Juventus recently formed a partnership with the Niagara United Soccer Club to help grow and promote the beautiful game. Among those pictured include Tony Carbonara (second from left) and Sebastian Giovinco (centre). Photo Credit: Niagara United Soccer Club.
When you think of international soccer you think of Liverpool or Manchester United in England, Barcelona or Real Madrid in Spain, and Juventus in Italy.
Juventus has won a record 36 Serie A championships. That is 17 more than any other Italian club.
Juventus recently formed a partnership with the Niagara United Soccer Club to help grow and promote the beautiful game.
Tony Carbonara is now a director with Juventus Niagara. The former Club Roma and Brock Badger soccer player recently joined the Niagara Sports Report on Newstalk 610 CKTB with unbridled enthusiasm surrounding the affiliation.
“It was months and months of work,” Carbonara said. “We established a relationship with TFC (Toronto FC – Football Club). TFC had a Niagara Selects program in the past. We kept the contacts from that, and then we had some contacts at Juve (Juventus) Academy and they reached out to us about establishing some roots in Niagara and we jumped all over it.”
When the official partnership was announced, former TFC star and Italian international Sebastian Giovinco joined the Juventus Niagara as a director.
“That was absolutely huge, it’s amazing his commitment to Canada and Niagara,” Carbonara explained about Giovinco’s involvement. “He sat with us and he discussed the commitment. He showed everyone by coming here. It was just a fantastic experience. That really gives us the motivation to say, ‘we can do something really great here.’ It’s a dream come true – for everyone in Niagara.”
Juventus Niagara will provide a high level of training for youth in Niagara from U5 (under five) to U13 (under 13) and develop players under the Juventus umbrella both on and off the field.
As of now, Niagara United’s affiliation with Juventus Academy Niagara will start with their U13 Girls I-Model team with coach Paolo Sirianni and their U13 Boys I-Model team with Carbonara at the helm.
“We’ll teach them through the Juventus way,” Carbonara said. “Their motto in Italy is Fino Alla Fine. In other words, until the end. Their motto is achieving greatness, achieving your goals, until the end.”
Carbonara credits a former coach and former Canadian national team player, Lucio Ianiero, who calls Niagara home, for spurring his love for the game, which developed from playing to coaching.
As for bringing your game to the next level, Carbonara offered some thoughts. Important factors include commitment on and off the field, including to nutrition and taking care of your body, as well as a strong mentality and mental toughness.
“If you don’t have that mental toughness it’s pretty hard to be successful,” Carbonara said. “That’s in all aspects of life.”
Ain’t that the truth.
To find out more on the Niagara United and Juventus affiliation, visit niagaraunitedsoccer.ca.
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.