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A goal averse to changes

The game with the feet, one of his specialties, betrayed him in Lezama. Ortolá, perhaps the result of confidence or who knows why, sent the ball late and badly, in the wrong direction, and Amorebieta took advantage of this to score (1-0). Resounding and decisive mistake. One stain, nothing more, but enough for Míchel Sánchez to decide that enough had been enough and that after six consecutive tenures, the time had come to change again. This is Ortolá’s short adventure under the sticks and on the grass. Signed in January 2021, he has played very little but has earned respect inside and outside the dressing room. Their camaraderie and dedication stand out, and it is one more piece that explains the promotion to Primera achieved less than two months ago. Insufficient qualities to continue. Yesterday, what was already known for a few days became official. His contract with the Montilivi club until 2023 has been terminated and he will now look for his clubs far away, abroad, because he will join KMSK Deinze, a club that competes in the second division of Belgium . What does this mean? That Girona will have to sign a goalkeeper and has less than a month to do so. Nothing new, considering the closest precedents.

Gorka Iraizoz, in a training session. | GIRONA FC


In 2016, a year before the first promotion to the top division, Isaac Becerra left and did so leaving behind 139 official games. There is no other goalkeeper with more prominence in Girona counting his appearances, whether in First, Second or the now-defunct Segona B. A new stage marked by question marks was then opening. Six years later, the club has signed a total of eight goalkeepers. Only one of them continues. And there are two that have passed the 30 game barrier. The rest have played less or, even, have not made their debut in official competition. The exception with capital letters is that of Juan Carlos Martín, one of the new faces during the summer of 2019, a time in which a real revolution was experienced as a result of relegation and the consequent arrival of a handful of money in the coffers . The fair Mancheque will start his fourth season and, at the moment, has already accumulated 110 games, stepping closer and closer to Becerra’s records. For now, he is the only goalkeeper in the first team. He has played more than Yassine Bounou, the other who presents considerable numbers. The now Sevilla footballer made 84 appearances, being the regular starter in the two years spent in Primera. The Moroccan has not been there for some time. Yes Juan Carlos, who expects competition.

Arijanet Muric, in a match in Montilivi. | MARC MARTÍ


From 2016 until now, however, more goalkeepers have been passing through but none of them have managed to consolidate. René Román arrived at the same time as Bounou, but he only lasted one year and left with 22 games in his private account. If he does, he does not do the same as the experienced Gorka Iraizoz, who collected 23 in two seasons, all in the highest category. A little more, 27, was contested by Asier Riesgo, already in Segona and where he continues, although on this occasion defending the shield of Leganés.

The importance of Arijanet Muric, loaned by Manchester City and an invention that did not work at all, was less important. Six appearances and thanks, before he left in the winter, just when he had joined for half a year. Ortolá has also played six games, who will not start the League after his contract was terminated yesterday. Another goalkeeper must be added: José Aurelio Suárez. Injuries and the lack of confidence from the coaches who have been passing through the bench left him ostracized. No official party. At least with the first team because with Peralada, when there was an affiliation agreement between clubs, he did participate. However, after three and a half courses, his prominence on the grass, at least on Montilivi’s, was nil.

And now what? It’s been days since Quique Cárcel said that all positions would be strengthened, so it was also contemplated to present at least one new face in goal. The market has been combing its hair for weeks and some, not a few, options have been tried. He asked about Rubén Blanco, whom Celta has ended up selling to Olympique de Marseille. The list of free players has also been combed and this is where more names appear, such as those of Joel Robles or Kiko Casilla. However, Girona is pushing to try to convince Álvaro Fernández and also his club, l’Osca. An interesting profile and at the same time an asset to consider. For quality and for age, because he is only 24 years old. What happens is that more clubs want him and there is one, Getafe, that would be willing to make a considerable effort. However, from the Coliseum the arrival of Fernando Pacheco had also been discussed, so it is not clear that he will end up signing both of them or that one of them will continue without a destination. They follow it from Montilivi. And very attentive.

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