Thursday 4 July 2013
Luca Banchi: the very first day

Luca Banchi is here and debuted as the new Olimpia Milano’s head coach, not on the court (“But I can’t wait to start”) but for the introductory press conference beside President Livio Proli and surrounded by a group of enthusiastic fans. Here we have what the head coach numer 20 in Olimpia’s history had to say.

FEELINGS - “I can’t deny I’m very emotional before so many people and so much interests, which is a testimony to what Milano means, what a prestigious organization like Olimpia means and a plan handled by the Armani Group means. To me those are very particular moments, looking back at my career, it was difficult to predict 12 months ago I could have won two championships with Siena and became the 20th head coach in Olimpia’s history. I like to start from the pressure and the expectations: this city has been used to winning a lot, basketball here wrote memorable pages of its history, but to me pressure means opportunity, I hope to transfer all these feelinsg to the team, a team capable to attract old and new fans, because we want to fight indifference”.

THE FANS - “I know this city can look indifferent toward a team unable to conquer it, but we have to give the perception that supporting this team is always going to be deserving. The fans’ support is not something to build but just to improve. From the opposing team bench I saw that the support never stopped. I perceived it also in the critical and difficult Game 7. I don’t expect a smooth season, it would be unrealistic given all the changes, but we’ll do whatever we can to be liked by our people.

THE STAFF - “It still misses one piece: the assistant we’re keeping is Mario Fioretti, Giustino Danesi will be the strength and conditioning coach, I wanted him because I know him well and he worked with me both in Livorno and Siena. We still have to name another assistant coach”.

THE TEAM - “We’re in the early stages, we have players under contract to consider, but the general idea has been set, my will is to have a roster with versatile players, not necessarily with a huge number of players”.

THE PAST - “You know my situation in Siena, my contract was expiring and it may sound strange since that club is always moving ahead, but some things were missing from the beginning and so I had to listen to everybody. regarding the Milano’s rivalry, every doubt I could have was obscured by the Olimpia’s name, the opportunity to open a new cycle. I don’t know what Milano didn’t have in the past, but I know what I bring, a clear identity, a serious approach to the work and hopefully it’ll be enough”,

THE EUROLEAGUE - “I had the opportunity to experience the Euroleague at the top for six years and I think that to get to the Top 16 will be good because is sets a weekly routine and it improves the team. The 14 games are very demanding and in some moments also difficult to handle, but they improve you, the fortify you. The Euroleague sets the bar a little higher, We’ll have a very complicated group but still we want to qualify to the second round at least”.