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Companies need to be like football teams, working together to win the game. In today’s world, collaboration, work, determination, and enthusiasm are becoming even more necessary to achieve our goals.
As the vice-president of the Sociedad Deportiva Amorebieta football club, our team was promoted to Division 2A on 22 May this year, and as Road Manager at Intermodal Forwarding, one of the companies that make up VASCO, my life’s experience has taught me that, from humble beginnings, you can achieve historic feats by working hard, pulling together as a team, and having the passion needed to overcome any difficulties faced.
Amorebieta’s promotion to Second Division, an unexpected joy, shows, without a doubt, that with hard work, perseverance, cooperation, and enthusiasm, we can achieve our goals, however high and unattainable they sometimes seem. Values that are also part of the essence of VASCO.
I find it very interesting to talk about the parallels between VASCO and Amorebieta, since they are both being managed very well, and both VASCO, which started out as a modest company, and Amorebieta, a team with a tiny budget, are forging ahead and achieving much greater goals because of their commitment, their effort, and their drive.
It reminds me of when I started out in VASCO in 2000 and joined VASCO Bohemia, which was the name for the central region of Prague at the time. Later, I continued my career at Intermodal Forwarding, the group’s new company that, in addition to land transport to Central Europe, also began to offer maritime and air transport services. Achieving goals.
We have been running a transport service to this part of Europe for over 25 years. Now this area is much easier to access, but when we started out, we were breaking new ground. Throughout the area where we are now very competitive: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, we started out with nothing.
Kepa Azarloza began working with a family from the Czech Republic and it all went from there. We now run round trips throughout that area. We have carriers from there with whom we have been working for years: Polish, Czech, and Slovakian. We optimise freight. We bring freight from that area into the Basque Country, and then take freight from here to there. It’s been hard work. We started out without any experience, but now we know a lot about all that, we have a lot of know-how because the company has been working there for many years.
My experience as a director of Amorebieta may be somewhat similar to what has happened at VASCO. Because we have also been pioneers. We have achieved unprecedented success. This is the first time in history that Amorebieta has reached that division. A team with a tiny budget and such huge debts has managed to achieve a dream that seemed so impossible.
My passion and connection to Amorebieta come from way back. My family has always had a strong connection to the team. My brothers used to play for the team, one of my brothers, Jose Felix, coached the senior team in Division 2B. Another of my brothers owns a bar on the way to Urritxe and after the matches many of the players and some of the managers often go there. We have always worked closely with Sociedad Deportiva del Amorebieta, so, almost naturally, I have also ended up being a member of the board of directors.
When, in 2018, several friends clubbed together and decided to take over the management of the team with debts of around 350,000 euros, we were just thinking about moving forwards and keeping the team afloat. But who would have thought that just four years later we would be in Division 2A?
Previously, for whatever reason, there was only one person on the board, and they had to work alone. But now, through teamwork and collaboration, among the 8 or 9 people who joined the board at the same time, along with the boys who have played and led us to victory, between all of us, we have been able, if not to wipe out our debts completely, at least get the team up to the Second Division. An impressive success for a team with one of the lowest budgets.
As vice president of the team, I have also seen that one of the lessons you learn from life as you gain experience is that, both on the pitch and in business, you can’t put the cart before the horse, and that you need to show what you can do out there on the pitch.
I will never forget the day of the match that saw us promoted. We went to play in Badajoz, and we were playing for promotion. First we went there and played against Linares and won. Then we drew lots, and we were playing Badajoz on their home ground, El Nuevo Vivero. Normally these types of matches are played on neutral ground. But, we had to play there, with 8,000 people supporting Badajoz and only 500 fans of ours accompanying us.
Badajoz were the favourites because they were the main team in the province, with a bigger budget and everything… And playing on their home ground, where the locals didn’t even know who our team was, or even how to pronounce Amorebieta, we won.
They all thought Badajoz were the favourites, they all thought they would win even an hour before the game, just assuming they would be victorious and get promoted. But it’s what you do out there on the pitch that counts…
The score was 0-1, time was running out, and it was still… 0-1, 0-1… and the match went on, and they couldn’t draw level with us…. Their faces said it all… And our team held steady, kept fighting, not letting their guard down for a minute, and they did the unthinkable. Because on the pitch and in business, it is important to work hard, not to rest on your laurels, but to maintain the same momentum and that same determination.
We started with 102 teams, a small budget, always looking outside our group, with the intention of keeping Amorebieta afloat, but the team knew it could do something great and they did just that. Incredible.
As Iker Bilbao, who scored Amorebieta’s winning goal against Badajoz, said: “Amorebieta is a family. A united team.” That’s another way in which they are very similar to VASCO, which is also a family and a team.
Because in VASCO we are a team. Several companies working together to support and help each other. Together, collaborating, working as a team. Because all together we are VASCO, just as the players of Amorebieta are the team that took us up to the Second Division. It is not only individual work that counts, but teamwork.
I know that for all of us who make up VASCO, Amorebieta’s promotion is something we are extremely proud of. The Azarloza family are lifelong Amorebieta fans, and the fact that their hometown club, which they also support and sponsor, has achieved this unprecedented success gives them such a tremendous sense of satisfaction and pride.
Because both in VASCO and S.D. Amorebieta, we might make mistakes sometimes, but we always try to do things to the best of our ability, with determination, commitment, and enthusiasm.
Vice President of Sociedad Deportiva Amorebieta
and Road Manager at Intermodal Forwarding