Tuesday February 22 2011
Prandelli: 'Lower youth team age'

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli has proposed a change of rules to limit the age of youth team players to 18. “Aged 20 you should be in the first team.”

Much has been said on the problems of bringing youth through the ranks to play in Serie A's top sides and Prandelli has a new plan.

“I believe we should help young players by limiting the maximum age of the Primavera youth teams to 18,” said the Italy Coach at the opening of the Viareggio youth tournament.

“Right now there are those aged 20 or even 21 who are still in the youth teams, but at that age you should be in the first team.

“This is the path we must follow, as it's how our lads grow and mature. We are searching far and wide across the country, as Italy does have talents aged 18 and 19 who have quality and can guarantee a bright future for the Azzurri.

“I wouldn't dare name names now. I can instead say that it is wonderful to see Andrea Ranocchia playing with the authority of a veteran at Inter.”

Juventus have moved Giorgio Chiellini to left-back recently and Prandelli adopted the same tactic in a recent 1-1 international friendly draw with Germany.

“Chiellini can play as a centre-back or on the left, depending on what he feels suits him more. It is his decision.”