Tag Archives: Sassi

Juve Back Room staff

6 Apr

Following on from my appraisal of squad depth I now turn my focus towards the staff tasked with coaching and conditioning.

 

Fitness coach of the year yet again, Paolo Bertelli

Bertelli was recently awarded his second  Cronometro d’Oro award (stopwatch of gold) for his sterling work as our fitness coach.  The first accolade came through his time at Roma in 2008 and he has reclaimed the crown after guiding our squad to their second scudetto in 2013.

Paolo has also worked with Fiorentina and his efforts certainly seem to bear fruit given the manner in which we have pushed on after Christmas, maintained our fitness levels when other teams around us have faltered.

Tough physical training may also offer some insight into why we rarely seem to start at full speed, but by the second half, when the opponents begin to tire, we continue at the same rhythm.

Julio Tous, our sports performance innovation specialist alongside Llorente

Julio Tous came to the club first on a part time basis and more recently in a permanent role. His sports fitness work is of the highest pedigree having worked with Rafa Nadal, Carlos Moya and Svetlana Kuznetsova in tennis, Racing Santander, Real Zaragoza and Real Sociedad in football and also various hockey and basketball teams.

The spaniard is highly qualified, and aided Roberto Sassi in developing and implementing the Training Check program which ties together the many Juve squads into an alignment of fitness coaching doctrines. All players work-loads and training regimes are recorded, and altered according to their age and first team requirements.

Tous seems particularly interested in Pogba…and he had this to say on the player in May of 2013.

“Coaching Paul Pogba is a little like coaching Carl Lewis. I don’t know what kind of career [Pogba] will go on to have, but as an athlete he is extraordinary,” 

“I’ve encouraged Pogba to concentrate on running 400 meters. We are definitely trying to push him in that direction.”

His onus is on muscular strength, aiming for power above all else, which allows athletes to run for longer and become less susceptible to injury. Need we look further than Andrea Pirlo for evidence of his effect at the club, a player whose fitness levels sky-rocketed after joining the club from a Milan side where he was far from a first team regular.

Some of Julio’s work elsewhere includes the collection and nourishment of blood platelets. The science behind which appears to be the decrease achieved in recovery from injury if a player is injected with his own blood, enriched with proteins, when suffering from injury. This subject has caused a small stir on occasion, but how much such routines are in place at Juve is impossible to tell, and the nut of the matter is that no rules have been broken and I expect that other elite clubs are making the most of science as I hope we are in turn.

The main methodology of Tous is muscle power and associated muscle resistance.

Roberto Sassi and a prime example of the results of bringing in top drawer professional fitness conditioning experts…Andrea Pirlo.

Roberto Sassi boasts an impressive CV which includes experiences with some of Europe’s finest clubs.

After beginning his career in 1978 with Varese, Sassi travelled across the continent working with Lecce, Lazio, Avellino, Torino, Verona, Salernitana, Fiorentina, Valencia, Athletico Madrid, Chelsea, Parma, Sampdoria and Dynamo Moscow.

During his spell with the Blucerchiati, Sassi focused on youth development and devised the highly successful Training Check initiative.

Sassi then brought his methods to Juventus, with the club now reaping the rewards of his innovative blueprint.’

(juventus.com)

Sassi indeed appears another venerable member of our fitness coaching staff. Highly experienced in various footballing cultures and co-founder and now manager of our Training Check program.

However, my research unearthed something interesting…

During an interview with Mourinho in late 2005 after taking control of Chelsea from Ranieri, the self annointed special one was asked, as were others at the club, of the difference in coaching methods. Sassi had been in charge of fitness matters under the italian. It was suggested that Sassi worked the players incredibly sternly, running harder and for longer than they were used to or perhaps comfortable with.

Mourinho’s words were as follows…

“Just to run you don’t need to think…sometimes you just close your eyes and you just do what they tell you to do. ‘Ten times 200 metres.’ On the seventh repetition, you are full of lactic acid, you close your eyes, but you do it. ‘They pay me for this, so I have to do it.'”

(guardian.co.uk)

We are in 2014 not 2005 and its fair to assume that Sassi has adjusted his methods, especially after working in concert with Tous.

With the major players dealt with I will briefly mention the rest of the known coaching staff.

Constantino Coratti has been in the business of fitness coaching for twenty years. His career includes spells at Frosinone, Sora, Casertana, Potenza, Viribus, Ascoli, Spezia, Grosseto and Arezzo. Other than which, very little can be known.

Whilst listed as a first team coach, Mauro Sandreani, as all football manager fans will know, is a scout. I assume he is our head scout. Whether his job is weighted more towards scouring the globe for new talent or isolating weaknesses and strengths of our opponents, I am unsure. Someone does that job. But who???

Sandreani – First team coach or Juve spy???

Sandreani appears to my eyes and connected facets as an italian Sergie Lavrov. A man who says little, but when he speaks, he means every word. A wily figure who prefers to remain in the shadows. He strikes me as a man to set to the task of asking awkward questions without asking them. Of digging well below the topsoil and unearthing weaknesses at the root.

There is also Massimo Carrera, former Juve centreback, who is part of the first team coaching unit. We all saw him take the reigns during Conte’s ban. His passion for the club and uncompromising defensive stature are surely useful to the club at all levels.

Claudio Filippi is our goal-keeping coach. He is apparently held in high regard across the continent and has been responsible for several innovations in our coaching/ training regime which incorporate the latest technology of improving shot-stoppers. Given the wonderful form of Buffon, as well as his back-up Storari, Filippi appears a quality element of our coaching set-up.

Angelo Alessio – Conte’s Hephaestion.

Born in Capaccio di Scalo (Salerno) on 29 April 1965, Angelo Alessio is no stranger to the Bianconeri faithful, having represented Juventus 142 times, from 1987 to 1992, winning the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia in 1990.

Alessio hung up his boots in 1998 and immediately embarked on a coaching career. He worked as a coach with former team-mate Antonio Conte from the start of their successful adventure in Siena.

(juventus.com)

Here is clearly a man whose heart beats in time to the Conte salsa. As mentioned above, Angelo has been by his side since the Siena days and its fair to assume he is an extension of Conte’s ears and eyes in all matters Juve. What skills he brings to the table are tricky to isolate, but without any doubt he is an unwaveringly loyal ally to Antonio.

I am of the opinion that the incident involving Quagliarella muttering harsh words in response to his substitution by Alessio in a game played in late 2012, truly marked the striker’s card, not just with Angelo, but also with Conte. Such is the bond between the dynamic duo. One for all and all for one…

In conclusion, we appear to have a well balanced mixture of high quality professionals and Juve faithfuls running our coaching staff. Which should be a perfect marraige. The technical gurus meshed with the highly experienced not just in the game itself, but of the Juve DNA. A well prepared plan.

(The only men I have neglected to mention are Beppe Marotta…who we know mightily well…and his commander in chief, Fabio Paratici. As far as I can fathom, Paratici is involved solely with transfers, so I will leave his story for another outing)

Suffice to say, we are well equipped on the staffing front, and must now hope that the set-up is fertile and capable of making the best of whoever Conte, Beppe and Paratici bring into our ranks.

 

 

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