Juventus
    22.09.2015 10:55 - in: Serie A S

    Focus on Frosinone

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    As Frosinone set off on an historic maiden Serie A campaign, Juventus.com takes a closer look at the Gialloblu’s start to the season, stadium, manager and long road to the top

    16 May 2015, Stadio Comunale Matusa, Frosinone. 

    A long ball over the top, a mix-up between goalkeeper and defender and suddenly Federico Dionisi finds himself in front of an open goal to tap home from ten yards.

    Dionisi will probably never score another goal of the same simplicity, nor, more importantly, of the same significance, as the ex-Livorno striker’s flick into the unguarded Crotone net sealed Frosinone’s promotion to the top-flight for the first time in the Canaries’ 103-year lifetime and kicked off a night to remember for the club’s fans.

    That 3-1 win in Southern Lazio four months ago, which also featured a dramatic penalty save from Massimo Zappino  with the score at 2-0, turned the page on a history of resilience and renewal in the lower reaches of Italy’s domestic pyramid. 

    As the Gialloblu embark on a landmark Serie A season, Juventus.com profiles Wednesday night’s visitors from their past and rise through the divisions to how they’ve kicked off the new 2015/16 campaign. 

    history

    Undergoing an array of name changes since its foundation in 1912, from Unione Sportive Frusante to Bellator Frusino and F.F G.G Frosinone, the club emerged as it is known today after the Second World War.

    Moving between Serie C and D throughout the 20th century and even facing bankruptcy in the 1990s on the way, the Gialloblu earned promotion to Serie B for the first time in 2005/06.

    Following relegation back to Lega Pro, the country’s third division, after a five-year stint in the second tier in 2011, Frosinone surged to the promised land on the back of consecutive promotions.

    The Canaries’ first step towards the top-flight came courtesy of a memorable play-off win over former Serie A outfit Lecce in 2013/14 and the next through a special following season in a campaign in which they were among the favourites for relegation.

    Regularly picking up wins and racking up 62 goals in the process, second only to Pescara (69), the Gialloblu remained among the front-runners throughout the season, finally sealing their historic promotion with a game to spare in front of their own fans.

    manager

    The man behind the club’s resurgence is former Canaries player Roberto Stellone. Beginning his career with local club Lodagiani, the skillful second striker plied his trade at Lucchese and briefly at Lecce before arriving at Napoli in 1999.

    The Roma-born forward’s 30 goals in three seasons in Naples earned him a move to Genoa in 2004 and it was there that he would enjoy his most prolific spell, scoring 18 times in his one and only year in Liguria.

    Coming via Torino, Stellone called time on his playing days at Frosinone in 2011 but he was not out of the game for long, heading straight for the Stadio Comunale Matusa’s dugout to become the club’s head coach in June 2012. 

    And the 38-year old’s managerial career could not have got off to a better start, guiding the team to a seventh place finish in Serie B, narrowly missing out on the play-offs.

    Given the time to rebuild his side after a relegation the following year, Stellone found a winning formula as his team’s strong work ethic and collective strength, aided by the goals of Dionisi and strike partner Daniel Ciofani, propelled them into uncharted territory in a magical two years between 2013 and 2015.

    After a fine playing career and a promising start to management, both coach and club will relish this season’s shot at the big time. 

    stadium

    Built in 1932, the Stadio Comunale Matusa becomes Serie A’s smallest stadium with a capacity of just under 10,000, only gaining the necessary permission to host top-flight football partway through August of this year.

    Nestled in the middle of a housing estate, the Matusa even staged international football in 2006 to celebrate its extensive modernisation and renovation, hosting a 2-1 win for Italy’s U21s over Czech Republic.

    The honour of scoring the stadium and the club’s first Serie A goal went to midfielder Danilo Soddimo, giving the Canaries a seventh minute lead over Torino in their opening game of the season; second-half efforts from Daniele Baselli and Fabio Quagliarella though denied the Gialloblu their first points of the campaign.

    how are they looking for wednesday?

    Stellone has largely kept faith with the spine of the side that earned consecutive promotions despite shuffling his pack for each of their four league games this season, from defenders Leonardo Blanchard and ex-Juve youth Roberto Crivello through to midfielders Mirko Gori and Robert Gucher.

    There will also be Bianconero reunions for Alessandro Frara, who made two appearances for Juventus in the Champions League and Coppa Italia, and young goalkeeper Nicola Leali who has caught the eye with some fine saves in the opening stages of the season, particularly against Torino on Matchday 1.

    Up front, the Gialloblu will look to strikers Ciofani and Dionisi as well as promising winger Luca Paganini to rediscover the scoring form that made them a formidable frontline last term. Joining them in attack are Aleksandar Tonev from Aston Villa and loanees Samuele Longo and Italy U21 international Daniele Verde, from Inter and Roma respectively.

    Following defeats to Torino (2-1), Atalanta (2-0), Roma (2-0) and Bologna (1-0) though, Soddimo’s early strike on the opening day has proved to be Frosinone’s only goal of the campaign so far, in what has been a tough start to life in the top-flight. 

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