by Giustino Bonci
There is a common thread called memory that links the rossoblù colors of Aquila to the bianconeri of Cesena, special guest next Saturday at Brilli Peri (5:30 p.m.). The confirmation was already in the first leg at the Manuzzi stadium, before the kick-off of the match played on December 5, when the team captains exchanged the shirts of two unforgettable players who died prematurely: Paolo Martelli and Paolo Ponzo. They had dressed both shirts and at different times won the heartfelt affection of Valdarno and Romagna supporters. Martelli played at Montevarchi in C2 and C1 from 1994 to 1996 and arrived in Romagna in the summer of 1998 after equally important interludes with Fidelis Andria and Turin. Thanks to his generosity, the defender immediately became the favorite of sportsmen but on April 12, 1999, almost 23 years ago exactly, he was the victim of a terrible road accident on the motorway link near San Mauro Pascoli. He wore the number 21 on his shoulders and to commemorate him, the Juventus club decided to retire the jersey forever after his tragic death. More cruel still was the fate of midfielder Ponzo who was famous on the pitch for his dynamism and continuity in the run. And on March 24, 2013, at the age of 41, he died while taking part in an endurance running race in Pietra Ligure. With Montevarchi the feeling was born in 1992 and continued for three seasons before the slider moved to Cesena in B to stay there until ’97. One of the most important challenges of the Eagle Championship will therefore be played in the name of memory between clubs which, in the mid-1990s, had collaborated a lot to exchange players. It would be enough to remember Andrea Del Bianco, the director with good feet, or the attackers Gianni Comandini, Emanuele Chiaretti and Fabio Alteri. Without forgetting Angelo Affatigato, nicknamed the soldier for his tactical diligence and his reliability.
Links and contacts have been consolidated over time which, however, take a back seat to the respective filing needs. On the one hand, the guests come to Valdarno to secure third place and fend off the direct competitors Virtus Entella and Pescara; on the other the boys of Malotti who must win at least one point and cannot afford to lose the invincibility of the Communal, unbroken since Montevarchi regained it after the renovations.
Speaking of remakes of sports facilities, L’Aquila and the municipal administration on Tuesday, April 12 at 3 p.m. will illustrate to journalists only the characteristics of the anti-stage reconstruction project and the schedule of works. Finally, on the technical level, the preparation of Valdarno continues which Saturday will not be able to align the defender Eduard Dutu, disqualified. Malotti will carefully evaluate the picks and field the most suitable athletes.