A bumper edition of our weekly look at events in the Settore Giovanile, as Adam Digby not only rounds up the latest Primavera league games but also discusses in detail how the various youngsters away on loan & co-ownership have been getting on. One or two may well have big futures ahead of them so take a look and tell others to do the same.
Got a question on the Youth Sector? Fire away in comments, Adam will try to answer it!
After securing a place in the end-of-season playoffs last week, this has been a strange period for the Primavera as they marked time waiting for those important games to begin. Coach Marco Baroni has rotated his squad heavily once again as he attempts to keep his players fresh, and also avoid injury to those he considers key to Juve’s hope of adding the league title to the Viareggio trophy.
Last week’s loss to Torino was never really a setback given Juve’s strong position in the league standings, but it’s also important the Bianconeri reach the end of the season in a positive frame of mind and with some momentum. Yet with no fewer than seven changes from that derby defeat that was never likely as Genoa came to Vinovo last weekend with the Ligurian outfit still harbouring playoff hopes themselves.
Two switches were nonetheless forced upon the coach, as Gabriel Appelt sat out suspended while Yussif Chibsah was only deemed fit enough for a spot on the bench after coming off injured last week. Those two absences were keenly felt in midfield and Juve never really got to grips with the Rossoblu, quite a departure from the demolition of the same opponents back in December.
In truth Genoa achieved their victory thanks to a combination of luck (Carlos Garcia almost opened the score for Juve with a headed set piece) and skill, as their goalkeeper Lukas Zima made a succession of fine saves – notably from substitute Stefano Padovan – while Francesco Magiotta had a goal ruled out for offside. Il Grifone‘s Andrea Parodi slotted neatly past Laurenţiu Brănescu for the only goal of the game.
Carfora, Magnússon, C.Garcia, Belfasti
Bouy, Schiavone (84′ Chibsah), Lanini (63 ‘Padovan)
Ruggiero, Libertazzi, Margiotta
(BENCH: Sluga, Gouano, Liviero, Beltrame, De Silvestro)
The team had a chance to put those defeats behind them almost instantly as they faced Novara for a midweek match Wednesday, the last home game of the league season. Again Baroni rang seven changes, retaining only Brănescu, Schiavone, Ruggiero and Magnússon from the loss to Genoa.
The Juventus coach also took the opportunity to use Elio De Silvestro as a lone striker, although he and former Novara man Stefano Beltrame alternated position constantly, never allowing the defenders marking them to settle and disrupting their play throughout the opening 45 minutes. Yet for all their good play the Bianconeri fell behind after just 12 minutes as Mattia Maggio capitalised on a mistake by the home keeper.
Almost twenty minutes went past before parity was restored as Juve’s Icelandic central defender Hörður Magnússon rewarded Baroni’s decision to select him with a headed goal, his third at this level. It took just a further four minutes for Juve to take the lead, Ruggiero falling in the box and captain Andrea Schiavone netting the resulting penalty. Shortly after halftime Novara drew level again, but then some wonderful skill from De Silvestro saw yet another penalty awarded to Juve and Schiavone completed his spot-kick double to clinch the win.
30′ Magnússon, 34′ pen., 65′ pen. Schiavone
Untersee, Guano (46′ C.Garcia), Magnússon, Liviero
Ruggiero, Beltrame (46′ Bouy), Spinazzola (72′ Rubin)
(BENCH: Sluga, Belfasti, Margiotta, Libertazzi)
The Bianconeri now have just an away game at Parma Saturday to end their campaign. The real fun shall then begin!
|Primavera – “Group A”||PTS||GP||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD|
Continuing to look at the young players out on loan (see previous editions here and here) we focus on 14 players who find themselves in a range of situations, getting vastly different amounts of playing time and with varying degrees of success. Here it is:
|Carlo Pinsoglio||Age 21||GKP||Vicenza|
|Having struggled to break into Zdenek Zeman’s Pescara side, the Italy U-21 International (who just turned 22 in March) was recalled and sent to Vicenza as Juve made a number of Co-Ownership switches with a clear eye on this summer’s moves. Pinsoglio has yet to debut for the Biancorossi and, like Costantino, looks to have lost his chance in Turin.|
|Timothy Nocchi||Age 21||GKP||Carrarese|
|After breaking into the starting line-up at Gigi Buffon’s hometown club Carrarese, the youngster is now their clear first choice as the Tuscan side has sent former starting goalkeper Massimo Gazzoli to Esperia Viareggio. Nocchi has now made 22 starts, conceding 20 goals. Seemingly poor stats, but the keeper has also kept a remarkable 9 clean sheets and helped his side climb to 9th place in Lega Prima Divisione B.|
|Mario Kirev||Age 22||GKP||Poli. Timişoara|
|The only member of Bulgaria’s U-21 National team to play outside that country’s own borders, Kirev has continued to struggle to find space at Romanian Liga II side Politehnica Timişoara. Since our last round-up he has made his debut in a 1-1 draw vs. GM Severin this past weekend. The team are almost certain of promotion, a 10-point gap separating them from 3rd place.|
|Marco Costantino||Age 20||GKP||Latina|
|Constantino has made no further appearances for Lega Pro side Latina since our last look at these players. The keeper – a favourite of Beppe Marotta and Claudio Filippi – has played just three matches for the relegation-threatened club, a wasted season that he could ill afford given Juve’s depth in this position.|
|Frederik Sørensen||Age 20||DEF||Bologna|
|Initially struggling to get into the Rossoblu team, Sørensen made quite an impression on his debut v. Palermo. Despite he scored his first Serie A goal it was his aptitude in defence which stood out, the good things seen last season still being there along with an air of confidence which belies the player’s age. No striker or midfielder dribbled past him that game, and he blocked a certain goal while making six other important clearances.|
|Raffaele Alcibiade||Age 21||DEF||Nocerina|
|From a couple of moves that haven’t worked to one that clearly currently is, the defender is continuing to find room with Serie B side Nocerina and gaining invaluable experience along the way. He will probably not wear Bianconero colors again but seems more than ready to enjoy a moderately successful career elsewhere.|
|Simone Di Dio||Age 20||DEF||Perugia|
|Yet to feature since moving on loan, the 20 year-old seemed to realise his chances in Turin would be limited given the Primavera’s great depth in central defence. Di Dio will undoubtedly look to find room to play during next season but almost certainly not at Juve as he will be too old to play with the Primavera.|
|Cristian Pasquato||Age 22||MID||Torino|
|Unfortunate to end up on the outside at Lecce who, after the arrival of Serse Cosmi, had no need for the winger as the new coach implemented a 3-5-2 formation. Juve thus wisely moved the talented playmaker to Torino. In a framework similar to that of Conte, Pasquato enjoyed a stunning debut in a 6-0 crushing of Gubbio in which he scored one & made two more goals. Suffering with minor injuries since, but most certainly one to keep a close watch over as everyone here at JuventiKnows still remembers his excellent pre-season.|
|Saphir Taïder||Age 20||MID||Bologna|
|Taken on Co-Ownership as part of the deal which saw Sørensen move to Emilia-Romagna, the French-Algerian has yet to show any real hint of something to make him stand out at Bologna. it is hard to see why the Bianconeri were interested in a 20 year-old who isn’t markedly better to those already at the club.|
|Manuel Giandonato||Age 20||MID||Lecce|
|The midfielder suffered a knee injury during Lecce’s loss to Lazio in December, which left him needing surgery to repair his damaged ligaments. He has made a quick recovery and made 5 appearances for the southern club, experience that will mean so much to a player who is still only 20 years old. Giandonato could have a role to play at Juventus next season, as Antonio Conte is a big fan of his.|
|Filippo Boniperti||Age 20||MID||Carpi|
|After finding life in Serie B too difficult, nephew Boniperti left Ascoli and dropped down into Lega Pro in January, joining Carpi where he has finally started thriving. Making 10 starts and not missing a game since his arrival, the midfielder looks much more comfortable at this level as he helps his side chase promotion.|
|Fausto Rossi||Age 21||MID||Brescia|
|Another player who moved in January, leaving Vincenza for Brescia – a move believed to be part of a move in the opposite direction for Nicola Leali – and has continued his good form. The midfielder (who turned 21 in December) has played five games and scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Grosseto in March, whilst also netting for Italy’s U-21 side in their 7-2 thrashing of Liechtenstein. He has made 6 starts for the Azzurrini this season, taking his total number of caps to 10.|
|Simone Esposito||Age 21||MID||Grosseto|
|Moving in January from Lega Pro side Reggiana – where he had made 17 appearances – the midfielder has since featured just twice for Grosseto in Serie B. Yet to register a goal or assist at either club, it is hard to see him as the same player who featured in the Champions League almost 4 years ago. Approaching his 22nd birthday, the club is expected to cut ties with Esposito this summer.|
|Ciro Immobile||Age 22||STR||Pescara|
|Well, it’s safe to say Immobile has won his bet with Fabio Quagliarella! While the older man struggles to get past Mirko Vucinic into the starting eleven, Immobile is carving up Serie B defences and helping himself to 23 league goals (and five assists) in just 29 starts. Now co-owned by Genoa – a move that ensures he will be playing in Serie A next season whatever happens this term – the striker has seized his chance and, if he continues on this path, should return to play an active role in Turin in 2013.|
The U-17’s have struggled in recent weeks and Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Parma might not be enough to see Fabrizio Del Rosso and his team reach the end-of-season playoffs. That Gabriele Moncini looked to have given them all three points only to see an injury-time equaliser for the Gialloblu, only compounds the feeling of misfortune that has befallen the Bianconeri at this level. Perhaps the two real positives to take from this disappointing term has been the emergence of attacking starlet Federico Mattiello and the experience gain by Pol Garcia who has captained the side almost all season.
Back To School
Following the success of the ‘Formazione Juventus’ lessons given by first team players and officials, the club held a press conference last Friday to announce the launch of a Juventus School which will see players within the Youth Sector complete three years of their education without spending much of their time travelling from school to training.
The Giovanni Agnelli Foundation will fund the project – set to start for the 2012-13 schoolyear – and its main aim is to increase the poor record of players completing their High School diplomas, which is currently only achieved by a meagre 4% of footballers.
In bocca al lupo ragazzi!