The event was born from the passion and the willingness to offer to the young soccer players, not only the ones from Etna area, a great experience to showcase their talent. These are the grounds from which Davide Santonocito, after a great experience lived in Europe and the USA, along with Antonio Amore and Armando Amico, has organized the first edition of Etna Sud international tournament on May 2014.
The first edition, which was strongly supported by the Etna area towns of Belpasso (thanks to Assessore or Sport Chairman, Armando Amico) Mascalucia (thanks to Deputy Mayor Fabio Cantarella) and Ragalna (initially supported by the outgoing mayor Vittorio Carone and then by new mayor Salvo Chisari), was initially criticized by local soccer experts because of the lack of suitable sport facilities that should have hosted such an important and prestigious event.
Despite that, eight clubs took part for the first edition: Us Palermo (winner), Reggina, Calcio Catania, FIGC Catania U17 selection, Ragusa Calcio and Belpasso and two additional clubs from abroad; Fc Valletta from Malta and Honka FC from Finland. The best player of that edition was Giuseppe Pezzella, current right back of US Palermo and U19 Italy national team, Fabio Milizia and Scordia goalkeeper Jonathan Pandolfo. The final match was played at the “San Gaetano” stadium in Belpasso. This town hosted for the first time a match between foreign clubs like Valletta FC versus Honka FC (5/6 final).
The second edition, which included Alessandro Birindelli (former player of Juventus) as a special guest, although US Palermo was not here because of the national play off, thanks to the previous success of the first edition, hosted sixteen clubs. Trapani (winners), Crotone, Cosenza, Messina together Catania and several youth academy took part in this edition for the first time. POlisportiva CEI was surprising as it beat Calcio Catania and after another enthusiastic victory versus Città di Messina reached the final (losing versus Trapani). Fabio Brasile (Trapani), current striker for Palermo U19, was the best scorer (5 goals), winning the “Bomber Vulcanico”.
The third edition registered an increase of the clubs. In fact, twenty-four clubs took part at the U17 category on this year marked the first edition for the U15 category with twelve teams. Besides the historic clubs and the return of US Palermo, other professional clubs like Foggia, US Lecce, US Catanzaro, US Salernitana, joined the tournament especially Zenit FC from Russia, the most important club of the tournament, that played for the first time in Sicily. The teams matched high-level games. Among the matches, the most beautiful match was US Palermo versus Zenit FC (semifinals) that “rosanero” won thanks to the an extraordinary Mansueto, who was able to stop Efrem Vartanian (winner of the title of “Bomber Vulcanico” scoring 7 goals), probably the best striker of the entire event.
The best player of the tournament (Polifemo dell’Etna) was Leon Musaev from Zenit FC, who impressed the talent scouts thanks to his great talent. The “Guanto di Basalto” – best goalkeeper – was Samuele Guddo, goalkeeper of US Palermo U17.
There was a lot of enthusiasm of the Zenit Fc that, through its team leader Arnold Kasparov, expressed satisfaction about the organization and the high quality level of the tournament that provided an opportunity for a comparison among several soccer playing styles.
US Palermo, well coached by Giuseppe Scurto, won the third edition. As for the U15 tournament, Calcio Catania, coached by Pierpaolo Alderisi, was the first winner.
The choice to award a trophy, made of ceramic coated lava stone and made by maestro Barbaro Messina, was aimed at offer a piece of our wonderful land and convey the message that the power of our ideas and the perseverance of our actions allow us to overcome our limits just like the lava does with the rock. The tournament is dedicated to Gioacchino Russo Morosoli, an important entrepreneur who showed with sagacity and abnegation and despite several problems, was committed to the promotion of the Etna area. We find inspiration from him, when we are committed to follow our projects, day by day to create a great event. Today, his son, Francesco Russo Morosoli, continues his great work.
Stefania Cosentino – Yvii24.it