The Bianconeri youth academy is gearing up for the start of another exciting campaign and, on the eve of the Primavera’s departure for pre-season in Val d’Aosta, a venue which will also host the Giovanissimi and Allievi sides, Stefano Braghin, Gianluca Pessotto and Fabrizio Grosso met the media to outline their plans for the 2014/15 season.
Here’s what they had to say:
Stefano Braghin, head of academy
“It was a very satisfying end to last season, as we managed to lead all of our teams into the national finals. The Giovanissimi Nazionali haven’t got as far since 2002, so it was a great success for us. As far as the UEFA Youth League is concerned, we regard it as a very important experience for our youngsters, enabling them to travel with the first team and test themselves against important European sides.”
Gianluca Pessotto, academy sporting director
“This season, we want the Primavera to become less of an academy side and more of a second team. Perhaps in a few years’ time we might have the possibility for a B team as is the case in other nations. It is our aim to bring the Primavera closer to the concept of professionalism. The main objective, and not just for the Primavera, is to allow these players to develop. We hope they can link up with the first team in the future."
Fabio Grosso, Primavera coach
“I’m extremely happy to be part of this project. I’ll give everything I’ve got to develop these players on the training ground. Starting as assistant last year was an invaluable experience for me and working with Andrea Zanchetta was a real honour. When the opportunity arose I looked to make the most of it and try my best to produce players who can one day go on to represent the first team. I’ve met Allegri and said I’m here for anything he needs. I’ll try to develop the players so that when the call to train with the first-team arrives, they’ll be ready to make the step up.”