Whilst the city of Astorga has a long and rich history, which you can trace back over the millennia, its footballing heritage has much shallower roots. 1944 to be precise, when the current club’s predecessor, also called Atlético Astorga, was founded.
Atlético Astorga mk.1 never played above the Tercera, and after a particularly troublesome 1965-66 season which saw relegation from the Tercera, it folded in the summer of 1968. It would be another four years before a new club would emerge, and taking the name of its less than illustrious predecessor, it made short work of the lower reaches of the Castile-León leagues. After a five year spell in the Regional Preferente, Atlético debuted in the Tercera in 1980. They spent 18 of the next 21 seasons in the fourth tier, finishing second in 1991-92. Reaching the play-offs was not a happy experience however, with the club losing five of its six matches in the mini-league format. Fortunes dipped at the turn of the century and Atlético spent seven seasons back in the Regional Preferente, before returning to the Tercera in 2008.
Under the guidance of Sagrario González García, one of the league’s growing number of female presidents, Atlético made steady progress, culminating in another second-place finish in 2013-14. They disposed on Binessalem in the first round of the play-offs, before pulling off a remarkable turnaround against CD Mensajero. Trailing 0-4 from the first leg in the Canary Islands, Atlético won the second leg 4-0, then held their nerve to win on penalties. Their place in Segunda B was secured after a tense away-goals victory over Cantabrian-side CD Laredo.
Home games are played at the Campo Municipal La Eragudina. This lies on parkland to the south of the city, which was bequeathed to the city’s folk by the Marquis of Astorga. Surrounded by housing on two sides, and the Rio Jerga on a third, the enclosure’s only access is on Pasaje la Eragudina. From this vantage point, the ground promises much. Tall, emerald green cladding runs for over 50 metres from the north-west corner to behind western goal. Surely this is the back of a modern, all seated stand? Well, no. Walk into the ground and you will see that it is just 50 metres of cladding! There is a short cover suspended from it, and new club offices are tucked away in the corner. La Eragudina’s main feature is a 60 metre-long cantilevered stand along its northern side. Dating from 1983, this cover houses four rows of green seats and a central media booth, which would cause severe trauma to a cat, were you to swing one around whilst in residence.
Hard standing makes up the remain three sides to take La Eraguidina’s capacity to 2,000, although temporary seating was installed on the southern section during the successful 2013-14 campaign. Behind this seating is the club’s new dressing rooms. Opened in December 2011 at a cost of €400,00, it features two large changing rooms for the players, facilities for the match officials and a laundry room. All very nice, but given the harsh winters experienced in this part of Spain, you would think the fans deserve a little more in the way of shelter. And no, I don’t mean more pointless cladding.