New Primavera head coach Ignazio Abate has thanked the AC Milan leadership for giving him the opportunity as he revealed some of the values he will look to instil.
Abate spoke during an interview with Milan TV to formally introduce himself as the new coach of Milan Primavera and he was asked about what it was like to return to the place where he already has so many memories, given his long playing career with the Rossoneri.
What was it like going back to Milanello?
“It was wonderful to cross these gates, you know what this Club represents for me, what this sports center has represented and represents: I am very happy. We hope to deserve it all together,” he began (via MilanNews).
On his new role…
“I am proud that the choice fell on me. I thank the company, from Paolo (Maldini), to Ricky (Massara) and Danzè. Above all Angelo Carbone who last year was the first to believe in me and offer me this opportunity. It is a very important category, it is an adventure that must be faced with great serenity.”
On his personal growth as head coach of the U16 team…
“I have grown a lot in everyday life to relate to them, I am an open book with their anxieties and fears. They enriched me a lot. It was a decisive year but above all from a human, field and technical point of view, where I was allowed to experiment, to try, to know.
“You never stop learning. I am very curious to understand and learn. At the youth level there is truly a structure that is of a high standard, from the medical area to the video area. Children grow up in a healthy and avant-garde environment.”
On his objectives as the new Primavera boss…
“We have the schedule almost the same as the first team, where in two or three months there will be many matches and very few breaks. The real goal at this time is to create a mentality, that sense of belonging and transmit those important values to the kids.
“In my opinion, the technical or tactical aspect takes over later, now we need to lay the foundations and create a soul that helps in times of difficulty and will come out. Without heart and without soul it will be hard.
“We will fight to win and convince, this club is used to and requires football of a certain level. There are values, especially in this club and in sport, that must be put in the heads of the boys. If we begin to understand where we are and what shirt we wear then we will lay a good foundation.
“It is a prestigious jersey that must be respected and honoured not just every Sunday but on a daily basis. Then I think the team always reflects their coach. I feel a very strong sense of responsibility towards the club. The boys are at a very important age, at a crossroads in their career where they decide what they want to do when they grow up.
“To undertake this profession, the most beautiful in the world, you have to make sacrifices, be professional and above all you have to deserve it, because we are not in a first team, with the boys I will try to be as sincere as possible, and to give them a hand at any time. They will find a friend and a companion they can rely on, but there is no compromise on certain values.”