Everyone knows that in football you assess things at the end of the season, which runs from September to June. But to detail the great work done by Ivano Della Morte it's only fair we look at the calendar year. The year 2013, now drawing to a close, was an unbelievable one for the Allievi Nazionali and for the two age groups that followed one another: the '96s moved up in the summer, while the '97s began at the start of this season.
Two different groups, who over the course of the year won games and played great football. Della Morte's look back over the last 12 months – an exclusive for JTV – began with the first part of 2013. «The squad had just had a tough three and a half months. We'd had some issues with the transfers of foreign players and the many '97s needed to get used to the league that for them was up an age category. Over time we became more of a team and in the second half of the season we secured a target that would have been unthinkable at the end of the first half of the campaign: we made it into the finals. Sadly our title charge ended in the semi-finals against Parma, after a great game, almost all of which we played down to 10 men».
All the signs are there to suggest 2014 will be a great year. That's why the lads will now enjoy a well-earned break. They'll be back in training on Thursday 2 January and the second half of the league season begins on Sunday 12 January. The team will try to claim the Scudetto that just eluded them a few months ago.
After coming so close to the title, which given their run from January onwards would have been deserved, the coach from Turin began the 2013/14 season. The squad featured some players who'd already established themselves, i.e. the '97s who had improved significantly the previous season, and others who joined from the Allievi Nazionali 1st and 2nd division. Plus a few lads born in '98. The problems with the team gelling from the previous year were just a distant memory and the lads got off to a flier.
The Allievi Nazionali went into Christmas top of the league, following 11 wins from 13 games. “It's been a great season so far,” said Della Morte. «But we're still only halfway through. The team is improving on a daily basis, they've always had the right attitude and mentality, playing top-level football. You only need look at the fact we're averaging 3.2 goals per game. We know that we can and have to still improve. It will be tough but we have solid foundations. We have everything we need to perform well and reach our target, which is to once again make the national finals in Chianciano this year».