Frosinone will debut in Italy’s top-flight division following a stellar 2014/15 campaign in Serie B, but Rossella Marrai wonders if the leap to Serie A will be too big for the newbies.
In a city where the unemployment rate sits at 20%, there isn’t much to do in Frosinone but to develop a love for calcio, and this year Serie A’s newest minnows will be playing amongst the big guns of Italian football.
For Coach Roberto Stellone, and the city as a whole, it is a dream come true... having entertained in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione just two years ago, to winning back-to-back promotions to play alongside the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Francesco Totti - a new era awaits.
Frosinone’s promotion into Serie A, which saw them finish second in Serie B last term, was created by the financial muscle and business brains of the Stirpe family, coupled with the tactical mind of Napoli’s former striker Stellone. Together, they have built an exciting project.
Irrefutably, their main ambition will be to fend off survival and there are few coaches in Italy better equipped to tackle this battle head-on than Stellone, who, during his playing career, was relegated and promoted on four occasions.
“I want a mentally tough team that never gives up,” said Stellone. “We will do everything to create problems to the big teams. We are not afraid, but I'm curious to see how we will defend ourselves."
With the promising goalkeeper Nicola Leali set to lead from the back alongside Aleandro Rosi in defence and the experience, power and pace of new signing Raman Chibsah, there is no shortage of leaders within the team.
Still, with a mixed bag of results during pre-season, there is still much work to be done before they begin their campaign at the 10,000-seater Stadio Matusa against Torino later this month.
Debut campaigns don’t come easy, but even if the results don’t go the Canarini’sway, the club is almost certain to pack out their stadium each week - unlike their rich cousins Roma and Lazio – all while the club’s homemade beer will be doing its rounds.
Coach – Roberto Stellone
Set to be one of the youngest Coaches in Serie A this season, the 38-year-old will be making his debut in Italy’s top-flight as a coach. He will have his work cut out for him though, as he looks to fend off relegation in Frosinone’s first season in Serie A.
The difference maker – Aleandro Rosi
At just 28, the former Roma defender is probably the most experienced player within the side, having turned out for seven Serie A clubs in the last 11 years. Stellone will be looking to utilise his experience and pace on the flanks to help stabilise and the guide the team.
Best buy – Raman Chibsah
The strong Ghanaian has been given a second opportunity to state his claim in Serie A after joining from Sassuolo. Once on the books of Juventus, Chibsah will add power, strength and a tireless work ethic to the Frosinone team.
Currently owned by Juventus, the 22-year-old shot-stopper Nicola Leali has been tipped to become one of Italy’s next best goalkeepers. With only one season of Serie A football under his belt, Leali will be hoping that his second year will see him grow even more and possibly make the step-up to the Azzurri set-up.
LEALI; Crivello, DIAKITE, M.Ciofani, ROSI; Paganini, Gucher, CHIBSAH; Altobelli, Dionisi, Lupoli
Season prediction – 19th
Debut seasons in Italy’s top-flight campaign rarely brings success to many clubs, and for Roberto Stellone’s Frosinone side, their main ambition will be to avoid relegation. However, with only a handful of players having previously played in Serie A, survival looks almost like mission impossible. Should the Gialloazzurri manage to pull off some solid signings, they may be able to scrape a position away from the bottom three.
Keep up to date with all the Serie A transfers with Football Italia's summer 2015 transfer table.