Collecchio, 18 November 2022 – Here are the words of Coach Domenico Panico on the eve of Parma vs Juventus, the 9th matchday of the 1st Round of the Women’s Serie A Championship, scheduled at the “Ennio Tardini” stadium in Parma, tomorrow, Saturday 19 November 2022, at 14.30 CET:

Coach Domenico Panico, we are on the eve of Parma vs Juventus: the Women’s Serie A championship is back with a match that will also be your debut. What are your feelings the night before?

“I will know the answer tomorrow after the game, because now I am positive, of course. The team has done a great job in these three weeks and they have all been training. I’ve had the group fully available in the last two days but this is something that is common to all the teams that have had girls called up to their respective national teams. A peaceful and quiet night, we have worked well and tomorrow the field will show where we are”.

In their last two matches Juventus have had problems away from home, remember that at the Tardini they lost the Super Cup to Roma. Can this open up some hope that a very difficult match can turn in our favour?

“But I think it is the opposite. Juventus are the Italian champions and I think they are the strongest team in the league, trained by a great coach and with a very strong squad of players. In fact, we will find Juve even tougher and even more determined to make a great comeback after the disappointment of the final. From this point of view we are ready, we know that we face a strong team, we must think about us, we must think about doing what we know how to do, to have great humility and respect Juventus, but we must know that we have our characteristics, our way of playing. I hope I have conveyed to the girls my desire and the mood I have and, tomorrow, we will see”.

Would you say Parma women are in search of identity?

“Yes, I agree: the team needs to have a concrete identity, we need to know what to do both in possession and out of possession, we have to be attentive and we have to try to make few mistakes and try to stay in the game; because it will be a long one. Inside there are many mini-duels that we must know how to manage and in moments of difficulty we must take advantage of the moments where maybe Juve will concede something. I anticipate a team that knows its strength, that respects the opponent; as I said before we must try to play our way, try to play our game regardless of the enormous qualities of the opponents.”

The figures are pretty woeful, up to this point in the season having the worst attack and the worst defence, the team that has suffered the most defeats, but of these figures what was striking me in particular was that Juventus is the team that scores the most headed goals while Parma is the team that has won the most so far in the women’s Serie A. I suppose you have been working on this?

“We have worked on everything. Juve can attack how they want and when they want. They have high-level players in all areas of the pitch. They have structure, physicality, great technical qualities and conditional aspects that are out of the ordinary because they have wingers who attack space well both with and without the ball, who can be devastating at all times of the match. We know Juve’s strength, we have tried to work on all areas if something is missing, we must be ready to strike and hurt them with our characteristics and our play style.”

Identity of play first you say, then on to the technical-tactical aspect. From this point of view, how has it evolved from the presentation conference to today?

“We went ahead by doing some inside tests to understand the adaptation that all the girls were able to have a bit; we trained with a specific number of girls in the first half, fortunately in the last few days we had a concrete number, developing other things as well. We focused first on our character and the tenacity that we must have in certain moments of the game, on how to manage moments of difficulty. Obviously, we need tests like tomorrow’s and we need to go to Tardini to see that aspect too. Our pitch must be our friend and not a difficulty for us. The club has made a historic pitch available to us so that we can play our home games, we must always be there, representing both the jersey and the city in the most important way possible.”

Shall we also make an appeal to the fans or sportsmen and women of Parma on this specific occasion? It would be nice to have a few more numbers than usual…

“Of course I expect a bigger turnout as you said, also because the men’s first team is not playing tomorrow and people can make time to come to the Tardini. It’s a wonderful pitch to be on and the most important team in Italy is coming, so spending a nice afternoon together cheering on Parma and the girls need support, they will be ready to prove their worth and as I said before they will be ready to give evrything for the badge.”

the break was quite long, was it useful to have this period to recover some of the injured players we had previously?

“We have recovered a few in terms of condition, because those present had had, in any case, limited minutes and we tried to do some tests to increase their minutes and to increase the conditional aspects, to try to get them playing. We have some players out but this is something we are aware of, we are working calmly and things are improving; my staff from the point of view of the camp and the medical staff are working incredibly hard and the girls are being managed in the best possible way. We are very confident that we will have the whole squad available as soon as possible. We have worked well with the team and we also have alternatives tomorrow that we can develop throughout the game, the boss will tell us the work of these first three weeks.”