Collecchio, 22 June 2022 – In the press room at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, after being introduced by Sporting Director Mauro Pederzoli, new Parma Calcio 1913 Youth Sector Head Mattia Notari spoke to the press. These were just some of his thoughts:

“I’m extremely enthusiastic about this role that has been entrusted to me. As you walk through the Tardini gates, you can feel just how historic this Club is. This is an important position, but I’m ready to accept this challenge. With real positivity and plenty of energy, I’ll try to honour it as best I can.

“I have great respect for the people who were here before; they’re professionals who I know personally. From day one, I’ve really dived into the day-to-day activities and have been getting to know everyone here. Without the help of those behind the scenes who work for hours and hours to keep things ticking over, it’d be impossible to achieve the objectives that we hope to accomplish.

Those who do youth sector work must be aware that it takes time. Time is the best recipe to overcome fears and worries. These youngsters need time to take things on board. However, we also need to be willing to try to push these guys so that results can be achieved. There’s no time limit in this regard, but there needs to be this desire.

Recruitment, training and the working environment will be our areas of interest. In all of these areas, we need to aim to do our best to achieve the best results. We need to look at the players and see if squads can be improved. We will also have to work in such away that the coaches and all staff members are on the same page with the improvement of every player in mind. Then, there’s the matter of the working environment, which is, in my opinion, fundamental. Positivity is needed. Looking at the Primavera, for example, a defeat in the final can hurt, but we need to start from afresh. There needs to be a positive mindset and the desire to work. If we manage to create this kind of environment, I think that both Parma Calcio and the whole Italian youth movement can benefit.

“There’s a need to understand whether youngsters are happy, if they enjoy themselves when they play football, if they’re convinced of the path they’re going down, especially if they’re far away from home. We also need to be aware of family separation. In my opinion, our social function is equal to that of family and school. We’re taking on these responsibilities and helping to shape future men. This is an aspect that goes beyond results.

“We’re analysing everything together. Those who work in the youth sector know that things can change in three months: for a 15-year-old boy, three months can mean a difference of three kilogrammes or three centimetres. This can change a youngster’s perspective. We need to be present every day and take part in the formative process.

The Club is made up of several areas that work together and must find the perfect blend so that the best result for the youngsters is achieved. We have methodology, performance, scouting and medical departments, and all are important in achieving the final result. For me, a young player needs to be viewed from a broader perspective, and this includes looking at things like methodology, boarding school life or nutritional health. We need to put all these pieces together to produce the best result.”

“We want to have strong players. We hope that they’re from Parma, but, irrespective of where they’re from, we’ll work in such a way that the average level is raised. After all, it’s easier to improve when you train with good players.”