Do I Follow My Family Ties?
I’ve started following Italian Football and the Question I find myself asking people is, “Who do I support?” It seems it’s an age old question for people in my position. I have family in Cosenza and they follow their third tier football side Cosenza Calcio Srl. How realistic is it for an Australian in New South Wales to follow a third tier side in Italy? Is the Family tie enough to keep me enthralled in a team I may never see play? Is the passion of the game enough?
Well, this weekend I will try and follow my Lega Pro/C team and see if it is indeed a possibility for this Australian to discover football.
I had messaged Cosenza’s supporter group “Cosenza Siamo Noi” (Cosenza Us) and asked how do people follow the Serie C overseas? They were kind enough to send me a link of a sporting website which streamed live the Lega Pro TV footage (the website currently being scrutinised by the fans for taking money away from the League)
I worked out Cosenza would be playing at around 6:00am Australian time (daylight savings).
Casertana F.C VS Cosenza Calcio (Fourth vs. Fifth)
I woke up late, the alarm that had tried waking me up didn’t do the job until 7:00am. I couldn’t believe it. My first chance to watch my new found club and I had slept in (granted it was a Sunday morning).
I jumped out of bed, had a quick shower to wake up and sat down to see the start of the second half.
It was an end-to-end half with chances for both sides, but Castertana had the majority of possession. With two slim chances early in the half, both could have been better, and neither tested the Cosenza’s goalkeeper, Perina.
I felt confident, Cosenza passed the ball extremely well. Pin point accurate passing, but the built up pressure couldn’t be maintained. The Castertana defence turned into a moving brick wall, rejecting Cosenza’s attacking plays.
The game was high on emotions: lots of slide tackles, pushing, shoving and yelling, but the aggressive play became Castertana’s downfall in the 84th minute. A wild sliding challenge from Pasquale Rainone just outside the box led him to be given his second yellow, leaving Castertana down to 10 men.
It took Cosenza three minutes to make Castertana suffer. Under the defensive pressure of being a man down, a nice pass across the box found Andrea Arrigoni just outside the box. He took one touch to calm himself on the ball and with the pressure of six minutes to go on his shoulders, the Midfielder gave the ball a low, hard drive to the keeper’s right, finding the back of the net. Flawless finish.
Goalazo (Castertana FC 0 – Cosenza 1)
The Italian commentator began screaming goal goal goal goal. The screaming of goal it instilled the importance in me.
I felt excited. The away fans were excited. The four substitutes with high Vis bibs equally excited as Arrgori swarmed the midfielder with smiles and excitement. Immediately after the celebrations had started dying down, the Castertana players came over in frustration, unhappy with their celebrations. Small arguments began, but were settled quickly.
Cosenza finished the game victorious. A hard fought victory to which the name of the game was possession. Castertana lost the game with some horrible defensive tackles leading to over six yellow cards and a red. Cosenza needed just three minutes after the red card to find the back of the net and cement their win.
Cosenza now sit fourth, overtaking Castertana in a crucial must win 4th vs. 5th battle for both teams.
I sit and think about the passion that I felt while watching this game and reflect to my earlier question: “How realistic is it for an Australia to follow a third division Italian Side?”
It’s very realistic. I am doing it.
I’m proud of my Italian heritage and roots. My family in Cosenza will be happy to know there is another Cosenza supporter in the world.
Serie B here we come.