Following the start of the third training camp dedicated to emerging Azzurri youth prospects, coach Gian Piero Ventura has praised the project that was promoted by the FIGC, insisting that it has worked in terms of Italy's generational change: "With these training camps I have been given full backing since day one," said Ventura to the press. "At every opportunity I have publicly thanked the clubs, presidents and coaches that have provided me with this possibility. I believe it has worked because eight or nine players have made their debuts, whilst others have also had their first taste of the senior national team. I am sure that others will also soon make their entrances."
Precisely due to the collaboration shown by clubs, Ventura has since decided to finish the camp at midday tomorrow, whilst he is also considering the possibility of scrapping the camp scheduled for May 1: "I am extremely grateful to the clubs and for this reason I have decided to conclude the camp without training tomorrow afternoon as the the championship returns on Saturday," he added. "There are some people fighting hard to avoid relegation, whilst others are fighting for Europa League or Champions League qualification spots, therefore I want to meet half way with the clubs. On reflection, I think that we will scrap the training camp on May 1. At the moment there is tension with seven games to go in the season, whilst in a month's time the games will be even more decisive. Given that I have been granted a lot of assistance, I now want to repay the clubs in the same manner. What we had to do is done and club matters are now more important."
In terms of next season's Serie A starting date, Ventura was keen to highlight the issue once again: "It is a contentious matter," he claimed. "It was said that I only asked for it to be brought forward due to personal needs, although I only wanted to highlight certain issues. I used Germany as a point of reference, stating that in the lead up to major tournaments they start their domestic season on the 8th-10th of August. This is simply because they want to win and they do not leave anything to chance. The possibility of starting the season on August 13 is specifically linked to that fact that we face Spain on September 2. If we were facing a different team in the group, then we would not be discussing this problem. However, given that this match is undoubtedly decisive, then I think a bit of consideration is needed. If the start of the season can be changed then great, if not then that is fine. We want to change it but with respect to the club's demands and that of the national team."
At this current moment in time, Ventura is not thinking about the game against Spain: "For now the priority is this crop of youngsters and their integration with the more mature players." he concluded. "For now I am not placing any of my attention on the game against Spain in September. This is because we firstly have matches against Uruguay and Liechtenstein. Should we succeed, we will then earn another position in terms of our FIFA ranking. We have already moved up to twelth, although our goal is to make it into the top 10, which is something that has not happened in years. It is clear that to be among the top ten national teams is not an objective reached, but instead one that allows you then to push on. I am confident. It has already been said in the past that there is a lot of good talent coming through and today I want to reiterate that Italian football has a bright future. We are 90 percent covered in all positions and despite the fact that we are not fully secure, I am still optimistic."
Goalkeepers: Alex Meret (Spal), Simone Scuffet (Udinese);
Defenders: Claude Adjapong (Sassuolo), Cristiano Biraghi (Pescara), Davide Calabria (Milan), Federico Ceccherini (Crotone), Cristian Dall’Orco (Sassuolo), Dos Santos Palmieri Emerson (Roma), Gian Marco Ferrari (Crotone), Rolando Mandragora (Juventus), Filippo Romagna (Brescia).
Midfielders: Daniele Baselli (Torino), Danilo Cataldi (Genoa), Manuel Locatelli (Milan), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Sassuolo).
Attackers: Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Federico Di Francesco (Bologna), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Andrea Favilli (Ascoli), Diego Falcinelli (Crotone), Gianluca Lapadula (Milan), Andrea Petagna (Atalanta).
Staff – Manager: Gian Piero Ventura; Team Manager: Gabriele Oriali; Coaches: Salvatore Sullo, Paolo Vanoli, Giuseppe Zinetti; Fitness Coach: Alessandro Innocenti; Doctors: Enrico Castellacci and Carmine Costabile; Masseurs: Fabrizio Scalzi, Pasquale Raia and Alfonso Casano; Osteopath: Walter Marinelli. Match Analyst: Antonio Gagliardi.
Tuesday 11 April
h. 10.30 Training (behind closed doors)
h. 14.30 Media’s entrance to Coverciano
h. 15.00 Ventura’s press conference
h. 16.30 Training (first 15 minutes open to the press)
Wednesday 12 April
h. 10.00Training (first 15 minutes open to the press)
h. 12.00 Meeting the media (players)