The Italian National Team concluded this year’s work after four intensive days on the field in Tirrenia, Italy this past week. A group of 22 young athletes were on the field for two-a-days from Monday through Thursday, with Marco Mazzieri keeping a close eye on his future prospects in the last official meeting of his squad this year. The average age of those invited by Mazzieri to Tirrenia this past week was only 21.2 years of age, and the group consisted of only two ball players considered to be veterans of the National Team, Vaglio (24 years of age with 20 games played with the National Team) and DeSimoni (25 years of age with 33 games played with the National Team).
“It was a productive week with this group of guys,” said Mazzieri. “I’m pleased with what I saw, the collective group work hard on the field, and we were able to get a lot accomplished.” The group of athletes on the field this past week are those that are expected to be the future of the club, “Those that were here this week have gotten a chance to get their feet wet with the team Italy on a couple of different occasions over the course of the year, beginning back with the work that we did for the All Star Game in Ronchi dei Legionari as well as the events leading up to it.” Mazzieri. “Each one of my guys gave 110%, the right approach to be able to reach the top.”
This year was a very productive one for the Italian National, a year that was highlighted by an 8th place finish at the World Baseball Classic back in March.
“My instinct is to not look back on past events but to concentrate on the future, however what we were able to construct and realize in Phoenix and Miami back in March was truly something to be proud of, and to build on. We found ourselves very close to the final four in San Francisco, and to be in a situation like that in an international tournament of the highest of caliber is something to be proud of.” Mazzieri.
2014 is a year of the European Championship, a European tournament that your club has won two times in a row now, what are the expectations?
“It happens to much where we find ourselves focusing on results, however what were doing here is trying to focus on quality work, and consistency. It’s going to be business as usual heading into the new year, we have a lot of work ahead of us and we will most defiantly be focusing on quality instead of what may or may not happen at the European Championship.” Mazzieri. In 2014 Mazzieri’s club will be getting things going with Spring Training in February, which will be the first of the meetings between those that will be chosen to defend the EU Championship.