Scenes and stories from a small town in the hills of Italy's Le Marche region

"community soccer" continued . . .

Adalberto Magnante has been the president of the Camerano calico association since 1984. He has a passion for the game and loves the opportunity to work with children. He is a financial promoter, but comes straight to the field after work because he has no children of his own. “If they are not playing soccer, then they would probably be getting into trouble somewhere else,” he says. He has a desire to use soccer to teach the youth to value each other and their place in the community. Magnante jokes that he does not exist for his wife on the weekend, adding, “She hates soccer as much as I love it.

While the children practice during the week, Magnante gives parents the opportunity to meet with a psychologist to assist them with any child-rearing challenges. Every other week, they are given the chance to meet with a nutritionist to analyze their child’s diet and eating habits and help make wise decisions for their children. “We want our youth players to have healthy lifestyles and grow up to be strong community members,” he says.

Members of the semiprofessional team coach the youth league, giving the youth a chance to work with those they admire and allowing the team members a chance to give back to the community. When a soccer player turns 17, he is eligible for the semiprofessional team.

Team Camerano is the pride of Camerano and competes in tournaments across Italy. The team was established in 1947. The current team consists of 17 players ranging in age from 17 to 33. Local sponsors fund the team. Each player receives 400 euros a month plus food and travel expenses during the season. To be a part of the team is the dream of many who grow up in Camerano.

The team receives strong support from the community during big games. Last season, more than 500 fans were present to cheer the team to a 6-1 victory against rival Sirolo, a neighboring town

The Camerano Calcio is funded by the city administration through local taxes. The society operates on an annual budget of 170,000 euros. These funds pay for 12 teams for children ranging in age from 6 to 16, their coaches and the indoor soccer field for games in the off season. Two years ago tax revenue was used to build the new stadium at a cost of 450,000 euros. “To get this new stadium was a miracle” says Magnante. The Daniele Montenovo Stadium is named for a former board member who was tragically electrocuted while working at the train station. The stadium is an exact replica of the Italian national training facility in Coverciano. It seats more than 1,000 spectators and has an Astroturf field.

The names of youth team are taken from various national teams. The favorites are Brazil and Portugal. The association will not allow a team to be called Italy because everyone would want to play for Italy. The only other team name that is not allowed is France because even before Italy’s victory over France in the 2006 World Cup, the French were strongly disliked. According to Magnante, the victory over France was “beautiful.”

>>go to "community soccer" page 1

In Camerano, fans gather to watch a youth soccer game at the local soccer club. Monday, July17, 2006. Photo by Alissa Kuhn.

Two young boys cheer on their team while taking a water break during a soccer tornement in Camerano. Monday, July 17, 2006. Photo by Alissa Kuhn.

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