Tag Archives: Primavera

Juventus (Slivka) 1 – 0 Bologna Primavera

24 Mar

Fabio Grosso’s second match in charge of the primavera ended with another victory…with 18 year old central midfielder Vykintas Slivka scoring the winner. The Lithuanian U19 star chose a choice time to score his first of the season and let’s hope he can earn a more regular starting role in the slowly re-shaping Primavera outfit.

18 year old Slivka grabbed the winning goal…

Having played in every one of our 6 UEFA Youth league games, Slivka has been in and out of the league squad, making only his 11th appearance over the weekend. He has represented his country at both U17 and U18 level and recently made his debut for the Lithuanian U21 side, completing the full 90 minutes in the unfortunate 5-0 defeat to Poland.

The Line-up

Vannucchi

Mattiello Penna Varga Barlocco

Roussos Sakor Slivka

Cevallos

Buenacasa Donis

(4-3-1-2)

The result moves us up to 2nd in the table on 40 points with 21 games played, 5 left to play.

Once the league stage finishes the competition morphs into a tournament. 16 teams in total qualify for the play-0ff stage, on home and away basis. The eight best teams qualify for the Final Eight on a neutral venue. The winners are eligible for the Supercoppa Primavera.

Whilst the two victories since the removal of Zanchetta have been welcome, our form remains sketchy at best. After our hardly awful but still disappointing exit from the inaugural UEFA Youth League at the group stage and subsequent failure to impress in either the coppa italia or Viareggio tournament, all that remains in terms of silverware on offer this season is the league title. It would be wonderful for Grosso and the lads to go all the way, but it would come as no surprise were they continue the trend of failure until the final whistle of the season.

Regardless of the results, its extremely unlikely that Grosso will be retained as Primavera manager for next season. He lacks the experience and is acting presently in a care-taker role.

The smart money is on Della Morte moving up the ranks, after competing a successful season with out U17 squad (Allievi) this term

 

 

 

 

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Kevin Trapp

19 Jan

Whilst we continue to be rebuffed in our attempts to prise promising defender Marc-Oliver Kempf from the Eintract nursery, one of his team-mates, Kevin Trapp, appears high on our hit-list and eager to sign up for next season.

Spoken of by some as one of the best keepers in the bundesliga, Trapp is 23 years old and has represented his country at every level between the U17s and U21s.

It is thought that he will arrive in the Summer and be mentored by Buffon.

Our Primavera side was in action yesterday, away to Novara. Gerbaudo grabbed the winner, earning us the 0-1 victory with a well taken header from a corner.

Juventus (3-5-2): Vannucchi; Penna, Romagna, Garcia Tena; Mattiello (73′ Tavanti), Emmanuello (60′ Kabashi), Cevallos, Gerbaudo, Barlocco; Donis, Bnou-Marzouk (85′ Soumah).
On the bench: Citti, Marin, Di Benedetto, Ceria, Roussos, Varga, Sakor, Slivka.

Scorer: 15′ Gerbaudo.
YELLOW CARD Juve: Cevallos.

Interesting to see 19 year old Albanian/Italian attacking midfielder, Elvis Kabashi back in action, after he returned recently from a loan spell at Pescara where he played just the one game. Perhaps he went out too soon, but I retain hope that we can find him a new club before the transfer window shuts at the end of January.

Bouy back in business

18 Jan

Finally emerging from his injury nightmare…Ouasim Bouy

Former Ajax Academy star Ouasim Bouy has moved on loan to bundesliga side Hamburger SV. After impressing greatly in Holland, we snapped up the Dutch U19 international attacking midfielder in late January of 2012. Involved with the primavera for the remainder of the season, he scored several goals and impressed with his creativity and maturity. During the Summer, he found a loan move to Serie B side Brescia. The then 19 year old quickly forced his way into contention, and went on to make an impressive 17 first team appearances, assisting 5 goals and netting one for himself. And then…disaster struck when during a friendly match in early February of 2013, the dutch flair merchant ruptured his cruciate ligament (similar injury to the woe Quagliarella suffered a year before).

His season was over. A long road of rehabilitation awaited him. As the Summer of 2013 began to draw to a close, Ouasim was back on the grass, training with the first team squad. The decision was made to keep him at the club until Christmas, allow him to continue his recovery under the steely gaze of probably a better quality of medical staff than could be found back in Serie B, where it was expected he would return, once fully fit. Some fans concluded that he may even be able to earn a few outings in the league and be seen and used as a back-up as the season progressed. To me, this seemed lunatic optimism as I had concluded that far from been a part of Conte’s plans, they were simply keeping him wrapped up in cotton wool until the Winter mercato window opened. Whilst he did manage a few minutes against Avellino in the coppa italia, it was clearly a gesture of faith and respect for the player, a chance to stretch his legs briefly, get a few touches of the ball in a competitive match for the first time in many moons and taste the action in the safest possible fixture we will have all season.

Brescia were interested in bringing him back to their ranks to add to their promotion push. Novara were also eager to roll the Bouy dice…but his agent, Mino Raiola and the club had other plans. namely, a move to the German top flight, to play under his countryman Bert van Marwijk at Hamburger SV. The side currently sit in 14th spot, and will be aiming to push up the table away from relegation concerns, when their season re-opens towards the end of January with the visit of Schalke. van Marwijk is of good pedigree, having won the UEFA and domestic cups with Feyenoord, and taken the Netherlands to a World Cup Final in 2010. Commenting on the transfer, the experienced coach has this to say…
“Ouasim Bouy was a super talent back at Ajax. I have never seen him play, still I am aware of him.

“He will strengthen us in midfield. He had a bad injury but now he is back fit and is longing to play.”

11 goals in 17 for the primavera last season – Stefano Padovan

Also on the move is former primavera front-man, Stefano Padovan. Who has joined Vicenza (Lega Pro) on loan after finding minutes on the field too hard to come by at Pescara, where he made 5 appearances from the bench after his summer move. Whilst it is a shame to see him drop down to the third tier of Italian football, if he gets games, and gets goals, the transfer is certainly better for his development than rotting on the bench elsewhere. At his age, he needs matches at senior level. Let us hope that Vicenza can give him the opportunity his talents displayed last term in our primavera suggest he strongly deserves. Vicenza are currently 7th, 2 points away from the play-off zone.

We remain in contact with german defender Marc-Oliver Kempf, and after agreeing a fee with his club Eintract Frankfurt, it is now up to the player to decide. Borussia Dortmund may well have joined the chase. It seems to be the same problem we encountered when trying to grab him in the last transfer window. The lad wants to play, and is wary of moving to Italy only to be placed in the primavera. One possible outcome is for us to seal the deal, with an agreement for Kempf to move on loan to Werder Bremen, whose representatives we have met with again recently, in regard to a possible co-operation between the clubs leading to several of our youngsters heading to their ranks.

Various sources reported late this week that we have ‘helped’ our good friends at Sassuolo to finance the deal to purchase Empoli’s half of star in the making defender, Daniele Rugani. As we already own the other half, the suggestion is that we have moved to stave off  the interest of other clubs and hedge our bets in terms of giving the Italy U21 international the best chance of playing Serie A football next term. There is the suggestion that Empoli needed the money…

Romanian Goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu is edging ever closer to a move to Lanciano, requested by former primavera manager Marco Baroni who coached the player last season. Talks are set to continue over the coming days.

Balint Vecsei – The new Puskas heading to Juve???

Rumours are surfacing regarding a bid for Hungarian attacking midfielder, Bálint Vécsei. The 20 year old already has 52 appearances at senior level in the hungarian league along with two europa league appearances for his club, Budapest Honved FC. He is also a regular for Hungary U21 side.

We are set to sign Grigoris Kastanos at the end of this month, when the player turns 16 on the 30th January. Whilst Man City and Arsenal were coveting the player, Beppe and Paratici swooped in December, with a bid thought to be around 100k, to secure the services of the Enosis Neon Paralimni FC youngster. Already part of the Cyprus U17 squad at 15 years old, Grigoris found himself in the spotlight when scoring a wonderful free-kick against Germany in November, when turning out for his country’s U16 team. Comfortable as a striker or winger, the up and coming forward is good with both feet and talked off in his homeland as one of the most promising talents ever to emerge from Cyprus.

Mercato whispers in the wind…

15 Jan
Davide Zappacosta. Half Weasel/Half rat. Italy U21 rising star

Davide Zappacosta. Half Weasel/Half Man. Italy U21 rising star

We appear to be closing in on an investment in Italy U21 rightback, Davide Zappacosta, 21 years old, who is a first team regular for Avellino in Serie B. Able to play higher up the field as a right midfielder, the youngster is solid in the tackle and a threat moving forward. Since been called up to Di Biagio’s U21 Azzurini squad in early September of 2013, Davide has played in every one of their games, owning the RB position as a starter. His playing rights are shared between Avellino and Atalanta, whom we are also speaking/negotiating with for another player…

Daniele Baselli. Finally a vice-pirlo in the squad???

Daniele Baselli. Finally a vice-pirlo in the squad???

Chased by Palermo, the regista of Atalanta and team-mate of Zappacosta in the Italy U21 starting line-up, Daniele Baselli could be making the switch to Vinovo. Fiorentina and Totenham are also apparently showing interest.

Beppe’s hatchetman, Paratici met Atalanta sporting director, Pierpaolo Marino yesterday to discuss the two deals.

If signed, there would likely be no movement until the Summer, at which stage, the development of both players can be re-assessed, and decisions made whether to bring them into our first team squad or send them out on loan. The chances of joining Conte’s troops are probably higher for Baselli, for he is experiencing a higher level of football (serie A) and also offers something which our senior team presently lacks…a vice-Pirlo. Avellino occupy 3rd spot in Serie B, a mere two points off automatic promotion.

Larry Branescu - No dice at Juve Stabia, time to look elsewhere

Larry Branescu – No dice at Juve Stabia, time to look elsewhere

19 year old shot-stopper Laurentiu Branescu could soon leave Juve Stabia and re-unite with former Juventus Primavera coach, Marco Baroni at Spezia. The 1.92 metre giant failed to impress in the four league games he started at the beginning of the season, shipping 10 goals in the process. He did, however, keep a clean sheet in his side’s 3-0 drubbing of Lega Pro outfit Gubbio. With 37 year old Alex Calderoni the mainstay between the sticks and fellow youngster, Sergio Viotti (23) vying for the back-up role, it seems for the best to move on. Whilst that 4 game streak of conceding an average of 2.5 goals per match was horrid, since the old man took his place, Juve Stabia have hardly fared noticeably better, conceding close to 2 goals per game in 16 matches. Baroni’s Lanciano sit in 5th spot, whilst Juve Stabia rot in rock-bottom 22nd. (‘Larry’ continues to be first choice for the romanian U21 squad)

Jose Cevallos Junior - A dose of south american flair added to our ranks

Jose Cevallos Junior – A dose of south american flair added to our ranks

Ecuadorian U20 international Jose Cevallos has been signed outright from homeland club LDU Quito. After paying 200k for his loan deal which ran from late January 2013 to the end of the year, Juve have paid another 1.5m to secure the player’s full registration.  Jose heralds from a footballing family, with his father, Jose Cevallos, considered by many to be the greatest Ecuadorian keeper of all time. Like his old man, Jose junior made his name domestically at Quito, making an impressive 30+ appearances for the senior side before moving to Italy. So far this season the attacking midfielder has made 6 appearances in the primavera league, 4 in the Uefa Youth league and 2 in the youth coppa. It would be great to see him find a loan club in January, get back amongst the seniors, although, at 18 years old, he really does have time on his side.

International Youth Players in our ranks…

14 Dec

With some Juventini wondering just what the hell is going on with our youth procurement policy, I feel that rather than bang on about the wily scouting and sound investments made under the direction of Beppe and Paratici, the best way forward is to list the internationals we have in our youth ranks…

Younes Marzouk CF – Morocco U17

Anastasios Donis CF/SS- Greek U19

Luca Barlocco LB – Italy U18

Vajebah Sakor DM/CM – Norway U17

Fillippo Romagna CB – Italy U17

Jakub Hromada DM – Slovakia U17

Almpertos Roussos CM – Greek U19

Vlad Marin LB – Romania U19

Emil Audero GK – Italy U18

Jose Cevallos AM/CM – Ecuador U20

Joel Untersee RB – Switzerland U20

Leonardo Citti GK – Italy U19

Vyjkintas Slivka CM – Lithuania U19

Edoardo Ceria LW – Italy U19

Christian Tavanti RB – Italy U18

Attila Varga CB – Slovakia U17

Matteo Gerbaudo CM – Italy U18

Etonjo Elezaj GK – Albania U19

(All the above are part of the primavera squad. The below are from younger age groups)

Luigi Rizzo LB – Italy U17

Mattea Vitale CM – Italy U16

Roman Macek RM – Czech U17

Simone Muratore RM – Italy U16

Luca Clemenza RW – Italy U17

Matteo Del Favero GK – Italy U16

18 of our primavera squad are international players. Which to me, suggests our transfer strategy is healthy…and all we need it patience.

There is not a queue of Pogbas awaiting our interest. He is the kind of player who appears once in a generation. So what are we to do, in terms of locating new talent?? Surely it makes sense to acquire youth players who are recognized by their national spies and coaches and given the chance to represent their country.

We have a roster of internationals in our youth ranks. Where they go from there is up to the players themselves, but perhaps more so, the coaches, whose job it is to develop, nurture and mature the promise shown at such an early age.

Whilst the results of our senior squad procurement policies are plain to see as wonderful (from two consecutive 7th place finishes to two consecutive title winning squads), the youth arena is a different game altogether. Physicality plays a huge part in the youth sector, for those players blessed with gargantuan frames find it easy to impose themselves against weaker boys. It is only when these combatants are mixing it with the adults, the men, can we begin to see what they are truly made of.

In the cut and thrust high octane realm of football, that step from youth to senior is immensely important. Were we a Serie B club, perhaps these players would be afforded a far greater chance to progress to our senior squad. However, this is not the case. We are well on our way to becoming the domestic powerhouse of italian football. We have not the time or opportunity to blood our little ones in the upper tier of domestic and european football. Which means…they must be loaned or co-owned, to clubs who will give them a chance to mature.

As far as I can tell, Zanchetta and Grosso hardly seem a dream team, but on the transfer side of things, we are most definitely bringing to the club, a healthy portion of the best kids from around the world. What more can we ask for???

Youth Spotlight – Where Next for the finest of our youth?

20 Apr

 

With the end of season curtain finally appearing on the horizon and first team issues now solely focused upon retaining the scudetto with a handful of games to spare, its high time I returned to the subject of our youth prospects…rather than solely reporting on their various achievements I will run the rule over where I expect the most promising players to be found next season.

 

Gabriel AppeltImage

 

The young Brazilian regista has enjoyed a solid season at the heart of the Pro Vercelli midfield. Two assists and a solitary goal may not appear impressive, yet he is naturally a defensive player and the fact that he has started twenty games in a position of great importance to any team is both worthy of praise and encouraging. Add into consideration the hairline fracture suffered in November, which kept him out of the starting line-up until the beginning of March and our cause for satisfaction gains weight and momentum.  With 5 games left to play, Pro Vercelli are 9 points away from any chance of survival. 

 

Season Rating – 7/10. Somewhat stunted by the injury issues, Gabriel has maintained the regista position whenever fit. A good showing for his first truly competitive outing in Italian football.

 

Where will he be next season?

 

The 19 year old will most likely be farmed out to another Serie B club, if not used in a co-ownership arrangement with a Serie A club. Of all the players owned by Juventus, there is a dearth of those who can play in the Pirlo role; sit in front of the defence, dictate the tempo of the game, offer a screen to the defence and act as a pivot for the team as a whole. Gabriel fits that mould.

 

Nicola LealiImage

 

Signed from Brescia last Summer for $3.8m the explosive goalkeeper was loaned to Serie B newcomers, Virtus Lanciano. Making his 32nd start of the season in his side’s 1-1 draw with Ternana last weekend, Nicola’s star has continued to shine too brightly to ignore. Credit is due to the shot-stopper, who only recently turned 20, for playing a prominent role in consolidating Lanciano’s position in the second tier. Outstanding performances, incredible reflexes, berserker bravery and a tendency to roar from between the sticks, organize his defence with a rage and ferocity loosely reminiscent of the Great Dane, Peter Schmeichel.

 

There have been some blunders, as must be expected of one so young and inexperienced, but the results of wonderfully high standard of natural talent put to very busy use, make this season one of great achievement for Nicola. Having broken into the Italy U21 set-up and owned the starting jersey at Lanciano, the future looks superb for the 20 year old.

 

Season Rating  – 9/10. Regularly astonishing.

 

Where will he be next season?

 

This kid is a phenomenon in the making. Its rare that I see a player at 20 years of age who already appears capable of denying an opposition single-handedly. Buffon does it now and then. Schmeichel used to do it often. Brad Friedel is the most modern example I can call to mind of goliaths between the sticks who on occasion, simply refuse to be beaten…It was a stroke of genius placing him at Lanciano, where he had a good chance of making the first team and would surely be bombarded with shots, game after game. He has stood up to the task like a Spartan.

 

The double save from the penalty against Reggina is one of many highlights of a campaign which more than confirms his talent at Serie B level and must surely push him into the welcome embrace of a Serie A team. …take a peek here>

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcifgguRhKQ

 

It seems a shame to even consider a co-ownership, but it may be the surest way of seeing him play in Serie A next term. A loan would be ideal. He has more than earned an opportunity to fight for a starting jersey at Serie A level.

 

Alberto MasiImage

 

The elegant defender signed from Pro Vercelli last Summer, impressed in our pre-season showboating until finding himself back at Vercelli on loan for the start of their ill-fated Serie B journey.  A regular star performer for the team he helped gain promotion in the 11/12 season, he hit the ground running, doing what he could to stem the vicious tide threatening to drown his team from the off! As with Appelt and Buoy (who I will mention in my next What Next? routine) Alberto’s season has been staggered due to injury. Spending most of December in the sick ward, the centre-back only featured once more for Vercelli before been transferred to mid-table Ternana in January. By the start of March he was fit and firing his way into the first XI.

 

In the 7 consecutive games he has played for Ternana from the first whistle, they have managed 6 clean sheets. His presence has been well and truly felt.

 

His side lie 6 points from the excitement of the play-offs. If Alberto stays fit, they may well find themselves in the end of season knockout mix.

 

Season Rating – 7.5

 

Where will he be next season?

 

If Ternana were to go up, why not leave him there? Failing which, another season in Serie B isn’t going to do his development any harm. At 20 years old, with an increasingly solid looking first season in the second tier under his belt, a few appearances at Italy U20 level to be pleased with, Alberto could happily maintain his progress as it presently stands and perhaps do enough to earn a move to a Serie A club in the 13/14 season. Not many 20 year old defenders get a chance at a top club. Bonucci was 21 when first truly making his name as a player of serious potential with Bari.

 

I will cover Boakye and our representatives in Serie A in the next chapter of Most Promising Juve Youngsters. For now, with a shiny piece of silverware still warm from the hands of our primavera hotshots, it seems a perfect juncture to redirect the spotlight onto several players from our own U19 outfit…

 

Two factors come into play when pondering the potential moves of the members of our primavera squad next season. Firstly, there is talent. If a player is excelling constantly, forcing his name on the team sheet to first choice in his role, then his chances of swiftly finding a loan/ co-own club are increased dramatically. As technically sound as our youth coaching may be. As influential as it could prove to be training at Vinovo, rubbing shoulders with a senior squad who are fast becoming the dominant force in Italy…Primavera experience ranks below first team exposure at Serie B level.

 

Our primavera squad is huge. 36 players have turned out for them so far this season. The competition is great but there is also the clear need to move players on to more competitive pastures as soon as seems reasonable to roll that dice.

 

The other factor is age.

 

Magnusson, Schiavone, Beltrame and Pepic are already 20. With Branescu, Untersee, Ruggiero, Kabashi, Padovan, Leo Bonatini, Padovan and Lanini 19. I expect them all to move on this summer, to make way for the next generation as much as to test themselves in more brutal wars.

 

Stefano PadovanoImage

 

16 goals in 16 primavera league matches. Comparably potent efforts in the Nextgen and primavera coppa winning tournament, Stefano has been in brilliant form. His height and physique make him ideal in the target man role and it will be very interesting to see how he fares once put against bigger, stronger men. That’s the next step. And with the goals flying in with alarming consistency this season, he won’t be short of suitors come May.

 

Season Rating – 9/10.

 

Where will he be next season?

 

I’d love to say Serie A, but looking at how our slightly older, more established youth prospects have been forced towards Genoa and Bologna in order to fight for first team action, its more reasonable to expect a chance for Stefano to blossom at a mid-table Serie B side.  

 

Andrea Schiavone

 

The defensive midfielder cum Captain has been a rock of consistency in the team’s charge towards primavera coppa victory and 1st place in the league along with qualification for the knockout stages with 3 games to spare. Part of the Italy U20 set-up and soon to find himself ineligible for the U19s, Andrea must move on. Calm in possession, tenacious in the tackle. Never likely to smash one in from 30 yards but reads the game well and screens the defence with admirable zeal.

 

Season Rating – 7/10

 

Where will he be next season?

Hopefully a mid-table Serie B team. 

Youth UPDATES of key Juve youngsters

27 Mar

With a hotchpotch of internationals curtailing and colliding with the regular fixtures its a tricky time for pulling together streamlined reports of our finest youth talent, but try I must, for if I lose my rhythm now, momentum will be lost and with it, my up until now keen and constant eye cast firmly on the future in black and white jerseys.

Let us begin with a peek at one of my favourite acquisitions by Paratici and Beppe, from a fairly impressive selection they have brought to the club since embarking on the path of major revitalization of the flagging juventus youth sector.

Gabriel Appelt

(Prior to signing for Juve, Gabriel was playing for Brazilian club Resende…Its an old video, yet still demonstrates his abilities)

Finally back in the swing of things and approaching the fine form of late 2012, the Brazilian regista has played every minute of the last three outings for struggling Pro Vercelli. The hard fought 0-1 away win over Padova was followed up with a devastating 2-3 home reverse to Brescia, but yesterday’s huge 1-3 victory on the road against Spezia leaves the Serie B débutantes still within sight but not yet touching distance of salvation. 8 points separates them from the Spezia team they outplayed, out-muscled and outwitted, who despite the defeat sit in 19th position on 36 points. Pro Vercelli stay 21st on 28 points. With 9 games left to stave off the threat of damnation and relegation, Gabriel’s unpredictable basement dwellers will need to hope that Spezia are devastated by the result, that their morale has started to sink, with infectious ever increasing weight on their hearts and souls, dragging them down, deeper and deeper into the mire.

What is useful for Gabriel and for us in turn as juventini all eager to see our young seedlings blossom into great oaks and vicious venus fly traps, is that the Brazilian has not only regained his form and starting spot very soon after returning from a nasty injury (fractured fibula), but he is receiving the added education and toughening up of a relegation dog fight. The longer Pro Vercelli can continue to smell an escape from the purgatory of their own making, the better for senor Appelt.

Played 16 (3 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
Scored 1
Assists 2

NB. His fractured fibula kept him out of first team contention from 17th November – 26th January

Alberto Masi

Alberto Masi – Future Juventus centre-back???

Its a good sign, as with Gabriel at Vercelli after his injury, that Masi, once finding himself in contention for a starting place at Ternana, has grabbed it and made it his own, putting in several rock solid performances over the last few weeks. The elegant centre back, likened to Nesta last year, has started and finished the last four for Ternana, a run which has seen them successfully achieve a quartet of clean sheets on the bounce. I suspect its more than a mere co-incidence that the run began with Masi’s inclusion in the starting XI. His team reside in 12th spot with 40 points, 6 away from the play-off zone.

Its taken some time for Alberto to force his way onto the starting team-sheet, but now he appears set to stay put until the end of the season. Positive signs indeed. Much was written of the lanky stopper when we signed him outright in the summer of 2012 and his season must be seen as one of success and progress. He has made the step up from Lega Pro to Serie B football with confidence and quality, and its fair to wonder if his form this season will be enough to possibly win him a spot at a lower ranked Serie A team for next season. At 20 years old, another season in serie B wouldn’t do him any harm…

Played 18 ( 2 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
goals – 1
3 yellow
1 red

Seldom mentioned is a player who recently made his 18th appearance for the Italy U21 squad and has been enjoying a fine season with promotion chasing Brescia. 22 year old midfielder Fausto Rossi has been a consistent performer for both club and country and this season, it could be make or break for him in terms of a continued association with Juventus. His contract runs until the middle of 2014, but surely its time to make a decision on a player with obvious talent. Ideally, Brescia will gain promotion and be eager, after his 23 showings this season, to retain his services for their return to the top flight. Failing which, it seems likely that Fausto will be loaned, yet again, to another club in the second tier or used as a make-weight in a deal for a Serie A player. From our perspective, it can only be positive to see him continuing to turn out for the Azzurini, as well as playing a regular part in Brescia’s charge towards the play-offs. As for Fausto himself, dreams of earning a call from Conte seem far-fetched at present and for the foreseeable future given the powerful state of our midfield.

Fausto has been deployed by Brescia coach Calori generally as one of three centre midfielders, sporadically placed further up the field in a more attacking role in the middle behind the two strikers, more often than not in a 3-5-2 formation. Which potentially suggests him as a viable option for our MVP region. But our MVP is now MVP/P, with Pogba already at the stage of development and potency which places him next in line for any of those 3 positions. Asamoah is also likely higher up the pecking order and more than able to play in the Marchiso or Vidals roles. Then there is Isla, who once back in form could be used in the middle. So where could young Fausto fit in??? As the back-up of the back-up for the back-up???

A huge challenge lies ahead if he is to make it back to piedmont…

Played 23 serie b ( 7 SUB appearances, 7 substitutions)
2 assists
Played 5 Italy u21 (2 SUB appearances, 1 substitution)
1 assist

I’m giving Leali a break…not due to a lack of information, but others deserve their time in the limelight for a change. Suffice to say, he has continued his VERY impressive form, although gave a silly penalty away recently which directly contributed to a defeat for Virtus Lanciano. He has much to learn, but what is clear now, week in, week out, is that he has extraordinary natural talent, is very vocal and commanding in his area, enjoys the cat-like reflexes so important in any top keeper, and all that he lacks is experience.

Following on from Rossi is another player seldom spoken of in Juve circles. A player who scored a beautiful goal at Old Trafford a couple of years back. ().

At 21 years of age, Manuel Giandonato has represented Italy at every youth level, managed 8 games for Lecce in serie A, and is currently enjoying a solid spell at Cesena after putting in a good shift at Vicenza before his late January move. Swapping the dogfight at the bottom offered by Vicenza for the relative mid-table comfort of Cesena seems a wise choice and confirmation of his value in the midfield. For why else would Cesena have wanted a regular part of a failing team??? He likes to shoot and get involved in the attack as much as possible although is content and often used in front of the defence in a more defensive role.

The right footed central midfielder is facing a similar problem to that of Rossi, namely : is there ever going to be a chance for him at Juventus given the quality of the players in our squad presently occupying his position?.

Unfortunately, the best Manuel can hope for is progression to a team in Serie A next season, who will showcase his talents well enough to earn the attention of Conte. Even then, what of Pogba and Marchiso and Vidal and the rest??? Its pleasing to see him play well in a regista role, and the same can be said of Appelt, for if any part of the MVP midfield is to be up for grabs in the next year or three, its the Pirlo element. As things stand he will be fighting against Appelt and Buoy for the chance to get in the mix for the that role.

So far so good, a solid season of…
Appearances 22 (9 SUB appearances 8 Substitutions)
3 assists
1 goal

Our primavera team got back to winning ways in the league with a savage 1-5 mauling away to Parma. The big fella up top, Stefano Padovan, grabbed a hatrick with Ruggiero and Beltrame wrapping up what turned out to be a comprehensive slaughter and return to their devastating pre-viareggio form. Padovan now has a stunning record of 13 goals from 14 games, with his strike partner Beltrame in hot pursuit with 7 goals from 13 outings.
Gagliardi
Untersee Garcia Rugani
Cavion Gerbaudo Mattiello(Slivka 61′) Ruggiero (Di Benedetto 81′) Schiavone
Beltrame Padovan (Penna 72′)

(3-5-2)

Goals- 
Padovan 41′, 63′(pen), 72′
Ruggiero 81′
Beltrame 85′ (Pen)

With the second leg of the primavera coppa set for April 16 , contrary to earlier reports, the primavera now have a fairly open fixture list, which should allow us to regain a decent lead at the top of the league, gain some vicious momentum and allow some of our recent additions to the squad a chance to settle in more thoroughly. Cevallos and Pepic have hardly featured, but one of the new arrivals from January who has already caught the eye is …Vejabah Sakor.

I feel the need to offer a brief update on the slowly, but surely rising star of Mr. Sakor, who has recently played a captain’s role in Norway U17’s solid showing in the elite stage of the U17 European championships. Losing to Italy 1-0, edging past N. Ireland 2-1 and drawing their final group match 1-1 with Holland was only enough to place them 2nd in the table, meaning the end of the road.

At 16 years old he is captaining his country, gave a great showing in the Nextgen series for former club Rosenborg and has already managed 2 appearances for our U19 primavera outfit. We must keep an eye on the lad…There is something special about him. So young, yet so strong, both physically and technically.

Juventus primavera and youth update…12th March, 2013

12 Mar

SERIE B

Alberto Masi seems to be gaining momentum at Ternana, following up his début last weekend with a full 90 minutes under his belt in the 0-0 draw with Spezia. After spending the first month of his loan move to the rossoverdi on the bench, the central defender who showed so much promise in his pre-season at Juve last year must now push on, cement his name in the starting XI and perform well enough to encourage a team in the top flight to take a chance on him next term. Still…at only 20 years of age, he has time on his side. I am just keen to see another Italian defender step up to the senior ranks in the coming years and we will likely have to wait longer to see how Rugani and Magnusson fare when playing with the seniors. With his side sitting in 15th, its still possible for Alberto to dream of the play-offs which are only 7 points away. Recent form, however, suggests the 3 points standing between Ternana and the trap-door are more of a pressing concern.

Gabriel Appelt continued to enjoy his return to first team action managing 53 minutes in Pro Vercelli’s disastrous but expected home defeat to Nicola Leali’s high flying in 11th Virtus Lanciano. The Brazilian midfielder put in a good shift until been hooked off in the 53rd minute with his Juve buddy Elio de Silvestro arriving late on in the game to make his 14th appearance of the season. Pro Vercelli find themselves further adrift of safety, with 10 points needed to catch Bari in 19th. An step too far for the newcomers to Serie B ,and we can only hope that they go down fighting for we need Gabriel to get as much work as possible as he bids to continue his development. On the other side of no-mans land, Nicola Leali continued his slow, steady march towards stardom. The goalkeeper said by many to be Buffon’s heir has made 26 appearances during the maiden serie B season of Virtus Lanciano. And surely there can be no doubt that come May, plenty of sides in the top flight will be eager to bring him into their ranks next season. Team-mate and former primavera golden boy Leonardo Spinazzola failed to add to his 7 starts for the season for the visitors.

22 year old wide midfielder Fausto Rossi started and finished Brescia’s annoying 1-1 draw with Novara. With Buoy once again in the treatment room, its encouraging to see Rossi flying the flag with pride in his absence. His contract is up in 2014 so it will be interesting to see what we do with him in the Summer. Brescia remain well placed for an assault on the top six, with our Dutch flair-merchant Buoy hopefully back in contention soon enough. Their opponents Novara are home to Albert Libertazzi, former prima punta star of the youth team who has managed a grand total of 17 minutes of the 2-0 coppa defeat to Fiorentina in August of last year coupled with two appearances on the bench since leaving the nest last year. Questions need to be asked…such as…if Libertazzi has no chance of playing at Novara, why did we not move him elsewhere in January? And…what the hell has happened to a player who was performing consistently well last season (9 goals in 14 games) and was earmarked for glory???

Sassuolo extended their dominance as Kings of the Castle, coming out on top in a 3-4 manic affair with Varese. It seems that Richmond ‘Biggie’ Boakye is having some trouble regaining his spot in the free scoring league leaders attack since returning from his observer status at the African Cup of Nations with Ghana. Plenty of time left for the powerful striker to add to his 9 goals and 4 assists for the season.

SERIE A

Ciro Immobile v Apollo Creed

In the upper tier, Ciro Immobile continues to struggle at Genoa, forced to wait until the 59th minute before been called from the bench to play his part in the 0-2 home mauling by Milan. The striker’s team are now a mere 2 points away from the relegation scramble and yet still Ballardini seems unwilling to adopt a more adventurous line-up which is surely something to consider when goals are presently. so hard to come by. Over at Bologna, Freddy ‘kruger’ Sorensen continues his fine form in the heart of defence starting and finishing the impressive 0-1 away victory over our arch rivals Inter Milan. Manolo Gabbiadini also played the whole match, making his 23rd appearance of the season.

PRIMAVERA

Last Thursday, our primavera returned to Nextgen action with their second round do or die knockout match against Rosenberg. The big man up top, Padovan, was a steady thorn in the side of our foes, forcing three efforts on goal before the game was won by his strike partner Stefano Beltrame, who pounced on an error by the opposing defence, rounded the keeper and scored his 7th goal of the season. The Norwegians did have a chance or three, hitting the post in the second half, but Baroni’s troops held firm and now face a glamour tie in London in the quarter finals where they face Chelsea who reached this stage by beating Barcelona 0-2 in Spain.

Branescu
Untersee Rugano Magnusson
Laursen Kabashi Cavion Gerbaudo Ruggiero/Tavanti
Beltrame Padovan/ Bonatini

GOALS- Beltrame

(for reports of our previous matches head here> http://tearsforthesheep.com/forum/vi…c.php?f=5&t=96)

After the shock defeat in the primavera league to Genoa last weekend which ended an astonishing run of 12 consecutive victories, it was important to produce a solid showing against local rivals Torino in the derby. Coach Baroni opted, probably wisely, to rotate the squad, with yet another big game coming this week against perhaps an even more hated rival, Napoli, in none other than the primavera coppa italia final.

For the Torino grudge match, all three of the January additions to the squad played from the start (Pepic, Cevallos, Sakor)

JUVENTUS (3-5-2): Branescu; Bertinetti, Magnusson, Pol Garcia; Tavanti, Cevallos, Sakor, Pepic, Mattiello; Lanini, Bonatini.

GOALS- Padovan (pen)

Stefano Padovan – 10 goals in 13 matches.

The match started at a frenetic pace with both teams playing with aggression and intensity. Clearly the spirit of the turn derby is not lost on the youngsters. Albanian Elvis Kabashi was the first to make it into the ref’s book for a scything challenge on Gatto. After 20 minutes the sides seemed to be cancelling each other out with only one shot by Juve striker Lanini to shout about. Soon after, 16 year old Vajebah Sakor won the ball in midfield, released our new Ecuadorian wizard, Cevallos, whose charge towards goal was thwarted by the defence. Positive signs from the Norwegian midfield dynamo, still so young yet mixing it well enough with player several years his senior. Unfortunately, Sakor was soon after involved in the move which brought Torino’s goal, losing the ball which was then delivered into the centre for Coccolo to finish past a stranded Branescu. 22 minutes gone and a goal down. What would the reaction be of Baroni and his beastly boys???

Mattiello and Tavanti had efforts blocked before Bonatini almost scores a freak goal! Torino goalkeeper Gomis cleared the ball into the body of our Brazilian front man with the ball rebounding just over the bar. The second half trod a predictable path with Juve chasing the equalizer and Torino attempting to sit back, absorb our attacks and hit us on the break.

Coach Baroni saw red when protesting too vehemently against a foul on Kabashi and soon after he was banished, Tavanti was replaced by ace goal-poacher Padovan. It took the burly striker just over 10 minutes to make his mark on the game, slotting away the equalizing penalty after Sakor was brought down in the box.

Chaos then rules as Lanini applies the pressure, leading to a corner, the clearance from which ends with a debatable foul by Kabashi, but the ref has lost his mind, and instead sends Ceria for an early bath! A manager down, and now a player down, Juve fight onwards, always onwards with their oars beating fiercely against the tide…Sakor smashes one towards goal late on but its turned away. Surviving the late onslaught from Torino, Juve emerge from a strange match with a creditable 1-1 draw.

We remain comfortably top of the league,-

1st Juve 45 points from 20 games.

2nd Fiorentina 44 points from 21games

3rd Torino 41 points from 19 games.

Which brings us up to speed…but before I end this rather clunky update on youth affairs, let’s preview the coppa final against Napoli…which kicks off this Wednesday at 845pm in Turin.

Napoli lie presently 4th in Girone C of the primavera leagues. (juve play in Girone A. The 42 primavera teams are divided into three leagues of 14, with 16 qualifying at the end of the season for the knock-out competition which produces the season victors). They have amassed 43 points from 21 games, with a goal difference of +23.

Juve league form WWWWLD
Napoli league form WLLWD

The most obvious threat from Napoli comes in the form of Roberto Insigne, who has plundered a fearsome 17 goals in 21 matches so far this campaign. We will need to be at our best to keep him quiet.

Forza Juve.

3/3/2013 Juventus Co-owned/ Loans UPDATE

5 Mar

February proved an uneventful month for our co-owned/loaned players, with few gaining any extra minutes. Leali continued to excel in goal for Virtus Lanciano, and the reports from last season regarding his rare and special potential are gaining substance by the week. However, elsewhere in Serie B, our young juventini struggled to make the bench or escape the treatment room. Let’s hope for a more fruitful March…


Gabriel ‘Rasputin’ Appelt…they thought they had finished him, but back he comes with a vengeance.

Finally, after a lengthy injury lay-off due to a fractured fibula, our Brazilian regista Gabriel Appelt, returned to the Pro Vercelli starting XI and played till the final whistle in their commendable 1-1 away draw to 7th place Juve Stabia. Vercelli have a hard task to reach safety, but with Vicenza and Bari doing their best to help them out, the present 6 points lying between relegation and safety is far from insurmountable, especially so now they have their midfield dynamo back in the mix. Gabriel was a first team regular prior to his injury and his re-involvement in first team affairs can only do the player and team the world of good. Attacking midfielder Elio de Silvestro failed to reach the field, watching the entire match from the bench. Although he has featured fairly consistently for Vercelli, racking up 3 starts and 10 sub showings.

Superstar in the making Nicola Leali clocked up his 25th appearance of the season, but was unable to stop high flying Brescia scalp Virtus Lanciano 0-2. Leali, as aforementioned, has been in brilliant form for Virtus and if he continues at his current rate of form and improvement, he could well be given a shot by a Serie A club next term. It’s likely he could challenge Rubinho, but what use is sitting 3rd choice for our first team when he could challenge for a starting place at a lower ranked serie a club potentially???? Missing from Brescia was the injured once again Ouasim Buoy, who has yet to really pick up momentum after suffering a few niggles since his injury lay-off in December. Meanwhile his juve team-mate Fausto Rossi started and finished the game helping Brescia maintain their charge towards the play-offs. Wide midfielder Rossi has made two assists in his impressive 19 matches so far this season, as well as continuing to feature in the Italy U21 set-up.

Richmond ‘Biggie’ Boakye continued his efforts to regain his starting spot for Sassuolo after his trip to Africa for the ACON, by entering the fray in the 68th minute of the league leaders’ shock 0-2 home defeat to bottom of the pile Grosseto. The Ghana international didn’t play in South Africa as Ghana struggled to finish fourth in the tournament, but the experience will certainly have proven rich and encouraging for a lad of just 19 years of age. His countrymen Chibsah missed this match entirely, through injury or suspension I am unsure…The striker will be hoping to add to his impressive 9 goals and 4 assists over the final third of what has been a wonderful season full of promise and power.

Highly thought of defender (Uncle) Albert Masi was a second half substitute for Ternana, for whom he signed on loan in January. The elegant defender could not prevent his side losing a potentially pivotal mid table clash with Citadella 1-0, and now must face the future with a bleaker demeanour, for the play-offs are close to out of sight. Still, all we care about is more playing time for a defender we own, who looked quality during our pre-season. We will hope for suspensions or injuries to Ternana centre backs…nothing too nasty, just serious enough to give Albert a chance to get a foot in the first team door and stay there until the end of the season.

Moving up to Serie A…

Freddy ‘the iceman’ Sorensen continued his successful season by starring in Bologna’s 3-0 extermination of a hapless Cagliari effort. Notching up his 14th start of the campaign, Freddy kept resolute watch alongside Cherubin at the centre of the home defence. Also in action was Manolo Gabbiadini, who lasted until the 86th minute before swapping kisses and caresses with fellow juventino Christian Pasquato who went onto to score a lovely goal from distance to put the icing on the cake for the home side. All three are enjoying a solid season, with the Danish star shining the brightest. I would very much like to see him back at Juve, but we will have to wait and see how Paratici and Beppe judge his development (as well his value to other sides who own players we desire) in the summer.

Over at Genoa, who now sit shamefully in 17th position, 5 points and only one place clear of the relegation rabble, Ciro Immobile persists in his struggle to get games in his best position. Arriving in their latest ruin, a 3-1 loss away to Roma, in the 61st minute, and proving unable to stem the tide of misery and failure. It must be galling for the young prima punta to be playing second fiddle to Borriello…such is the price of youth in Italy eh? or perhaps just the ability to beguile of the former fan favourite, just ask Conte and Matri what the hell was going on last season…

A quick comparison of the three major striking hopes presently on our books>

Gabbiadini – 188 mins per goal/assist

Immobile- 228 mins per goal/assist

Boakye- 104 mins per goal/assist

Clearly these stats do not tell the whole story. Gabbiadini has an easier time at Bologna, where his inclusion is more common in a position he enjoys. Richmond is playing only at Serie B level, for a team flying high near or at the top since early on this term. Ciro has a hard time, an impossible time dislodging Borriello who occupies his position, with Genoa coach Ballardini preferring to tighten up the team rather than open up offensively also making life harder for a player who so much was hoped for after his stunning 2011/12 season in serie B with Zeman’s free scoring Pescara side. Just to compare…in that period, Ciro managed a goal/assist every 85 minutes. Which suggests that he knows where the goal is, and that we shouldn’t be overly impressed with Boakye who we cannot judge accurately until he is playing in the top league.

PRIMAVERA

Vajebah Sakor made his debut for the U19 primavera squad at the tender age of 16.

After our unexpected freak loss to Juve stabia dumped us out of the Viareggio tournament, Baroni had a fair amount of time to regroup the troops, integrate some of the new arrivals and prepare long and hard for the return to league action against Genoa last Saturday. Unfortunately, despite playing well from the start, creating several fine chances, and Beltrame giving us an early lead, we succumbed to two goals in quick succession after the break, and fight as we did, could not manage an equalizer. That 1-2 home defeat brought an end to a winning streak which reached back 12 games. Still, we remain in 1st place, 3 points clear of 2nd place Fiorentina on whom we have a game in hand.

Laurentiu Branescu – Jacob Laursen, Daniele Rugani, Joel Untersee – Elvis Kabashi, Hasan Pepic, Giuseppe Ruggiero, Andrea Schiavone – Stefano Beltrame, Edoardo Ceria, Stefano Padovan

GOAL- Beltrame 3’

SUBS –Garcia for Ceria 59’

Sakor for Schiavone 64’

Lanini for Ruggiero 76’.

Exciting Montenegrin left winger Hasan Pepic made his debut from the start, with fellow January arrival, the Norwegian wonder kid Vajebah Sakor also tasting his first piece of competitive action. Whilst Pepic, at 19 years old, is expected to be ready for this level, and will surely be loaned out in the Summer, 16 year old midfielder Sakor must be very highly thought of by the management to be thrust into the deep end so soon.

Thankfully we have the perfect opportunity to redeem ourselves next weekend, when the primavera play against our high flying city neighbours, Torino, who are in a rich run of form. Before the derby we have the small issue of Sakor’s former club Rosenborg to deal with in the do or die Nextgen knockout round this Thursday.

It’s great to see not just the increasingly expansive, efficient scouting network competing for and procuring the signatures of some top talent around the world, but also these same players been given a chance to fight for the cause as soon as they merit it in training.

My hopes are blossoming for Sakor…Kabashi, Beltrame, Rugani are all looking very promising and of the players at other clubs Leali and Sorensen seem the most consistent performers, with F. Rossi, Boakye, Appelt, Buoy and Gabbiadini all doing everything right in the journey from Exciting Youth Prospect to Established Senior Player.

Elvis Kabashi – Juventus Primavera

5 Mar

Elvis Kabashi

Date of birth 20.02.1994
Place of birth Durrës, Albania
Nationality – Albanian
Foot Left
Playing position CM/LW/DM

Playing History

2011/12
Netted 4 goals in 15 games for the Empoli primavera squad.Kept it clean picking up just the one yellow card in that period.
Scored for Albania U19 in 3-1 friendly victory over Bosnia.

2012/13
Moving to Juventus on loan in late August, Elvis quickly earned regular playing time with the primavera. He has been a regular in the starting XI for our primavera NextGen matches, starting 5 out of 6 games in the group stage. Likewise in the primavera u19 league he has started in 12 of our 18 fixtures played. The signs are very promising. Presently he is with Baroni and the boys fighting for victory at the torneo di Viareggio, in which he has started the first two matches, then appeared as sub in the final group game.

He has represented his country twice this season, scoring in the 3-1 win over Belgium and also appearing in the heavy 3-0 defeat to Italy.

BIO

Given his growing success with our primavera and sharp development curve domestically and with the Albanian national squads, its highly likely that we will take up our option to purchase outright the talented youngster in the Summer.(EU$1.8m)

Information regarding the brilliantly named Elvis Kabashi is far from freely available to my english eyes, and the below are the scraps I have managed to gather…

The albanian flying winger, who can also be deployed in a central midfield, or attacking midfield role, joined Juventus in the summer of 2012, on loan from Empoli, with an option to purchase at a set price once the loan expires. 

A regular in the Albania U19 team, also selected for the squad of the Albania U21 in late 2012, though yet to make his debut. Purely finding himself in the squad with the U21s at the age of just 18 is a testament to his ability and the confidence in his talent of the management. However, Kabashi caused consternation in late February when declining the invitation of the Albanian Football Federation to be a part of the U12 squad for the international friendly against Macedonia. Much has been made in the media about his decision, with the usual suspect quotes appearing such as ‘im too good for that team’, when the truth of the matter appears that young Elvis made it clear his obligations to Juventus are more important presently than his appearances in friendly games for his country, indicating that its crucial for his training and momentum with the Juve primavera not be interrupted at this stage. There is also a story suggesting his father was annoyed that a fellow albanian, playing for the Empoli senior side was called up for the Albanian senior squad, and in response, refused to allow Elvis to don his blue suede shoes and hotfoot it back to the motherland…finally, to add another page to this increasingly complex web of deceit, treachery and blossoming natural talent, Elvis apparently refused an invitation from the Italian football federation to play for them, citing that he had red and black in his blood.

According to the media he was apparently the ‘best player on the field’ during Albania’s 3-1 victory over Bosnia U19 last year. He also scored a penalty for Albania against Belgium in a U19 EURO qualifier in late 2012.
 
(EURO U19 QUALIFIER Belgium v Albania)

His idol is Marchisio. The Albanian football community thinks very highly of the chap indeed, pretty much unanimously agreeing that he is destined for greatness. A sign of Conte and Baroni’s positive opinions towards the player are the two occasions in January when he made the bench for the senior side (v Udinese serie a, Lazio coppa).