APIA Leichardt Tigers guest player Joshua Colosimo tastes defeat to Inter Milan in the prestigious youth competition, the Viareggio tournament.
With the game against Italian giants Inter Milan drawing near, the APIA boys
spent the day before the match enjoying the Viareggio Carnevale, which takes
place every year. The 'Carnevale' is simply amazing. It is one of the worlds
biggest and best carnivals, second only to Rio in Brazil. The people of
Viareggio took to the streets in their thousands, to witness the enormous
floats, dance to the music and get themselves involved in all sorts of
games. The carnival was a unique experience for me, as in Australia we don't
really have anything remotely similar.
After the carnival had come to an end, the team headed back to the hotel for
dinner. Once again, pasta was on the menu, keeping in mind that the big
match against Inter was so close. Steve our physiotherapist, was kept quite
busy treating soreness and injury, as each and every member of the team was
determined to be at peak fitness.
Dinner finished and the boys went back to their rooms to rest. After an hour
or so, president and co-coach Tony Raciti, came to inform us that the squad
had been put up for the match. There were plenty of disappointed faces, as
each player had been putting in 100% to ensure they would start against
Inter. However, the players who were not involved in the Inter Milan match,
had a chance to play earlier in the day against J-League team, Nagoya
Grampus. Therefore, 2 squads were posted on the notice board.
The day finally arrived. Breakfast was eaten in dead silence and not a word
was spoken by any of the players during the morning stretching session.
Every single player was focused on the job at hand, to beat Inter. Firstly
however, the younger team made their way to the ground for their game with
Nagoya Grampus. In terrible, conditions the APIA apprentices lost the match
4-0, but their were some definite positives, with APIA creating many
The time came for the boys to board the bus and head to Pistoia, where Inter
awaited us. It was a nervous bus ride, with coach Lince Romeo going through
each players individual role. Once again, we used the 4-2-3-1 formation,
with defense being our main priority.
After arriving in Pistoia, the boys were shocked at how brilliant the
facilities were. The pitch was first-class and whilst the stadium was
extremely old, the scenery which surrounded us was beautiful. We were
motivated right from the start and knew that we could really take it up to
Inter, who currently sit second in their Primavera championship.
After an extensive warm-up, the time had arrived for kick off. The APIA boys
sang the Australian National Anthem proudly, as did the Inter players with
the Italian National Anthem. The line-ups were read out over a loudspeaker
and the 1000-strong crowd cheered as we kicked off the Viareggio tournament.
Inter applied pressure on the APIA goal but could not find a way through. We
defended brilliantly, blocking every shot and winning every challenge,
however, just on the stroke of half time, Inter's captain scored a fantastic
goal from just outside the box to make the score 1-0.
We walked into the dressing room with our head held high, whilst the Inter
Milan players argued amongst themselves.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Inter dominating
possession and APIA on the back-foot. The score remained 1-0 until the 88th
minute, where Inter managed to score another goal. This deflated the APIA
players, who conceded once more in the 94th minute. Final score, Inter 3-0
APIA. A valiant effort from the APIA Tigers, who only conceded late in each
We look forward to our next match against a representative team from Serie
Until next time...