Siena are back, but for how long?

When the Tuscan city of Siena ever comes into a conversation, football probably is not the first associated topic up for discussion. More likely is the internationally renowned Palio around Piazza del Campo or the delightful medieval architecture that the compact centre has to offer.
The Robur’s home ground, Stadio Artemio Franchi, nestled in a hollow surrounded by trees and overlooked by apartment blocks, had only ever hosted lower league Italian games since the club’s founding in 1904 until all this changed in 2003. The club achieved promotion to Serie A for the first time ever under the club’s late but great President Paolo de Luca with the team coached by Giuseppe Papadopulo.
Siena’s 13th place finish in their debut season in Italy’s top division in 2004 was even enough to see the side become the top Tuscan team for a very short period while neighbours Fiorentina were fighting their way back up the leagues after financial collapse, Empoli had been relegated and Livorno languished in Serie B.
The Bianconeri’s spell in Serie A extended until 2010 when the club were relegated. Bigger and more established sides than Siena, including Atalanta, Torino and Hellas Verona, have all struggled in the past to bounce back immediately but under the stewardship of talented tactician Antonio Conte, Siena were able to do exactly that.
Conte has now left to join Juventus though, and Siena’s experienced Serie A heads such as Enrico Chiesa, Massimo Maccarone and Tomas Locatelli combined with promising younger stars Gianluca Curci, Abdelkader Ghezzal and Daniele Galloppa are all no longer at the club.
However, the squad does still boast a wealth of Serie A experience at the core of the team which includes 35-year-old midfield lynchpin and Robur captain Simone Vergassola, trequartista Franco Brienza, strikers Emanuele Calaiò and Reginaldo, the returning duo of Paul Codrea and Michele Paolucci and 19 other players in the squad with a collective of well over 500 appearances in Italy’s top flight.
Having experience of playing in Serie A is one thing, performing week in, week out is another. While Siena’s hierarchy dealt well with relegation in 2010, ensuring Conte was provided with a squad capable of gaining promotion back to the big time immediately, the pressure will be on the board at the Tuscan minnows to improve the team sufficiently again.
Although a rookie in Serie A, new Coach Giuseppe Sannino appears an inspired choice, joining the club after a blistering spell in charge at Varese. Having secured back to back promotions with the Lombardy side, Sannino could have taken his former club into Serie A himself, but the fourth place finish and subsequent play-off for a third promotion in as many years proved too much, losing out narrowly 4-3 on aggregate to Padova in the semi-final.
Sannino will be hoping to continue Siena’s strong home form from last season in Serie B, winning 15, drawing four and losing just two, and by May to have repeated the feat of the previous Giuseppe and kept the Robur in the league.
Before then, Siena will need their small but loyal and passionate following to stay exactly that throughout the impending campaign. Even the city’s cathedral dons the colours of the Bianconeri. Good news for Sannino and Siena – they are sure to need all the support they can get. Welcome Bonus Offer Betway

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