Soccer Italian Style

Altan Ramadan Toffa Leave a Comment

Schermata 2016-05-26 alle 10.09.54

Mirko Mazzantini, co-founder of Soccer Italian Style, is a vastly experienced age group coach with Fiorentina ACF

Soccer Italian Style 11-15 July
Top Flight Football Academy is committed to ensuring that our young footballers have the opportunity to experience a high quality of coaching.

To deliver a world class learning experience we will once again, for the 4th year running, be hosting Soccer Italian Style in Auckland.  The camp will be held 11 – 15 July at our home ground, Bill McKinley Park. This year the coaches will also be holding a players camp in Wellington from 18-22 July at the Te Whaea artificial turf.

Mirko Mazzantini, co-founder of Soccer Italian Style is a vastly experienced age group coach with Serie A club Fiorentina ACF.  The coaches that provide the session in Auckland are based at both Fiorentina ACF and Empoli FC and have a strong focus on technical development.

Competition Quality
The high quality of play in Italian junior football is the primary reason Top Flight Football Academy partnered with Soccer Italian Style five years ago.  We wanted young New Zealand footballers to experience the Italian coaching system.

Top Flight Football Academy focuses on delivering this experience day in day out for its footballers.

However when weekly competition is the likes of The Solidarity Tournament ( that Mirko’s Fiorentina U-14 will be involved in late May, it is important that our athletes experience those learnings from coaches who are seeing the best Italy can offer every week.

For the record, clubs competing at The Solidarity Tournament include Napoli, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Valencia and Manchester United – some of the very best producers of talent in Europe.

A System That Never Stands Still
The second compelling reason to bring Italian youth coaches to New Zealand is that the Italian system is geared towards constant improvement.  This means that coaching philosophies are always evolving.

For a nation that has won the FIFA World Cup four times and has an outstanding club history it would be relatively easy to sit back on its laurels believing the job is done.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.

A great example of this attitude is that of Renzo Ulivieri, the 75 year old current chairman of the Associazione Italiana Allenatori Calcio (Italian Football Managers’ Association).

Mirko recently attended a UEFA A coaching seminar at which Ulivieri shared his changing views regarding possession.

“Possession has to be a way to score, not to show that a team has a good coach.”

This is possibly not a great surprise given the approach of various club teams in Italy – Juventus and Napoli spring to mind – but is notable given coaching styles across the Italian junior game are adapting.

Likewise, Italian junior coaches are considering how to encourage defenders to position themselves to attack space more than they have in the past.  Rather than also standing goal side of an attacker, young defenders are being challenged to recognise when to stand beside an attacker to provide a better chance of intercepting a pass.

This change of approach sounds subtle but is far-reaching.

The change means coaches need to work harder to ensure a defensive unit is well drilled to understand when intercept opportunities are going to be attempted.  Cover needs to be provided if the attempt fails and midfielders need to know how to respond in the event of success to launch a quick counterattack.

Rather than relying on an error to gain control of the ball (a poorly directed pass or bad touch) defenses are required to be more aggressive.  The implication of this change is that ball control and body position will be even more important for the striker with pressure unrelenting through the course of the match.

The visiting Soccer Italian Style coaches will provide this guidance through the course of the five-day coaching workshop.  Expect an outstanding learning experience for those footballers that attend.

Final Word
The core element of the Top Flight Football Academy coaching philosophy is ongoing learning from international experience and excellence.

Soccer Italian Style is an opportunity for your child to experience an authentic, high level European coaching experience at a reasonable price.  We strongly encourage you to enroll for the July workshop.

For more information on Soccer Italian Style please visit:

Primary contact:

Altan Ramadan


Mobile: 022 041 8533

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