Philippe Tayeb (Bayonne): “Iturria and I hope for others…”

“Aviron Bayonnais has officially signed a contract with Artur Iturria from next season. Can you tell us about the genesis of this move in the mutation market?
There was no appointment with Arthur. This friendship started around dinner. We should also thank Kamil Lopez, who did a lot of work in our direction. He was a strong player from the first meeting. The main idea was to try to bring back our talented players who sometimes leave because the club is not ready for the top level. Part of Arthur’s life is spent in Bayonne. The planets have finally aligned.

Bayonne’s position on Iturria and its recruitment is not insignificant. Is this a strong message?
We may have a presentation label, but our project is ambitious. We also have stability for 4 years. It is normal for us to look at our former players who have made other French clubs happy. Rowing is proving it wants to join serious, ambitious Top 14 clubs by recruiting Artur Iturria (28). This is the first message, I hope there will be others. We build our budget every day, which reaches 21.5 million euros. We have renovated our stadium, we have a 4000 square meter training center. It proves that we are ready to keep moving forward and meet the demands of the Top 14 and hopefully the Top 6 at some point. Our resources are growing and we want to move towards a budget of 24-25 million, with 10 million salary in the salary cap.

“The goal: to have 70% of our workforce come from our training, from the Basque region. He is very important”

Should you pay a bit more to recruit Iturria when you’re promoted like Bayonne?
No, we cannot afford to put ourselves at the level of offers made by big clubs. In fact, Arthur has a reason to return home. This is a life project. He was attached to ASM and it has given him a very good career till date. But his choice is family. I’m sure other players will follow his example and return to Bayonne. This is the goal: 70% of our workforce comes from our training, from the Basque region. It is very important.

Arthur Iturria leaves Clermont for Bayonne. (N. Luttiau/Team)

Iturria is not an end in itself…
This is the first hit. We will improve our preparation and at the same time we will look for our experienced players. Is it a message? Can be.

Is this Charles Ollivo’s footbell?
Yes and to others! I think of Anthony Étrillard, Aymeric Luc (Toulon), Max Spring, Baptiste Chouzenoux (Racing 92), Cheikh Tiberghien (Clermont), Martin Laveau (Castres)… There are players.

Will there be one or two more in Bayonne next year?
No, not next year. The goal is primarily to stabilize 80% of our workforce, which makes us happy with a strong backbone today. Then, it would be nice to bring back one or more talents from the Basque Country every year! We will continue our work.

“We will announce the extensions soon. Above all, we mustn’t neglect our players who give us extraordinary experiences and complete satisfaction! »

After a good start to the season, could announcing the signing of Iturria be an added boost to keep the momentum going?
Yes I hope so. We have exchanged ideas with some players and his arrival will be an additional experience in our team. But for our subscribers, partners, institutions, the return of a talented player is a strong message.

Conversely, does your good start to the season attract greed and force you to be careful not to lose your best elements?
Without a doubt, our players are scrutinized and in demand. It is up to us to do what is necessary. We have already re-signed 80% of our players. We will announce extensions soon. Above all, we mustn’t neglect our players who give us extraordinary experiences and complete satisfaction! Players who wet the jersey will be thanked and valued at their fair value. »

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