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First Team

Andoni Iraola appointed AFC Bournemouth head coach


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Andoni Iraola as the club's new head coach on a two-year deal.

Andoni arrives at Vitality Stadium following the expiry of his contract at Rayo Vallecano, where a successful three-year spell ended with an 11th-placed finish in La Liga last season.

He earned promotion to the top flight in his first season with the Madrid club in 2020/21, before taking the team to the Copa del Rey semi-finals in the following campaign. 

He had previously taken Segunda División side Mirandés to the same stage of the domestic cup in 2019/20, for only the second time in the club's history. He started his managerial career in Cyprus with AEK Larnaca where he led his side in the group stage of the Europa League.

The former right-back enjoyed an impressive and long playing career himself, which included more than 500 appearances for Athletic Bilbao and seven caps for Spain. He also played for New York City FC in their first two seasons in Major League Soccer.

Andoni joins an ambitious AFC Bournemouth side that finished 15th in the Premier League in its first season back in the top flight.

"We're so excited to welcome Andoni to the club," AFC Bournemouth owner and chairman Bill Foley said. "With his contract in Spain coming to an end this summer we wanted to act quickly.

"He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision. His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we're confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter.

"We have identified a number of targets in the transfer market, which along with our January additions will supplement our strong playing squad to give Andoni the best chance to consolidate our Premier League status and keep progressing."

Andoni starts work with the playing squad and backroom staff at the beginning of pre-season in July. He will have an early look at his new team before heading to a warm-weather training camp in Marbella, with the Cherries facing Hibernian and Maccabi Tel Aviv in the first two pre-season friendly matches on the 13th and 16th July respectively.

Andoni's first taste of a Vitality Stadium match day will come at the end of July, with the club hosting Atalanta and FC Lorient before the visit of West Ham United to start the Premier League campaign a week later.

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