Sunday, 27 May 2007

Marino quits Catania

He took Catania to their first Serie A season in over 20 years and a dramatic last day rescue, but Pasquale Marino is leaving the Sicilian outfit.

"My mandate has been completed," said the coach. "We have had two fantastic years here. I gave everything I had and received a great deal in return, but it is best to leave on a high.

"The important thing is that the objectives that had been asked of me were delivered in full."

The Sicilians were surprise entries into the top flight this season, having been out of the limelight since 1984 and bankrupt in 1993.

"We reached this game with a few selection problems between injuries and bans, but we had real strength of character," continued Marino after the 2-0 victory. "The fans really helped us. This was an incredibly important match and we are all very happy to secure Catania’s Serie A place."

Yet this has been a strange campaign, as for the first six months they were battling for a Champions League spot.

The Sicilian derby riots on February 2 in which a police officer was killed saw the side banned from its home stadium and forced to play all but the final two games behind closed doors.

The absence of their fans affected the team and they slid down the standings, needing a win against Chievo this afternoon to avoid the drop.

"It was all an uphill struggle from there on. We deserved to stay in the top flight. We struggled, but recently have rediscovered a little of our form. The club was always close to us, without ever putting the players or myself under pressure."

This was 44-year-old Marino’s first Serie A season, having only gone through two in Serie B with Catania and Arezzo. The rest of his career has been in the lower divisions with Milazzo, Ragusa, Paterno’ and Foggia.

[Serie A 2006-07 Managerial Changes]

Source: C4 Football Italia

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