Crotone are in Serie A for the first time in their history, but director Beppe Ursino assures “we are not the Italian Leicester.”
The tiny club from Italy’s poorest region secured promotion with last night’s 1-1 draw away to Modena, watched by 1,200 fans at the Stadio Braglia and thousands more in front of big screens in the square back home.
“I am feeling intense and deep emotions,” director of sport Ursino told Calciomercato.it.
“It is indescribable. In my view we have done something immensely important, a victory for all of Calabria.
“Are we the Italian Leicester? No, we are Crotone and we each have our own identity. Our project has always been to rely on young players, make a competitive team and try to keep costs down.
“This year we managed something marvellous and the credit goes to the club, the Coach, the players and our fans.
“In all honesty, I started to believe in promotion after we beat Bari at the 93rd minute. I realised we could do great things.
“I saw the team improve constantly and at the same time the January buys helped improve the quality in attack.”
Coach Ivan Juric has been linked with the Genoa job, so will he remain in Serie A with Crotone next season?
“Ivan is a great Coach who can reach a very high level. He has everything needed for a great career. He is an excellent strategist and his training sessions never allow the team to drop intensity. The side has been remarkably consistent all season.
“At this moment I don’t want to think about the future, as we want to celebrate this achievement, then we’ll see.”
Crotone are 93 years old, but the club went bankrupt twice and was founded again from the amateur leagues by President Raffaele Vrenna in 1993.
Before he took over, Crotone hadn’t even managed to enter Serie B, but will be in the top flight for 2016-17.