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The Valsinnese football between history and tradition

13 Gennaio 2021
The Valsinnese football between history and tradition Foto: Francesco Lionetti Francesco Lionetti
The Virtus Valsinni project brings prestige to the entire community, as well as a reason for union and enhancement of the territory. by Francesco Lionetti

translated by Pietro Patrizi

The "lands of silence" have been for centuries the theater of art, culture and poetry, in which sensations with the scent of history and traditions of distant times are the masters. Valsinni is certainly remembered for the iconic Petrarchist poet Isabella Morra who lived in the 16th century and for the Literary Park dedicated to her, a tourist catalyst and pride of the local population. 

Favale, as the town was formerly called, is linked not only to literary artistic contexts, as sport also plays a role of great importance, especially football, which has always been a distinctive sign of the country and a great reason for social aggregation.

In fact, we Valsinnesi breathe football with great passion, both when we watch it and when we play it, and just rolling a ball in the middle of a road becomes a valid reason for enthusiasm for children and adults.

Valsinni's football history begins in 1973, when Dr. Italo Fagnano and Francesco Truncellito decide to found the country's 11-a-side football team, enrolling it in the “Terza Categoria”, the lowest in the region, a perfect stage for the start of a sports project. Over the years, the Favalese team plays several leagues and climbs the divisions, managing to even reach the “Promozione”, the sixth Italian division that is often only dreamed of in these small but genuine football contexts.

Even at the time, football was mainly the tool that could bring prestige to the entire community, as well as a reason for union and enhancement of the territory, in a shaker of values that have always characterized the victories of that team.

In 1986, the President and founder Italo Fagnano tragically lost his life in a car accident, and his image became the ultimate symbol of Valsinnese football, so much so that the company was renamed "Associazione Polisportiva" Italo Fagnano "Valsinni" in 1993. The presidential reins are subsequently taken by Francesco Cavallo, who through his management and his investments manages to bring the team to the maximum possible shores of Lucanian football, with a mix of local footballers and athletes from different areas of Puglia and Basilicata, also bringing a level of aggregation higher than past management.

After the heights reached at the beginning of the 2000s, the football reality of Valsinni begins an inexorable decline that culminates in 2012, the year in which the APIF Valsinni definitively ceases to exist, due to economic issues combined with the lack of human resources.

Despite the sporting void that lasted almost a decade, the community never gave up, and has always tried to revive the sporting essence of the country, always present and never abandoned. In fact, in 2019 the ASD Virtus Valsinni project conceived and pursued by Aldo Stigliano, vice president of the afore mentioned association, which also includes the former president Cavallo, is emerging, in the same role he held in the past.

The association aims to bring back to Valsinni sporting luster and aggregation through futsal, a sport of great traditional value as it is practiced every year in the summer period, and which pushes young people from Valsinni and the surroundings to come together to enjoy healthy kicks to a ball in the warm August evenings.

The Virtus Valsinni project is therefore alive and pulsating, in constant growth and with an ever greater social value, given the involvement of young people from neighboring countries such as Policoro, Tursi and Nova Siri.

Valsinni has therefore witnessed a real rebirth, and the new project has generated movement and social life that have been lacking for many years in a country as beautiful as it is not always capable of realizing its great potential.

The value of football has remained unchanged in these lands, as it is not practiced for an economic report but for pure passion, which is the fundamental engine of every sport. Running and kicking a ball have an ancient and deep-rooted value, and it doesn't matter if you don't win or if you don't qualify for a higher category, the important thing is to get back there on that field, and keep having fun, together.

Credits Photo: ASD Virtus Valsinni

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