the byline, he proceeded to cut in off his wing and let rip a fine shot off his right peg which smashed the upright and went over. It didn’t take long for Getxo to take advantage of their superior physicality and experience as Basconia gave away a penalty in the 25th minute which was expertly lashed away to the left by no.10 Ende. However, it did not take long for Basconia to respond, and in the 28th minute right-back Otxoa found himself in some space down the right wing where he whipped in a beautifully weighted cross that was met by a powerful header from Tascón. Getxo were rattled and Basconia came close to going into the lead only two minutes later when if they had not missed an absolute sitter from inside the penalty box. Except for the Getxo goalkeeper acrobatically saving a well timed header, the first half did not see too much more action and it fizzled out into half time.
The first five minutes of the second half started at a frantic pace as both sides looked to gain the upper hand, but decent chances were either wasted or well saved. The rest of the second half lacked the quality of the first, and although both sides pushed forward with possession neither managed to truly threaten the opposite goalie, Getxo’s Unai being particularly impressive. As the game moved on and the light slowly dimmed so did the game. The respective managers made substitutions and tactical changes in attempt to find the missing spark, but neither were successful. Overall, neither team impressed more than the other and a point each was probably the deserved result.
If you are looking to see some stylish, attacking football played by some of the Basque Country and Spain’s brightest hopes then look no further than Basconia. These promising talents had their metal fully tested by some seasoned footballers in the shape of CD Getxo on this particularly dreary Saturday evening, exactly what is needed for them to become the real deal.