There is no greater feeling for most FM managers than when your Head Of Youth Development coach announces that the current crop of youth intake could be a Golden Generation. Welcome to la generazione d’oro
The Golden Generation Academy
Before we get started I would just like to explain our new logo for our Cittá di Bergamo academy. The logo is a modern design created by myself to represent The Golden Generation Academy in the Cittá di Bergamo. You will see that the logo is in the colours of the Italian Flag with the clubs logo running through the design. The new logo will be used by both our Under 20 and Under 18 teams from this season. The Golden Generation Academy will be at the heart of everything we do at the club. The future of the club is now in the hands of the academy with us now turning to the academy instead of the transfer market 99% of the time. Our scouting network is now purely focused on searching for youth only. The Lombardia Policy that we have implemented narrows our search for players over the age of 17 to the Lombardy area meaning that signing young players and developing them is the only way the club can carrying on improving for years to come. We have also extended our scouting network to search for players up to the age of 17 Worldwide.
We all know that the youth intakes are the luck of the draw and that all you can do is to hopefully maximise your chances by upgrading your Junior coaching budget likewise upgrading your youth recruitment. By doing this it makes me feel better and even if it is just luck at least in my head I am giving us a better chance of improving the quality of players coming in on intake day. An area that I do believe is vital though is bringing in a Head Of Youth Development coach who is a Model Professional that can have an influence on the personality of the players coming through the development system. Along with judging player ability, potential and working with youngsters I look for Continental reputation so his player knowledge is wider giving us the chance to bring in young players from further a field. Below you will see the profiles of the players who have come through the academy and who are now part of the 1st team squad.
8 Walter Angelozzi
Already one of my favourite players Angelozzi is an absolute work horse and is not bad with the ball at his feet. Already the 19 year old is approaching 50 first team appearances and already one of our most important players. Joined the club in the 2020 youth intake aged 16 years old. Born in Bergamo the midfielder is an ambitious individual and a future Azzuri captain in the making. Angelozzi turns 20 shortly and hopefully will be sitting down and entering in to new contract negotiations in the very near future. Angelozzi wears the number 8 shirt the number assigned to our worker in the middle of the park. This season Angelozzi has made 13 appearances with 1 assist and 1 goal so far. Angelozzi has made 8 U21 appearances for the Italian National Team.
4 Valerio Bellino
The 18 year old Bellino gracefully goes about his job either playing in the defensive midfield strata moving the ball around with either short passes offering options to all around him or pinging longer passes to the flanks for our wide players to run on too. Bellino is also very good playing in the back four in the Ball Playing Defender role. This season Bellino has made 12 appearances scoring 3 goals and contributing 1 assist. Bellino has already made his mark with the Italian U21 team scoring 3 goals in 8 appearances.
6 Angelo Massimo D’Agostino
The 19 year old D’Agostino broke in to the 1st team picture last season and has already established himself at the heart of our defence. When I watch the player in action he reminds me of a certain Italian legend who played for the Old Lady called Claudio Gentile who was an uncompromising defender and I believe D’Agostino to be of the same mould. This season D’Agostino has been at the heart of our good start to the season making 13 appearances this season. Capped 5 times for the Italian U21 team.
18 Mirko De Lisio
Promoted from the Under 20 squad this season De Lisio is a technical player with a good engine and a bright future ahead of him in the game who comes deep to get the ball with good vision and a good first touch De Lisio fits perfectly in to my philosophy of how we will play. With just one appearance so far this season De Lisio will get his chance as the season unfolds.
16 Francesco Guerrini
The Golden boy with golden hair Francesco Guerrini is another promoted from the Under 20 squad this season and who has the potential to become a good central defender a strong tackler who is learning his trade in and around the 1st team set up. Guerrini played in a few 1st team games last season due to injuries within the squad and looked comfortable. Guerrini will continue to develop this season and looks to be the perfect partner to D’Agostino in the long term.
17 Giuseppe Giacobbe
Speedy winger Giacobbe is currently the back up option to Daniel Maldini this season and already he has featured in 7 matches performing very well when called upon showing that his pace can be a big asset on us breaking quick. A defenders nightmare and still developing. Giacobbe was another from our first youth intake in season 1 and recently won his first Under 21 cap.
21 Andrea Marchesi
19 year old Andrea Marchesi is equally adept at playing out wide or in the centre forward role. Marchesi comes in to the 1st team squad on the back of two seasons in the youth league’s scoring over 20 goals in both seasons. A real team player with good finishing attribute together with good technical attributes. Marchesi has made 3 appearances this season and had a recent call up to the Italy youth set up.
14 Mikel Martinez
Central Midfielder Martinez at 18 years old is a managers dream and already making my team selection difficult featuring in 11 games this season Martinez is of dual nationality with Spanish and Italian parents. High teamwork and work rate attributes with good natural fitness and stamina Martinez looks to have a fine future in the game. Martinez has made 6 Spanish U21 appearances.
12 Ryan Andrade
18 year old Ryan Andrade is a Belgian right full back who I promoted from the Under 20 squad after his standout performances last year. Andrade is developing well and looks to be the natural choice of the future. Andrade has featured in 5 games already this season at an average of 7.05 with an assist to win a tight game against Sassuolo.
The board have not had a knee jerk moment on the back of us finishing 8th in Serie A last season by setting this seasons expectation to avoid relegation increasing to become an established Serie A club next season and then continuing to be an established Serie A club. Surprisingly the club are planning to build a new stadium which is at the planning stage and due to complete in 2025. I am pretty excited I have not had a new stadium on FM.
I am actually in the last year of my contract so I am waiting for the board to offer me a new one or I will be looking at my options which I don’t want to think about.
Serie A Review 2022-2023 Part One
The fixture computer gave us a very difficult opening three games to the season against current champions Lazio followed by Internazionale and Juventus. A definite test for the Young Eagles from the off.
I had decided on my squad for the 1st team ahead of the new season deciding to send the following players out on loan after being placed on the development list:
- Pietro Rovaglia moves on a season long loan to Blackburn Rovers in the Championship.
- Nicholas Bonfanti is another moving to the champioshp with a season long loan to Nottingham Forest.
- Joining Bonfanti in the Championship is Paolo Riva looking to get some 1st team game time.
- Manuel Di Paola has joined Hearts in Scotland
- Christian Tommasini is another player off to Scotland were he will join Steven Gerrard’s Rangerx.
- Gabriel Charpentier has joined Sunderland on a year loan.
I will keep an eye on the players out on loan to see how they perform before making any decisions about future contracts.
A guaranteed sell out for the visit to the Cittá di Bergamo of Lazio the reigning champions on the opening weekend that includes the following players in the starting XI who have been promoted to the 1st team squad from the youth team. Mikel Martinez, Ryan Andrade and Giuseppe Giacobbe who all join three more of our Young Eagles who broke in to the 1st team picture last season Angelo Massimo D’Agostino, Valerio Bellino and Walter Angelozzi meaning that we will face the Champions with 6 of our academy system in the starting line up.
Lazio started well without troubling us at the back and once we settled in to our game we scored an early goal in the 11th minute when left back Filippo Grassi an unlikely scorer rifled a 20 yard shot in to the Lazio goal to put us 1-0 up. I have to say that if you did not know which team was the reigning Champions you would most definitely pick us.
We continued to dominate after the break and when Angelo Massimo D’Agostino scored a far post header in the 64th minute we were in seventh heaven but this game does not allow you to sit back and when Lazio got a goal back through last years Serie A player of the year Luis Alberto it signalled for an uncomfortable last ten minutes which we managed to get through by the skin of our teeth for a 2-1 win.
An away trip to the Giuseppe Meazza to play Internazionale ended in a creditable draw when both Valerio Bellino with a 45th minute penalty and a 79th minute finish from Simone Mazzocchi earnt us a 2-2 draw.
When the Old Lady rolled in to town on the back of two victories Juventus are looking like they are going to throw everything at winning the title after surrendering the title to Lazio last season under the watchful eye of Zidane so when Daniel Maldini’s 49th minute goal put us 1-0 up we were in dreamland but got punished just two minutes after Walter Angelozzi crashed an effort against the upright Luis Suarez earned the Old Lady a 1-1 draw.
Not a bad start at all from a tough three games followed by a solid 4-1 win against Parma in a game that included a double for Filippo Melegoni along with goals from Simone Mazzocchi and Daniel Maldini.
Simone Mazzocchi was on target again in a 1-1 draw against a very good U.S Sassuolo who are looking a good bet for a European place this season.
We went in to the big Bergamo derbi against Atalanta looking confident but Massimo Carrerra continued his good record against us when his Atalanta side beat us 2-0 which I have to be honest could and probably should have been more. It was a disappointing performance to end August on but we have to learn to improve so we go again.
We started September off just how we finished August with a poor performance this time against SPAL at home losing 0-1 that signals me to hold a team meeting to pick the boys up and when I say boys I mean boys with an average age of 20.6 the lowest in Serie A and probably the rest of Europes top leagues.
We get back to winning ways against the promoted Salernitana with a 3-0 win that saw Filippo Melegoni, Flavio Junior Bianchi and a Valerio Bellino penalty all get on the scoresheet to bank a very welcome three points.
Myself and the club continued our good record against Marcelo Bielsa and his Genoa side when we go on and beat them 2-0 with both Valerio Bellino and Simone Mazzocchi finding the back of the net to seal back to back wins that round the month off.
We have four games to play in October before the League shuts down for the World Cup Finals in Qatar starting off with a 1-1 draw against last seasons runners up Roma with a super strike from Walter Angelozzi.
Our next game against Milan again see’s Daniel Maldini return to haunt the San Siro faithful with a 31st minute goal that puts us 1up. In a tight game that we go and get a second this time from Under 20 forward Gabriele Chiodi who scores his first senior goal rewarding us with having faith in the young forward after injuries deplete our options in attack. A good 2-0 win by the boys.
Another Valerio Bellino penalty is enough to give us a 1-0 win in Turin against a well organised Torino side. No fewer than 7 players start the game who have come from our youth intakes which starts the press conference off with us getting high praise for the clubs investment in local talent.
With just one more game before the Qatar World Cup break we host Udinese in the Cittá di Bergamo with the boys dominating the game giving us a 2-0 win through Daniel Maldini and Simone Mazzocchi meaning we go in to the break in 2nd place in the standings some 9 points behind Juventus and 3 points ahead of Lazio and Milan in 3rd and 4th.
I could not have imagined such a good start with 7 wins and 4 draws from the 13 games played up to the break.
Simone Mazzocchi leads the way with 5 goals ahead of Daniel Maldini and Valerio Bellino both with 4 each. Turning to the Assists Daniel Maldini leads the way with 3.
Serie A Standings
Juventus under Zidane are determined to get their title back from current champions Lazio and so far they are showing no mercy with a star studded squad that includes the ageing but talented Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez plus Italian winger Federico Chiesa.
We are extremely pleased to be sitting in 2nd place but we know that it is very early in the season and the break comes at a time when we are playing well so I can only hope that we can continue were we left off after the restart.
It is interesting to see how people distribute their shirt numbers and what them shirt numbers mean to the individual. I have developed my own system to how
Here is how I distribute and recognise my own numbers :
After numbers 1 to 11 are assigned I use the second number to identify the role so for example a Left Back will identified with the number 3 so 13,23,33,43,53,73,83 will always be a Left Back. Numbers not assigned will be for any new players coming in to the club so for example the Left Back number 43 is a spare number likewise 49 is a spare number and would be assigned to a new player coming in to the club that is a Centre Forward.
The Numbers 61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68 and 69 are all Goalkeeper numbers with only the number 1 being assigned to the first choice keeper at the club.
Below is how the numbers are assigned to each position
First Team Squad
1 Goalkeeper 2 Right Back 3 Left Back 4 Defensive Midfielder 5 Central Defender 6 Central Defender 7 Right Wing 8 Central Midfielder 9 Centre Forward 10 Playmaker 11 Left Wing
61 Goalkeeper 12 Right Back 13 Left Back 14 Defensive Midfielder 15 Central Defender 16 Central Defender 17 Right Wing 18 Central Midfielder 19 Centre Forward 20 Playmaker 31 Left Wing
21 Left Wing 22 Right Back 23 Left Back 24 Defensive Midfielder 25 Central Defender 26 Central Defender 27 Right Wing 28 Central Midfielder 29 Centre Forward 30 Playmaker
Under 20 Squad
62 Goalkeeper 32 Right Back 33 Left Back 34 Defensive Midfielder 35 Central Defender 36 Central Defender 37 Right Wing 38 Central Midfielder 39 Centre Forward 40 Playmaker 41 Left Wing
63 Goalkeeper 52 Right Back 53 Left Back 54 Defensive Midfielder 55 Central Defender 56 Central Defender 57 Right Wing 58 Central Midfielder 59 Centre Forward 60 Playmaker 61 Left Wing
Under 18 Squad
64 Goalkeeper 72 Right Back 73 Left Back 74 Defensive Midfielder 75 Central Defender 76 Central Defender 77 Right Wing 78 Central Midfielder 79 Centre Forward 80 Playmaker 81 Left Wing
65 Goalkeeper 82 Right Back 83 Left Back 84 Defensive Midfielder 85 Central Defender 86 Central Defender 87 Right Wing 88 Central Midfielder 89 Centre Forward 90 Playmaker 91 Left Wing
Numbers Reserved For New Signings During A Season / Youth Intake
42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 51
Before the start of each season numbers will be reassigned throughout the club and the reserve numbers freed up for the forthcoming season.
Thank you for reading and if you want to talk FM or give me some feedback about my save don’t hesitate to get in touch.