Lorca Deportiva, a surprising and successful start
Unai Emery’s journey as a coach began in a very surprising fashion. It was as if it was his destiny to take over the reins at the Murcian club in January of the 2005 season because he was a member of the playing squad when he was appointed. It was a surprise to many, as those involved at the time still remember, but what happened that season was even more unexpected.
Unai led Lorca to a historic achievement, winning promotion to the Second Division after a heart-stopping play-off final in Irún (just a few miles from his home in Hondarribia) against Real Unión, the club where both his grandfather and father had made their names as goalkeepers. The historic Ramos goal from 50 yards to win the match and achieve promotion will never be forgotten by Lorca fans. The dream continued into the following season, with the team fighting for promotion to the top flight right up to the end of the season.
Antonio Robles, who played in that team and captained the side for many years, remembers Unai Emery’s time in charge with a lot of affection. “You could tell he lived and breathed it. He was so passionate about football and a real student of the game. I think you could see what he would go on to become and the success that he would have. He had two amazing years and we lived the dream with him. He’s very loved by the people of Lorca, they’ll always be grateful to Unai for what he did. Whenever he’s be able to and we’ve coincided in a city where I’ve been playing, he’s always come over to say hi to me. He’s a great person and really humble. That’s something that he’s never lost, I think that’s something to be praised and admired.”