If the dawn of Treviso is the youth sector, Alessandro Zanato is the rising sun. The 43-year-old coach, originally from Preganziol, will be the new manager of the biancoceleste nursery and the first step to restart after a year and a half of pandemic. Zanato comes from the other side of the world, from Tokyo, where he played the role of technical director of the Japan Academy of Inter. Half a life dedicated to the youth sectors, a career that began in 1999 in Silea, passing through Milan and arriving in Japan: a story of life and sport that make it clear why Treviso has bet on him.
Not just football, I see that he plays many other sports …
«I live sport 24 hours a day. I have a specialist degree in physical education and a master’s degree in sport business and communication, I have an unbridled passion for sport: football is a profession, rugby, snowboarding, surfing and a lot of cycling. In addition to having worked organizing sporting events ».
Why only the youth sector?
«The youth sector has three principles: organization, planning and competence. First of all comes the organization because it is the business card of a club, it allows the coaches to work and makes the parents, who are part of the project, aware of sending their children to a healthy environment ».
Why did you decide to dedicate yourself only to the youth sectors?
«Adult football works because they were children before (he smiles, ed). If you work well as a child, you will see the qualities and values when you grow up: that’s why I like to spend myself in the youth sector ».
Did any samples pass through your hands?
«No coach of the youth sector launches any champion, the coach must give his best to make the children grow and have fun. If I have to name, Nicola Borghetto, third goalkeeper of Hellas Verona, or Nicolò Simeoni who was at Grosseto but is from Venice. But I hope I have given something to everyone ».
In the last four he has led the Nerazzurri Academy Japan: what was it like living and working in Japan?
«The quality and lifestyle are completely different from ours. At the beginning it was difficult to adapt, especially for interpersonal relationships, and the environment seems almost surreal: they have a lot of serenity compared to our frenzy. When you get into it you start to appreciate and there are so many aspects that I will miss about Japan, from healthy and good food to other situations such as not perceiving danger. A Japanese will never go against the rules and there is no sense of chaos in a big metropolis like Tokyo. They are organized in everything and when something goes out of the protocol they go into crisis. Ditto in football ».
How is football in Japan and how do children and parents experience it?
«In the near future, soccer could overthrow baseball as the main sport. Children approach football at school where they play many sports. Parents send their children to European or South American academies to learn our football principles and manage situations. Technically, Japanese children are stronger than Italians and parents have a great respect for the person, a strong sense of hierarchy. During the match they sit on the sidelines with their folding chair and cheer correctly ».
Do you have other anecdotes to tell since you spent four long years in the Land of the Rising Sun?
“In Japan they don’t have a locker room. The children arrive at the camp with their water bottle, put their backpack and jacket in the closet, train, collect their things and go home. The changing room in Japan does not exist, it is the norm, except in some cases for adults ».
Why did you decide to accept the role of head of the Treviso youth sector?
«I have seen people who have desire and competence. It was easier to stay in the pros but this, in my opinion, is the winning train. And I wanted to go home. President Sandri called me and demonstrated with facts that the youth sector must be a fundamental part of the new Treviso: I couldn’t say no ».
What will you bring to Treviso from Japan?
«The organization. I came from other youth sectors, from sporting events and in Japan I refined and understood even more how fundamental the organizational and management aspects are ».
What are the objectives of this new adventure?
«To give an organized structure and perspective to the whole youth sector. The results will come if we build a quality path. The goal is to let as many children play as possible with the Treviso emblem on the chest and be proud to play with the Biancoceleste ». –