Elite soccer squad headed for glory

NINE north suburban teenagers hope  to follow in the footsteps of an Epping  boy who has   signed with Italian soccer powerhouse Inter Milan.

They will train and play in Italy  this month on the same type of tour that led to Reno Piscopo, 14,  being scouted into Inter Milan’s elite youth development team. The boys train at RMIT’s Bundoora campus with the Genova International School of Soccer, which  organised the trip.

Piscopo is not the first Australian boy  picked for a Genova tour. Genova spokeswoman Angela Costantino said Theo Markelis was signed by Valencia  in Spain when he was  16, then  played for Vicenza in Italy before returning to play for Melbourne Victory.

‘‘The players on this tour will train and play against teams of the same age from some of Italy’s top teams, including Genoa and Juventus,’’ Costantino said. The boys  leave on September 21  for two weeks   in Ovada, in Piemonte, northern Italy.

 South Morang player Alan Peric, 15, said it would be ‘‘a life-changing experience’’. ‘‘I hope to learn and to bring my knowledge back to Australia, which could help with my career goal to become a professional soccer player,’’ he said.

Jonathan Alcorace, 15, of Greenvale, has already tasted Italian  soccer, playing  for  Campania, near Naples, when his family lived there for a year. ‘‘I’m ready to use my gift of both feet and speed to create a pathway to playing soccer for a professional team at a high level,’’ he said.

 The other players are Jonathan’s brother Lucas, 13, Tyler Carlucci, 13, Dion Forgione, 16, twins Jake and Luke Parisi, 16, Josh Rabie, 12, and Nick Vouloumanos, 15.

Genova will run an open  session at RMIT, Plenty Road,  Saturday, September 8, at 10am.

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