‘Juventus Primavera & Youth Sector’ Latest: A Great End to A Wonderful Year

The Settore Giovanile year came to an end last week, with the Primavera finally playing their postponed fixture against Sampdoria. In his final SGL piece of the year, resident Youth Sector expert Adam Digby wraps up all the action: the ‘Doria game, an insightful interview of coach Marco Baroni, as well as the Year in Review by youth sector manager Giovanni Rossi.


So that’s it. The year is over for all the Juventus youth teams and it has been a great end to 2011. The Allievi Nazionali are second but every other team sits atop their respective league table, including the Primavera. Coach Marco Baroni closed out 2011 in style, his side winning a thrilling game at Vinovo to open up a five-point gap in Group A of the Campionato.


Sampdoria looked set to spoil the party, racing into a two goal lead against a Juve side which looked wholly disorganised. Baroni brought in goalkeeper Federico Gagliardini, a far less experienced player than either Laurenţiu Brănescu or Simon Sluga, and the youngster’s indecisiveness cost the team on both occasions the Blucerchiati scored. Nicò Corticchia was also disappointing in midfield, whilst the defensive play of Nazareno Belfasti left much to be desired.

But as they have all season, the team proved its determination: thanks to some inspired play from Andrea Schiavone and Stefano Padovan, the Bianconeri overcame the visitors in a stunning 4-3 victory. Hörður Magnússon (himself in fine form) scored as did Stefano Beltrame, while a brace from Padovan took his tally to 7 in just nine league appearances and 6 goals in his last three games overall.

vs. SAMPDORIA (4-2-3-1)
Untersee, Guano, Magnusson, Belfasti
Chisbah, Corticchia (46′ Schiavone)
Ruggiero, Margiotta (12′ Beltrame), De Silvestro

Primavera – “Group A” PTS GP W D L GF GA GD
1 Juventus 32 13 10 2 1 41 13 +28
2 Fiorentina 27 13 8 3 2 24 11 +13
3 Livorno 23 13 7 2 4 27 20 +7
4 Torino 21 13 6 3 4 18 16 +2
5 Empoli 21 13 6 3 4 18 19 -1
6 Sampdoria 18 12 6 0 6 19 17 +2
7 Sassuolo 17 13 4 5 4 17 17 0
8 Novara 16 13 3 7 3 18 15 +3
9 Genoa 16 12 4 4 4 14 15 -1
10 Modena 13 13 3 4 6 16 19 -3
11 Cagliari 13 13 2 7 4 11 21 -10
12 Siena 11 13 3 2 8 19 21 -2
13 Parma 10 13 2 4 7 13 27 -14
14 Grosseto 8 13 2 2 9 12 37 -25

The Campionato Primavera is played out in three distinct phases:
qualifying round, qualification playoffs, and playoffs.

In the qualifying round, teams are divided in three groups of 14 teams each (Juve are in Group A):
• The 1st & 2nd-ranked team of each group, for a total of six, qualify for the playoff round directly;
• The 3rd & 4th, as well as the two best 5th-ranked teams, will face off in two rounds of knock-out qualification playoffs to determine the remaining two teams to reach the playoff round.

Eight teams qualify for the playoff phase, which is to be played over three rounds:
quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final.

OFFICIAL: Juventus sign Nicolò Curti

Perugia, currently languishing in the Lega Pro Seconda Divisione B (Italian football’s 4th-tier) announced last Friday that after reaching terms with the highly regarded 1995-born player, Juventus had bought 50% co-ownership rights of central defender Nicolò Curti. The deal includes a right to buy for the player’s full ownership.

Often compared to Andrea Ranocchia due to their similar playing styles and stature (and the fact both men are from the Umbria region), Curti was believed to be close to a move to Roma before Fabio Paratici completed the transfer. Curti himself is a childhood Juventus supporter, which is believed helped steer the choice of the youngster towards a move to Turin.

Marco Baroni Interviewed by Zuliani

Meanwhile, Marco Baroni was a guest on Thursday evening’s La Juve in Gol radio program, hosted by Claudio Zuliani where they discussed the win over ‘Doria and the Primavera’s season so far.

The first question was about this week’s game and Juve’s recovery from 0-2 down.

There was a desire from the boys to close with a flourish, they really wanted it; we closed ranks in the locker room and they had an extraordinary reaction.

Zuliani asked Baroni how he sees the change in fortune of both the (senior) first team and his own squad, as well as if the coach shares Antonio Conte’s view, who had said “if anyone this Summer had told me we’d be top of the table at Christmas, I’d have thought he was crazy”.

The work of Conte is remarkable, we do the same work during the week and both teams are bringing the same attention and dedication to matches that is evident mid-week at training; I can only congratulate Antonio. (…)

I found extraordinary kids who want to improve, I’m trying to make them understand the message of the working culture of Juventus, attention to small details, being prepared mentally and that they must become men, adults, and above all players capable of dealing with the pressure of major championships.

The next question was if there was any player who has impressed the coach faster than he expected.

It’s not nice to talk to individuals but Chibsah was a discovery. Another guy who is coming back after he was out injured is Magnússon who has real quality. I think we can work very well with him, he is a real defender but has extraordinary technical quality. He kicks the ball in a way I have not seen for years, making it fly straight for over 40 meters. He’s not an ace up the sleeve but he’s very committed and if he tries, he can do very well.

He can score goals too, which for us is a discovery, we had never seen these ballistic qualities in him. He timidly told me he could shoot the ball, and since then has been a designated set piece taker along with Schiavone, Beltrame and Margiotta. Though it’s not easy with that kind of competition…

TuttoJuve.com’s Deputy Director Massimo Pavan also had questions for the coach, wanting to know how important it is to be training with the first team, and if players are learning something from the players there. He also asked if the idea of a “B” team in Serie B would be interesting.

I’ll answer your second question first: it would be an extraordinary thing. In Italy we find it hard to adapt to what other nations have already been doing for several years, nations who are naturally ahead and whose players are already getting the experience that’s going to fill them with self-confidence and self-esteem. It would be great and desirable [to have a reserve league], but things are difficult to budge in Italy sometimes. But otherwise yes, the Primavera could easily become a true second team.

As for your first question, that’s easy. I have never found a place as extraordinary as Vinovo where we have everything for the betterment of these kids, and are allowed to work closely with Conte’s team. That sacrifice and dedication to work is an added value for us, and I constantly point out to my players how the great champions always make themselves available with great humility.

Zuliani ended by asking about Gabriel Appelt:

Appelt could not play until January, but is a guy who needs to grow so I want to take some pressure off him from the moment he comes onto the field. He was a major investment by the club. For us it will be an honour when one of our boys move into the first team. At Juve winning is what’s important, but a repeat of Marchisio’s situation is our primary objective: to bring these boys into the first team.

Giovanni Rossi – “Young 2011″ in Review

Finally, we should mention that Juve’s stunning end to the calendar year was alluded to by Youth Sector Manager Giovanni Rossi, who was interviewed this week by the club’s official website, footage of which Mike included in Wednesday’s STTBS.


In bocca al lupo ragazzi!


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