Massimo Agostini is looking to inspire a new generation in San Marino after agreeing to coach the national Under-21 team in tandem with his position at S.S. Murata, saying: "I want to offer young players my experience and ideas."
Now 45, the former Cesena Calcio, AS Roma, AC Milan, Parma FC and SSC Napoli striker – known as 'il Condor' in his Serie A heyday – was still playing for Murata as recently as last season, before focusing on his role as player-coach of the side he joined in 2005. With Murata winning a third successive title in 2007/08, Agostini's coaching qualities have shone through.
He has worked hard to bring a professional approach to the club – who remain an amateur team – and has been rewarded with great performances, and now the San Marino U21 post. "I have great ambition and determination in my work as player-coach at Murata," Agostini told uefa.com. "Now I'm delighted to become coach of the U21 national side. It's an important role."
The challenge for Agostini's young charges will be a daunting one. They have been drawn against Germany, Czech Republic, Iceland and Northern Ireland in qualifying for the 2011 UEFA European U21 Championship in Denmark. The new coach feels that represents a great opportunity. "We will face famous players who are already playing in professional leagues around Europe," he said.
President Giorgio Crescentini is adamant the San Marino Football Federation has the right man for the job. He said: "We have appointed a great person and a great coach who knows our football perfectly; someone who has taken a humble approach and worked hard to adapt to our situation despite coming from a completely different world."
"Our objective is to improve on the results we have achieved in the past," added Agostini. San Marino have an unenviable record of 64 defeats over 90 minutes in as many U21 qualifiers – though they have been awarded default wins against Armenia, Sweden and Latvia. "We can take great satisfaction from working hard. I want to offer young players my experience and ideas."
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