With a population of around 9,000, the Basque town of Amurrio has a pleasant rural feel to it. For its first 40 years or so, the local senior team Amurrio Club, lived up to the image, kicking around in the regional leagues. Then in 1992 it embarked on a two decade-long odyssey that very nearly saw the club reach the second division.
|Action at the Campo Maskuribai |
Founded in 1949, Amurrio played
at Campo Maskuribai, a basic fenced off ground to the south of the town. Then
in 1979 it moved to the east and the Estadio Basarte. It was here that the club
started to stir, working its way through the regional leagues before reaching
the Tercera for the 1992-93 season. An impressive sixth place finish in their
debut season was improved upon a year later with the Tercera title and
promotion via the play-offs. If the teams that made up Group II of Segunda B
for the 1994-95 season thought their country cousins were along for the ride, they
were in a for a shock, as Amurrio finished eleventh. Amurrio found the 95-96
season much harder and was relegated after finishing in 20th position.
Undeterred, the club regrouped and won promotion back to Segunda B a year
later. From here, Amurrio began to build
and this culminated with a fourth place finish in 2000-01. In the play-offs for
a place in La Segunda, Amurrio was pitched against Gimnastic Tarragona, Cadiz
& Zamora. After a 0-2 victory at Zamora on the first day, the balance was
restored and the club finished third in the group.
|Estadio Basarte. 'Tis in countryside, you know?|
What followed was four seasons of top half finishes in Segunda B before budgets were cut and Amurrio went into decline. The 2005-06 season saw Amurrio finish 16th and only escape relegation thanks to a win on penalties over Baza in the relegation play-offs. There would be no reprieve a season later when the club finished bottom of the league and returned to the Tercera. Amurrio made a couple of valiant attempts to regain their third tier status, but lost out in the play-offs. An eighth place finish in the 2009-10 season signalled the end of the golden era, and a year later Amurrio was relegated to the Regional Preferente, twenty years after leaving it.
|The main west stand is unlikely to get much use in the Regionals|
Three quarters of the Estadio Basarte could easily pass as the simple home of a village side. Thin strips of hard standing occupy each end, whilst a short cover can be found in the north east corner of the ground. The east side features a short open terrace and a fairly substantial club house. This two storey construction features the baulk of the stadium's amenities, all housed under a simple pitched roof. Upon reaching the Tercera, the club started work on a simple, but effective stand on the west side. Four rows of blue & white seats sit under a barrel-vaulted cantilevered roof, providing the ground with its one and only stand out feature.
Labels: Euskadi, Tercera or Below