Back in the Serie A league after a 49-year absence, counting on an attractive Youth Academy strengthened by a world-wide scouting activity, the SPAL – acronym of Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor – warms-up to enjoy a special debut. For the first time, the Italian club from Ferrara will take in the Trofeo Beppe Viola, celebrating its 48th edition in Arco next March 7th to 12th. “We’re honored for this invitation. I’ve always followed the Beppe Viola and I’m grateful to the OC for giving us the opportunity to participate. We strongly aimed to be there, it will be an important step on our U17 Team’s growth path“, SPAL Youth Teams Technical Manager Ruggero Ludergnani explained.
Matteo Ferrari, Davide Marchini and Thomas Manfredini were the latest among SPAL’s talents able to get to the football’s main stages. What about today’s prospects? “Our mission is to train football players, in a long and not at all easy road. The club owners aimed to return SPAL’s Youth Teams to their glories. Today we get respect, we have some appeal and all our young squads stand in their leagues’ top positions“, Ludergnani argued while experiencing his fifth season with SPAL. Senegal’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Demba Thiam and midfielders Gabriel Strefezza (21, Brazilian), Alessandro Di Pardo (19, playing for Juventus’ U23 Team), Salvatore Esposito (18) and Ghana’s Shaka Mawuli Eklu (20) are the most outstanding players blossomed in SPAL’s Youth Field over the latest 5 years.
SPAL’s U17 team includes 9 foreigner players. Some of them are from San Marino, like Filippo Fabbri. Some others, like captain Franck Teyou, born in Douala (Cameroun), live in Italy since 10 years. Anyway, many of them are recruited with an extensive scouting activity. “Most of Italian families don’t consider SPAL a first choice , so we try to find abroad interesting players that can join our first team“, Ludergnani added.
Not many SPAL’s players are wearing Italy U17 National team’s jersey, but Ludergnani doesn’t worry about: “It’s just a matter of time. Laghi was was on the set of tNational team until last year, then he suffered a serious injury and now he’s trying to get his edge back. We hope he’ll be capped again in the National teams soon“.
Talking about next Trofeo Beppe Viola tournament, Ludergnani eventually said: “It will be interesting to watch playing Africa’s selections, in a tournament that highlighted also Italy’s amateur young players in past years, besides the skills of the most important national and foreign clubs. We are happy tochallenge SSC Napoli and Parma Calcio, two clubs playing in different groups of the U17 Italian top league, and we’d like to take on AS Roma, actually the best team in my eyes. Meanwhile, we’ll come to Arco to show our players’ skills getting them a great experience“.