The coach of the Italy men’s university football team, Daniele Arrigoni, is hopeful of home success at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Naples.
As reported by Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANZA), the team recently held the second of three scheduled training sessions at Novarello Sports Center, prior to a week-long training retreat from June 20 to 27.
They also had their first friendly match against amateur team Folgore Caratese, winning 1-0.
"Aside from the result, I am pleased with the performance," Arrigoni told ANZA.
"My guys had only met each other the day before and had never played together."
The team is next due to meet on May 14 and 15, in Novarello.
Arrigoni's squad is made up predominantly of players competing in the lower tiers of Italian football, especially Serie C, as well as some amateurs and youngsters who have a few seasons in Serie B or a few minutes in Serie A under their belts.
"I am confident we will go to Naples with a good team – and not only to make a good impression," Arrigoni said.
"We will be going to win."
Italy will be hoping to reclaim the title they won in 2015 when they beat hosts South Korea in Gwangju, and have been drawn in Pool B against Mexico and Ukraine.
Among those hoping to thwart them will be defending champions Japan, who defeated France in the 2017 final in Taiwan’s capital Taipei.
Arrigoni is upbeat about their chances, however.
"I accepted this job with a great deal of enthusiasm," he added.
"I consider the Universiade an extraordinary event.
"And I am confident that in such an event, a rarity in the career of a sportsman, motivation means everything.
"I can't wait to get down to the pitch.
"And this is the reason that I will not be bringing with me those without the right spirit.
"In Naples, I want only people who believe."
Naples 2019 will run between July 3 and July 14.
The Italian city was confirmed as Summer Universiade host in May 2016 following a re-opened bidding process after Brasília withdrew in January 2015.
The Brazilian capital had been unable to meet financial commitments.
It means Naples has been given limited time to prepare.