The Giovanissimi Nazionali warmed up for the forthcoming championship campaign by clinching a creditable second-place finish in the prestigious Premier League Under-15 tournament contested in Birmingham.
Despite slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Ajax at the final hurdle, Claudio Gabetta’s youngsters depart England with plenty of positives after putting on an impressive showing en route to their clash with the Dutch giants.
The Bianconeri’s campaign began with 1-1 draws against Arsenal and Spartak Moscow before a comprehensive 7-0 win over Swansea allowed them to qualify for the semi-finals as best runners-up. Their ticket to the final was booked courtesy of a 1-0 triumph against Reading.
Ahead of the official start of the 2013/14 championship season, Gabetta’s side will compete in two prestigious memorial tournaments. The first is in honour of Bianconeri youngsters Alessio Ferramosca and Riccardo Neri , while the second competition pays tribute to Bianconeri champion Gaetano Scirea.
Assessing his team’s display in England, Gabetta said: “There were many positive aspects I saw from our performance in the tournament, as well as other areas that we still need to work on. The most important thing is that it confirmed the foundations of our team are solid. We played five excellent games, unfortunately Ajax had just that little bit extra, something that will spur us on to try and bridge this gap.
“Not only do we come away with a great experience under our belts, but we also leave having put on an excellent show in the presence of many prestigious sides. We’ll now aim to get ourselves ready for the start of the championship season. Before that, however, we want to honour the memories of two of our lads and a great Bianconeri champion in the best possible way.”