AC Milan made the decision to shake things up in the youth sector this summer by appointing Vincenzo Vergine from Roma to be the new head, and he has outlined some of his plans for the club.
As was confirmed on the club website in September, Vergine has taken the role vacated by Angelo Carbone’s departure, having held the same position for 13 years at Fiorentina, from 1 July 2006 to 31 December 2019, and then for the last two years at Roma.
Vergine’s previous experience has seen many young players make their debut in various European professional leagues, such as Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic among others at Fiorentina, while during his time at Roma the youth sector there won six trophies.
Vergine did an interview with Milan’s official channel as part of the ‘Inside ACM’ series, and he spoke at length about some of the objectives he has having made the move north.
On his targets at Milan…
“It is a great honour for me to have received the call from one of the most important clubs in the world, for one of the most ambitious projects in the world, that is, the first great objective of a great youth academy is to train in home the resources for the first team.
“It means setting up men and women who work on this project with a single vision with the footballer at the centre, helping him to perform and improve. Everyone must have a clear objective: saying it is simple, doing it will be an ambitious mission.”
On his journey to this point…
“First of all I studied, I was an athletic trainer in Lega Pro and Serie B with one of the great masters of the sector, Pantaleo Corvino: with him I understood the importance of small details. Then I landed at Fiorentina, where I learned the management of the athlete on and off the pitch.
“After the experience as a manager in Florence I went to Rome, and the American property had the objective of enhancing the footballer starting from the basics.
“My model was interrupted forcefully by Milan, who came to tear me away and brought me here to recreate the right conditions to make my skills available. We must become protagonists in our country and also on an international level.”
On the importance of the youth sector…
“The real results of the academy are the players who go to the first team and become economic and technical value. Obviously what is achieved on the pitch is an important tool for developing a winning attitude.
“The result is an end in itself it serves no purpose, but in the broader context it is decisive: Milan can only play to win, the mentality is the dominion of the game and the desire to grow to overcome any opponent. This is how the model to present is created.
“The sense of belonging is very important, it helps you make the shirt feel sewn on. If we recruit players who are already AC Milan fans we have an advantage, but it doesn’t always happen: the task there is to quickly introduce them into that context, so that the player breathes the Rossoneri and understands the values of Milan.”
On the importance of having the right staff…
“A big club must constantly invest in staff training. The kids are our raw material, the people who work must be trained by the club to be up to par.
“Giorgio Furlani is very sensitive to these issues, he wants the Milan is the absolute leader. I also spoke with Moncada and D’Ottavio, the vision is univocal: the feeling is important.”
On his approach…
“It’s scientific: today we have tools and parameters to reduce the variables that affect the footballer’s training. You don’t have to be scientists, football is not a science, but it must use them all to make the footballer better.”
On the PUMA house of football…
“We are at the forefront with the sports centre at Milanello for the Primavera. The other teams train at Vismara, which needs some restyling to be renovated and adapt to the Milan coat of arms: by the end of the season we will have also completed this work.”
On training and his dream…
“We don’t train enough. There is little physical activity on a general level, when we recruit footballers we bring them to a regime in which we train little, but we can’t do more.
“We need to train more and better, we have started a dedicated program, I thank my collaborators because they listened to my ideas.
“In the next interview I hope to be able to say that I have achieved it. Working here is a dream, being on par with Milan is a dream: we must make sure that our kids are aware that being part of Milan is a privilege.”