Part one of #ThePadovaPlan has been completed at the Euganeo Stadium as the Biancoscudati have been crowned champions of Promozione Umbro A.
Having looked like they may limp over the line, Padova shifted up a gear winning their last nine games – the last five with clean sheets, including back to back 8-0 hammerings of Marra and second placed Lama.
The Padova fans have had nothing to cheer about in the last decade, but Darwen has managed to put a smile to their lips as they ran away with the league title by nineteen points. The aggressive 3-3-1-3 style bore fruit where many were prepared to criticise it after the pre-season campaign where Darwen lost all eight games. “Too defensively open” was the cry, but following only 27 goals conceded in 32 league games the nay-sayers became silent.
Saveiro Guariniello ended up being the surprise star turn, out shining the veteran Innocenti and midfielder Ballardini with 18 assists, 21 goals and an average rating of 7.94. Considering he started the season on the bench, this is an incredible achievement.
Next season will undoubtedly be tougher for Darwen following the club’s surprise decision to move from semi-professional to amateur status meaning that many of the star players may well decide to move on. If he can keep the team together he must be expected to win a second promotion, but a lot of uncertainty has been caused by the president’s decision.
Equally, the manager’s own future might be in doubt as his contract has been changed from £1.2k a week to being a mere volunteer.
It could be as interesting summer in Northern Italy.
Correira dello Sport