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Ancona's Awakening


andyowls

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Ancona’s Awakening

In 2003/04, AC Ancona set a record-equalling Serie A winless run of 28 games, and were relegated with a meagre 13 points. Their one other spell in the top-flight was just as short-lived, and their only trip to the Coppa Italia final ended in a 6-1 aggregate humiliation at the hands of Sampdoria. They suffered bankruptcy and demotion to Serie C2 in 2004, before entering liquidation in 2010, where they remain today.

The Soccer Manager world is littered with defunct Ancona’s, but a select few between GC’s 43 and 73 provide an interesting proposition. In 2008/09, Serie A side Palermo sent an Italian international youth goalkeeper on loan to Ancona in a bid for experience. Today, Salvatore Sirigu plys his trade for sheikh-owned, French giants Paris Saint-Germain, and is seen by many as the successor to Gianluigi Buffon between the Azzurri sticks. Another who spent the campaign on loan at the then Serie B side was Guilherme Siqueira from Udinese. The Brazilian full-back now plays in La Liga for Granada, where he impressed many last season and is heavily fancied to join Valencia this summer to replace Jordi Alba.

Today, Ancona awakes. Built around these two players, Ancona shall rise from the ashes and shall challenge the Italian giants once more. This time, however, they shall thrive and prosper and go on to dominate Italian football. Watch this space.

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Ancona's captain Salvatore Sirigu in action.

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Re: Ancona's Awakening

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Howat Signals Youth to Lead Club Forward

New Ancona manager Andy Howat today pointed towards a new strategy to go with the new regime to lead the club out of the doldrums. The highly-rated English coach took over the reins yesterday afternoon following a prompt takeover of the Italian minnows, with money to spend being promised. And Howat was quick to emphasise that youth is the way forward if Ancona are to return to top flight of Italian football for a third time.
"I'm honoured to be joining a club such as Ancona, who have a long and rich history. But I have to be clear and honest in my assessment of the club, and that is there has been too much of a reliance on age and experience in the past. The only way this club shall move forward is if we invest in the youth academy and push them forward to develop. That is the way we shall stay at the top, once we return to the top. And we
will
return to the top."

As a signal of intent, Howat made young Sheffield United player Matthew Lowton his first signing for £1.3m. The versatile defender, who played primarily at right-back last season but can play across the back four and even in midfield, was the subject of much transfer talk. However, Ancona managed to beat off interest from Serie A rivals AC Milan to land the highly-rated Yorkshireman as the first piece in their long-term puzzle.
"Matthew represents the beginning of a new era at AC Ancona. He is just the first of a raft of young talent that shall come through the doors at Del Cornero and help lay the solid foundations that are needed for any club to succeed on a long-term scale."

Although Howat hasn't suggested as such, rumours are that the large majority of the currect squad are set for the scrapheap, with all but captain Salvatore Sirigu and star full-back Guilherme Squeira set to stay at the club. With a squad value in excess of £50m and the much talked about large transfer kitty on top of that, the Ancona faithful are excited to see who shall arrive to help lead the club back to the big-time.

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Matthew Lowton - the first piece of the puzzle.

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