Introducing the Italian National Team

The Italian National Team makes its first public appearance this weekend in the Italian Association of Quidditch's national tournament.

In January, the Italian Association of Quidditch (AIQ) and, in turn, the Italian National Team, came to life. This weekend, the team will be showcased for the first time at Italy’s first national tournament.

The number of new players and teams across Italy has been steadily increasing in recent months, with many of the new teams adding themselves to pre-existing ones. This increase in numbers led to an interest in expanding Italian quidditch even further with the creation of an Italian National Team, a poster child for the organization.

The AIQ created a technical committee composed of a technical manager (Saverio Covello from Milano Meneghins), an organization manager (Martina Cartigiano from GreenTauros Torino Quidditch) and a coach (Andrea Miglietta from Lunatica Quidditch Club) to lead the team. An idea wholeheartedly welcomed by the Italians, players from across the country sent their candidatures, attended tryouts and anxiously awaited the committee’s roster announcement.

The Italian National Team emerged with a roster of 25 players (14 from Northern Italy, 11 from the South) who would meet once a month for a two-a-day.

Michele Clabassi: Beater, Milano Meneghins co-captain
A multi-faceted character, Clabassi’s considerable experience in quidditch shows through on the pitch. He can manage any combination of personalities. Off the pitch, Clabassi is the AIQ president and European expansion manager and the RDT European coordinator.

Gianluca Tenzone: Chaser, Milano Meneghins co-captain, AIQ vice president
Clabassi and Tenzone have been a duo from the beginning. Tenzone is a key leader in the expansion of Italian quidditch and was volunteer coordinator for the 2014 European Regional Tournament.

Velia Cavallini: Beater, Milano Meneghins
Considered the “mum” of Italian quidditch players, Cavallini takes care of the AIQ’s financial aspects and human resources. She played a key role in the European Regional Tournament as a director of the creative team.

Michele Genovese: Beater, GreenTauros Torino Quidditch
Genovese has yet to play in an official tournament, but is touted as being a very talented beater. Bringing to the table an insurmountable level of enthusiasm in everything relating to Italian quidditch, he will also be filling the role of general manger for the team.

Junia Amanti: Chaser, Mischief Managed Quidditch Club captain
Representing Lecce in South Italy, Amanti started the Mischief Managed Quidditch Club from scratch. She is also responsible for the recruitment of a chunk of the national team.

Emilio Carlo Tortarolo: Keeper, Dracones Quidditch Venetica captain
Tortarolo recently founded the Dracones Quidditch Venetica in the region of Veneto, based in Padua but actually has more experience in the water than on a broom. Tortarolo spent a significant number of years as a water polo player, an experience that shows on pitch. A player with minimal experience in quidditch, it is this sports background that gave him a leg up with the committee.

Rounding out the roster are the following players:
Marco Anglano, beater
Valeria Baroni, beater
Mattero Beverari, chaser
Gabriele Caso, beater
Antonio Cinque, keeper
Dylan Dominino, chaser/keeper
Francesco Ermini, keeper
Filippo Longo, chaser
Andrea Lupo, chaser
Marco Minò, chaser
Fabrizio Mitruccio, chaser
Alessandra Nuzzo, beater
Andrea Oldani, chaser
Giuseppe Pesare, chaser/keeper
Irene Protopapa, beater
Francesca Secco, beater
Davide Termite, seeker
Nicolò Terranova, beater
Beatrice Turolla, chaser

“There are differences between one player and the other, and that's the way it has to be,” said coach Miglietta, following the announcement of the Italian National Team's lineup. “Each player has their qualities and gaps, each player brings their wealth of experience. Diversity means exchange, therefore it has to be encouraged. As a team, or as a family, we are one, one body, so we need to grow together.”

The Italian National Team has had two training sessions thus far, one near Milan and one in Lecce. Miglietta expressed the type of commitment the team was taking on at one of the sessions.

“I expect everyone of you to do your best practicing with your own team, for your team itself, for the national team and, above all, for yourself. We represent quidditch in Italy, on and off the pitch, but growing sport-wise also means discipline and education: we must be an example for those who see us from the outside, therefore I expect you to behave [non-reprehensibly] both during training sessions and in transfers to our future games. It is vital not to fall into excesses: neither merciless agonism nor fooling around. The middle way is the right one. Let’s do the best this month, always remembering what we are part of.”

Introducing the team to the main stage, this weekend Italy will have its first official, two-day national tournament in Turin at CitTurin, a sporting complex in the center of the city. The first day, four Italian teams will compete for a title. On the second day, there will be “Italy versus the World,” a small fantasy tournament during which Team Italy will play against any actual or fantasy team willing to face it.

You can catch history in the making via Live Stream by clicking here.