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Alice Gambarelli, a life in the balloon

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Sporting Director of Atletico Castellazzo, organizer of championships and football tournaments at 5, President of the provincial committee Opes (Sports Promotion Agency recognized by CONI) of Reggio Emilia, as well as the mother of a young player of 13 years that militates in the youth of Sassuolo and companion of the player / president Matteo Merli.
A life in the ball where she is often forced to use fingernails and teeth to be respected by a strongly masculine world and not yet ready for a figure that instead of the 13 classics wears the 10 heel and despite this it can answer in rhymes and discuss if the last action was offside or not. He takes care of the company's accounts and pampers his players with fresh fruit in the icy water during the early season's preparation in August or with his unbeatable "bomboloni" of The Burning during the winter races to recreate the players in a long time other.


Sweet, decisive and above all clear, a DS that without a lot of words always says what he thinks without paying much attention to pleasantries or phrases of circumstances, in short, one of those managers who is better not to lose patience ... .and during a game never tell him to stay home and make lasagna .... he might not take it too well.

The first question is almost obligatory, how did a woman end up acting as sports director of a men's soccer club?



Everything started in 2012, as a contributor to a 5 football tournament the Salvaterra Trophy (this year in its tenth edition) theoretically I had to deal with the bar, but it was easier to find me on the sidelines talking to the referees and match players , behind the counter! So from the year after I started to try more and more in the organization and in the 2014 the big step putting me in game with a real soccer championship the RT League (Provincial Championship Opes Reggio Emilia). All this always flanked by my partner / president / partner Matteo Merli, without him nothing would have been possible.
In 2017 the idea of ​​forming a football team at 11 starts to tease us, there is the right group of people and here is finally born a real leadership ... each of them puts his in the project, an alchemy of experiences, projects, dreams and hopes truly unique.

For those who do not know, what does it mean to be the manager of Atletico, what commitments and responsibilities involves managing an amateur team?

How many people think I do not wash the wetsuits (thinks the laundry), I'm not a masseuse (we think physiotherapists in case of need), this to clarify how high the level of general machismo in the combination football / women. I deal with all the accounting and administration, but I am also present at all matches as a sports manager, alongside the coach, I maintain relations with the referees and it happens that I also recover the balls left the field, practically for example to all duties like any other male executive. I like to pamper my "boys" with fresh fruit in summer, the special hot in winter, cakes for dinners and sports photos (which are my passion). They are also the one that makes "cichetti", if one does not show up with the official sweatshirt and occasionally calls them back to the order.

After a year and a half in rossoblu, which memory is more beautiful on a sporting level and also human has impressed you?

On a human level it has given me a lot, above all the divergences at managerial level have helped me to compare myself and open my horizons even more, even though I remain a very stubborn and determined person. On a sporting level ... our promotion in Serie A!

Is being a woman in a strongly masculine world easier to deal with institutions rather than arbitrators and adversaries or complicates things?

Being a woman in this world is very difficult, the comments often unhappy and the dubious glances of the opponents but also the judges of the race, and the managers of the plants are on the agenda, but I have my regular manager card and is my right and duty to be on the sideline. I'm one with the answer ready, I hardly remain silent except that time when a referee told me why I had nothing better to do than be there and that his wife in the evening had better things to do than to follow a game of ball ... being a sports director I preferred not to answer, I did not want to play my first red card (in this regard there are clandestine bets inside the dressing on how much the first red will be waved to the Gambarelli DS).

You are lucky enough to live and share some moments that very few girlfriends or wives of the players have ever tried as the appeal before a race rather than live the game off the bench, what excites you the most?

The climate in the locker room before the game I think it can not be described, is a unique emotion and remains my favorite moment, before the referee enters the call ... there are those who concentrate in silence, who it makes its superstitious rituals, those who try to dilute the tension of the jokes ... a set of individualities united for the achievement of playing a good game beyond the result.

Last year promotion on the first shot from 'Open B to' Open A, this' Atletico this year where he can get to you?

The Serie A is definitely another level also our group is full of very strong opponents, I think a half ranking is the minimum to aspire with Atletico.

Plans for the future? What is the future of this company? What boils in the pot for years to come?

We have many projects and dreams, from having our own sports facility to putting together a team of Juniors or even starting from the soccer school. This project is made up of a solid group of unique and special people and thanks to their skills and passion we will slowly achieve all our desires.

Doing DS, manager, accountant etc ... .with a home and a family to go ahead and a job is certainly not easy, the game is worth the candle? In the end the satisfactions pay back the long time involved in this cause?

Yes. Of course it is not easy to put everything together is often complicated, but with a good organization you can manage to do a lot.

A football team to be managed, a daughter of 13 who plays football, a boy who plays football with a daughter of 10 years that ... .strange to say play football! Is your typical week routine or pure madness?

My typical week is made of bags that run around the house, cleats to check that they are clean (everyone takes care of his stuff, they are not the Colf).
Fortunately, our "girls" have workouts and afternoon games, while the commitments of 'Atletico take place in the evening.
I split up and sometimes I'm tired, but only once did I consider leaving the management due to a problem that we pulled too far in time, fortunately worthily resolved.

What the world of football has given you and maybe he has taught you, but above all what should take the football from the 'female universe to improve?

The world of football gave me a wonderful tattoo, the symbolic Phoenix of Atletico, promised to the boys in case of promotion in Serie A! Seriously (the tatoo but I really did) from this world I have a lot to learn, I have never practiced team sports, and this is a unique experience for me.
Football to improve itself should take a pò of the organization of the female universe, I see a lot of approximation in some organizations even at the institutional level. I would add that the female universe could in turn learn from the team spirit and solidarity towards the group that often we lack women.

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Journalistic newspaper registered with the Court of Florence, n. 6032 of the 15 Settembre 2016, with director Giancarlo Padovan.

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