Monday June 18 2018
Frosinone no fairytale

The Canarini aren’t plucky no-hopers on their return to Serie A, and Daryl Hammond believes that’s exactly what they need.

Promotion to Serie A this year isn't quite the fairytale it was last time for Frosinone. In fact, they may even be cast as the villains in this season's epic, but the achievement should mean just as much to the Lazio club.

Back in 2015 the Canarini dazzled the footballing world as they soared from the third tier to the top tier for the first time in their history, but since relegation things had been a bit trickier.

Were it not for an 89th-minute goal from Foggia's Roberto Floriano, they would have been promoted automatically, instead finishing level on points with second place Parma.

The final-day capitulation mirrors last season, where they had to battle back from 3-0 down at Pescara, and did only to see their winner incorrectly chalked off for offside.

Having also hit the woodwork four times in that match, this time against Palermo they decided to create their own luck.

The now-viral clip which shows substitutes throwing balls onto the pitch to delay play were just some of the antics employed to ensure the game would go their way.

The most game-defining would likely be their intimidation of referee Federico La Penna, who after changing a free-kick call to a penalty changed it back to a free-kick after protestations.

Over the course of a season Frosinone are deserving of a place in Serie A for a season. But their antics during the second leg of their play-off match threaten to taint those, with many of the belief that Palermo were robbed. That the game should be replayed or that the Sicilians should simply go to Serie A in their place.

Palermo boss Roberto Stellone said Frosinone wanted 'a brawl ', while Frosinone President Maurizio Stirpe insists his team respected the rules.

The protestations about cheating and refereeing are not unlike anything we have seen in the past, and despite Palermo lodging and appeal, Frosinone's attention will quickly turn to the season ahead.

They will want to give a better account of themselves than the first time they graced the league in 2015. Relegated right back to Serie B they finished 19th and lost more games than anyone else and conceded the most goals.

They spent all but seven weeks in the relegation zone, reaching as high as 13th after the first week of the season.

So, what's different? For a start they have Camillo Ciano, the scoring and creative force that helped the Canaries fly. In this, his debut season since moving from Cesena he topped their goalscoring charts at 14 goals.

But his creativity was the biggest factor, leading the league with 15 assists, feeding the likes of Daniel Ciofani and Federico Dionsi, who both hit double figures.

The real task is replicating that form at the highest level, something for manager Moreno Longo to ponder. The man in the opposite dugout Stellone will know that dilemma all too well, having guided Frosinone to promotion the first time.

But after just one Serie A stint in their 106-year history, being a yo-yo club for a bit might not be so bad.

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