Ursino and Cosenza? Ambitious dreams


By John

Seventy-five years today for Beppe Ursino. Much of his life spent following the passion that marked him first as a child and then as an adult. In Roccella Jonica, the town where he was born, he initially took his first steps as a footballer. “I was a midfielder,” recalls the Cosenza general manager. A path that was interrupted early, “at 26.” “President Ugo Ascioti told me that he wanted me to become the team’s sports director. It was my big dream.” And that’s where his career began. The first victories and the arrival at Adelaide Chiaravalle, in Serie C2, at the end of the 1980s. The prelude to the long idyll with Crotone.
Director, if you had to choose just one match from your long career as a manager, which one would you keep?
“I will never forget the match in Modena, the one that brought the historic promotion to Serie A. That day I fulfilled my dream. I had the goal of reaching the top and winning many championships. At the “Braglia”, during the match, my whole life passed before my eyes. These are emotions that I will cherish forever.”
But is there a regret, something you would have liked to do and didn’t?
No, I have no regrets. I spent most of my time in a company that always gave me everything. The basis of the relationship was trust. I played three Serie A championships and met all the major managers, I built a solid relationship with everyone”.
Compared to when you started, what has changed most about football?
“Since the Bosman law, it has been a real revolution. The role of the sports director is no longer what it once was. The transfer market is only the last component. Now a sports director is first and foremost a manager of the technical area. He must act as a glue between the players and the coach and the club. I often joke that I have often had to “train” presidents because they struggle to understand certain dynamics.”
Is Guarascio a president who needs to be “trained” a lot?
“Not at all because he approaches with great enthusiasm. He wants to do well and I am happy to be at his side. He has a deep love for the team, for the fans and for the city. To understand this, it is enough to hear him speak with the members of the club. He lives with the desire to achieve something unthinkable. I feel his respect, a mutual respect. I have always considered myself a “company director”, tied to the club. Nowadays, everyone arrives in a place and leaves immediately, in Cosenza it has happened very often. I would stay for a long time, unfortunately I also have to deal with the identity card. Only for this reason I insisted on signing for a year”.
He was born in Roccella Jonica, he spent many of his years in Crotone. He arrives in Cosenza, but there is no sea here. How will he do it?
“Cities bathed by the sea have a strong appeal for me, perhaps ancestral, but sometimes I isolate myself and choose the mountains. I go there almost as a hermit. Therefore, I think that Beppe Ursino is capable of adapting to any environment.”
From rossoblù to rossoblù but two different clubs. How did this new relationship begin after 27 years with the same partner?
“I feel like I’ve gone back in time. I decided to get back into the game, after two years, because I’m highly motivated. I would like to break the world but there is a need to organize many aspects to make society perfectly functional.”
Those who know you say they were surprised by the way you referred to Serie A during your presentation conference. What prompted you to recall this horizon?
“The belief. And it is that in life it is fundamental to have goals. Otherwise you never have the destination in mind. I have reached where I am with enormous sacrifices, because in the south you have to triple the efforts to achieve the same goals that the north sets. The economic resources are lacking and to equal the level you need to work with your imagination. And so we will try to build a squad capable of filling the “Marulla”. With 20 thousand everything becomes easier”.
Gennaro Delvecchio the right man?
“I knew his character because I tried to bring him to Crotone on three different occasions but now I am absolutely certain that he is a winning choice. He is impetuous, he understands football and has everything to reach certain levels. He has had teachers like Corvino and Sogliano, not just any two.”
And Alvini?
“An excellent coach. I have always seen his teams and they have impressed me with their play. The last two experiences are difficult to take into consideration. In Serie A, with Cremonese, he proposed captivating football but unfortunately it is never easy to achieve results in the top division. He has always won, humanly he has superior qualities”.
In what position in the standings do you dream of seeing Cosenza at the end of the season?
“I don’t want to express myself but I hope to satisfy the ambitions of President Guarascio. The next championship will be difficult and extremely balanced, towards the top. We must think first of all about salvation, then the playoffs”.
If you had the opportunity to sign just one of the players you brought to Crotone, which one would you take back?
“Alessandro Florenzi because he is the emblem of reliability. A player like him never betrays. Extraordinary as a person and as a footballer. There have been many, however. I am also very close to Bernardeschi, Deflorio, Paro, Messias, Simy and Budimir. One day, five of my players were called up to the national team, what a satisfaction”.