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Athletic Club Bastia - The Italian town of 21,000 wanting to follow in Bilbao's footsteps


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Bilbao? No, Bastia. Another Athletic Club, but this time we are in Umbria . The principle is the same: players yes, but only if at 0 km . “At the Athletic Club we don't play football, we play ball” . This is the motto of two realities, as distant as they are united, with the same values, ideals and the desire to play football, for a shared philosophy rather than for profit.

It all began in 2012 when the entrepreneur Giancarlo Natalini , after a business trip abroad in the Spanish city of Bilbao , became acquainted with a completely new and particular reality of thinking about football. Persuaded and intrigued by that idea, he decided to found together with 7 friends the Athletic Club of Bastia which, in the same year, made its appearance in the provincial championship of the Third category. The keynote? In all respects inspired by the Basque club.

The Athletic Club of Bilbao, militant in the Spanish top flight, has its historical roots in a specific policy, which distinguishes it from all other clubs, Spanish and otherwise: it is in fact known for its membership rule of only Basque players or of Basque origins, or who were trained in the youth teams of a club, still Basque. But this time the reality is all Italian, in Bastia Umbra, a small hamlet in the province of Perugia , which has almost 22,000 inhabitants. Here the team of the city already existed, with its long history since 1924, and for years it played with ups and downs in the semi professional series. When he appears for the first time in the provincial championship, he quickly manages to win promotion in the 2013-2014 season.

Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to find teams where the values are higher than sports results. The Athletic Club is the greatest exponent of a philosophy that deploys footballers to defend their land. Natalini's idea is a special case in modern football, made of love for sport, for the city itself and for its people, as well as for the fans. The colors worn by the Bastia athletes also mimic the Basque ones, in honor of the Spanish club. It is no coincidence that red and white are the traditional colors of Bastia.

The Club Statute reads: “The association is a permanent center of voluntary and democratic associative life, whose activity is an expression of participation, solidarity and pluralism. It has no profit and operates for sporting, recreational and cultural purposes for the exclusive satisfaction of collective interests, as well as to create and develop a project for sharing sports activities among the inhabitants of Bastia Umbra. For this purpose, the athletes who will be members of the Association must be resident in the Municipality of Bastia Umbra or have been resident there for at least 5 years ". 

Bastia players have been to Bilbao twice , received by the president and squad of Athletic Club, for an exciting experience. Together with the Basque athletes, they visited the facilities of the Spanish club and also saw two matches in the European cups. Athletic Club of Bilbao, currently among the semi-finalists of the 2020 King's Cup after eliminating Barcelona, is the guiding star of the boys of the Bastia Club, who have now become real fans.

The history of Athletic Bilbao is therefore a model that has been repeated here in Italy. In recent years, Umbrian athletes have moved to a new stadium in a neighborhood called San Bartolo, which they quickly renamed to "San Bartolomés" , in honor of the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao. The Athletic Club of Bastia is among the only Italian realities to master a philosophy of football like the Spanish one. Citizens and fans initially do not believe or find it hard to think that this is possible, until they realize that this is precisely the truth, the same truth that forms the basis of philosophy. Shares and appreciation of the convictions are not long in coming.


The Umbrian club, which currently plays in the Promotion, focuses more on fun than on competition . The players have two training sessions per week in addition to the weekend match. The teaching that came from Bilbao has been accepted and now the focus is on spreading this type of philosophy to many other realities. It is also said at the highest level: there is a football based on money and another based on ideas. In Bastia Umbra they went further, ideas and links with the territory. For ethical football. Or rather, Athl etic ... o.

 

 

So here we go again, the Colleries didn't click with me and now here we are, after looking at a list of Bilbao's feeder clubs I found they were linked to a club in the Italian 6th tier. Why? Why would that be the case? Well, as you can see in the quote. The club doesn't have a working website but they do have a Facebook page and this article written about them, A town of under 22,000 people who outright REFUSE to sign anyone that wasn't born in or living in the town for at least five years! This is basically a youth only challenge where we're never allowed to improve the Youth Recruitment. We need the best facilities but the smallest catchment area. I won't strictly say this is a youth only challenge though because we aren't the only club in the town of Bastia Umbra, A.C. Bastia 1924 are an Eccellenza side so we could potentially steal some castoffs a few years down the line as well as a slight chance that Perugia can get a youngster or two coming through!

The aim here isn't to make it to Serie A, that would be foolish. I'm just here for the ride!

Due to the amount of clubs and players in Italy (we're loaded down to the 7th tier, Prima Categoria so I can try and keep my job if we get relegated!) I've loaded only Italy as playable with a large database but I'll load England, France, Germany & Spain as view-only.

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2021/22 Pre-Season

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A very long pre-season in the lower leagues but we managed to only lose the one game, finishing with a convincing victory over Costano who are another club to watch out for since they're in the league below us and also based in Bastia Umbra.

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We managed to keep hold of all eleven players and we're now predicted up in 15th.

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Italian lower levels. Ridiculous rules. Makoto back after a period of time where he hasn't played the game for 23 hours a day. 

This is the one for Summer 2022. Good luck!

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3 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Italian lower levels. Ridiculous rules. Makoto back after a period of time where he hasn't played the game for 23 hours a day. 

This is the one for Summer 2022. Good luck!

Thanks Ben! The African save was shelved twice due to spending a week in Santorini and then 5 days at a festival but once I hit South Africa I just didn't want to continue it anymore. This could potentially be the hardest challenge and most fun/ frustrating save with the restrictions! Unfortunately there is no hardcoded restrictions for us so it's all down to me to not sign anyone outside of Bastia Umbra. Once the youth intake comes around it will be very interesting to see if anyone from the town turns up at any other clubs!

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16 minutes ago, Makoto Nakamura said:

Thanks Ben! The African save was shelved twice due to spending a week in Santorini and then 5 days at a festival but once I hit South Africa I just didn't want to continue it anymore. This could potentially be the hardest challenge and most fun/ frustrating save with the restrictions! Unfortunately there is no hardcoded restrictions for us so it's all down to me to not sign anyone outside of Bastia Umbra. Once the youth intake comes around it will be very interesting to see if anyone from the town turns up at any other clubs!

Absolutely!

I think, even with no youth recruitment, you're still going to bleed the tiny town dry and have players will then come from elsewhere. I can only imagine your frustrations if, once you do make some progress, that superstar comes from three towns away! Any ideas on your approach for that: don't sign then or try and sell them on for some money straight off the bat?

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13 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Absolutely!

I think, even with no youth recruitment, you're still going to bleed the tiny town dry and have players will then come from elsewhere. I can only imagine your frustrations if, once you do make some progress, that superstar comes from three towns away! Any ideas on your approach for that: don't sign then or try and sell them on for some money straight off the bat?

It's definitely going to be a case of crossing that bridge when we come to it! In my head I'm thinking that we just won't sign them but that could all change!

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3 minutes ago, erikeagles said:

I will definitely follow this. 

Of course I never heard of this club, good luck 

Thanks for following!

I would be very surprised if anyone outside of the town and hardcore Bilbao fans had heard of them, time to bring them into the limelight! :D 

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March 2022

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Our third defeat of the season in a narrow loss away at Guardea which saw us briefly fall to 2nd in the table, which is where we would still be if Petrignano didn't draw their most recent league match.

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12 ore fa, Makoto Nakamura ha scritto:

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What a club! :cool:

An interesting factoid is that they signed Borja Valero for the 2021-2022 season.

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2 hours ago, zethani said:

An interesting factoid is that they signed Borja Valero for the 2021-2022 season.

An interesting fact is that the word "factoid" means an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.

However in America (and now Britain too sigh) it is so often wrongly used as an alternative for "fact" that it is slowly gaining a second meaning as a synonym of Fact. 

Making both meanings of the word entirely contradict each other.

Schrödinger's Factoid if you will.

Anyway...FOOTBALL!

 

Edited by Tbarnes88
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30 minuti fa, Tbarnes88 ha scritto:

An interesting fact is that the word "factoid" means an item of unreliable information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact.

However in America (and now Britain too sigh) it is so often wrongly used as an alternative for "fact" that it is slowly gaining a second meaning as a synonym of Fact. 

Making both meanings of the word entirely contradict each other.

Schrödinger's Factoid if you will.

Anyway...FOOTBALL!

 

Good to know.

I should have used anecdote, as I would do in Italian. My bad.

Edited by zethani
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7 hours ago, zethani said:

An interesting factoid is that they signed Borja Valero for the 2021-2022 season.

They also have Nigerian international Onyekachi Okonkwo playing for them as well!

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2021/22 End of Season Review

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We did it! We held on and will be going up to the Eccellenza next season which also means we'll be turning semi-professional and facing our local rivals Bastia Umbra 1924!

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2021/22 Best XI

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Leonardo Lorenzetti

Simone Rossi - Nicola Giombolini - Antonio Di Lorenzo (YP1h) - Filippo Pensa

Pierluca Trecchiodi - Stefano Torroni

Sebastiano Ragusa                                  Nicolo Buongiorno

 

Ibrahim Haruna - Simone Ercolani

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2022/23 Pre-Season

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A couple of defeats but I'm happy with how pre-season has gone.

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Rank outsiders, things don't look promising.

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The first round of the league cup has been drawn and we're against two of the other promoted sides.

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October 2022

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We've recieved a little bit of luck and were able to pick up some points! It's already looking like the relegation playoff is going to be the best we can do but the board are still happy with how I'm doing with me being rated a 'B' currently.

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November 2022

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We kept it close against FC Castello but unfortunately lose out on away goals and we're still managing to pick up a couple of wins but we're only out of the relegation zone on head-to-head record I believe.

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8 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Cuba? :lol: :eek: :confused: :thdn:

 

Definitely not where I expected and unfortunately he was never picked up by another club either. :( According to Italian Wikipedia, this is where I could expect players to come from if not Italy:

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January 2023

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Three wins and three clean sheets! Probably our easiest month as only Ventinella are higher than us and they're still only 10th but we have now climbed out of the relegation playoff zone.

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February 2023

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We actually manage to climb another place but we're still just the two points ahead of FC Castello & Castel del Piano. I still expect us to finish inside the relegation playoff places come he end of the season.

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2022/23 End of Season Review

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Our first choice goalkeeper was injured for this crucial month which saw us lose all three matches before two players who'd been at the club for a week scored to keep us in the league! :D 

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2022/23 Best XI

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Leonardo Lorenzetti

Simone Rossi - Nicola Giombolini - Antonio Di Lorenzo (YP1h) - Filippo Pensa

Pierluca Trecchiodi - Stefano Torroni

Sebastiano Ragusa                                  Nicolo Buongiorno

 

Ibrahim Haruna - Andrea Fiorindi (YP1m)

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11 minutes ago, _Ben_ said:

Good work Makoto! How are Castel di Sangro doing? Rare to have a database this low so nice to check up on them…

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A second and fourth in the 5th tier so far!

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You might have already mentioned this, (not caught up yet), but assuming Bastia Umbria 1924 are another club in the same city, can you sign their players if they were born in Bastia? 

[Edit]

Apologies, just gone back and re-read the opening post. :thup:

Have you checked their place of birth yet?

Edited by Jimbokav1971
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3 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

You might have already mentioned this, (not caught up yet), but assuming Bastia Umbria 1924 are another club in the same city, can you sign their players if they were born in Bastia? 

Correct, ourselves and Bastia Umbria 1924 both play at the same stadium and are two of the three teams based in Bastia Umbra, the other being Prima Categoria side Costano who play just 1.2 miles away:

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I can sign anyone that was born in Bastia Umbra regardless on where they currently play and I've even made my first signing this season!

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Andrea Ranocchia, (6'5" centre-half at Monza), was born 9.4km away in Assisi and played his youth football at Perugia. 

Stefano Okaka was born 59.7 miles away in Castiglione del Lago

Fabrizio Ravenelli & Stefano Tacconi were born 16.5 miles away in Perugia. 

It appears more likely that you will get a racing driver of some sort through the intake than a footballer. :lol:

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13 minutes ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Andrea Ranocchia, (6'5" centre-half at Monza), was born 9.4km away in Assisi and played his youth football at Perugia. 

Stefano Okaka was born 59.7 miles away in Castiglione del Lago

Fabrizio Ravenelli & Stefano Tacconi were born 16.5 miles away in Perugia. 

It appears more likely that you will get a racing driver of some sort through the intake than a footballer. :lol:

Unfortunately I only have an area of 27.6 km squared which is 10.65 square miles to play with. :lol:

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