Hockey in Italy - An interview with Hockey Roma President, Enzo Corso
As Hockey continues to devleop in Italy, we talked to former National Team Coach Enzo Corso about the history and future of Hockey in Italy
Hockey24 is the five-year strategy being used to promote and develop Field Hockey by the International Hockey Federation. Its goals are to increase participation as well as to educate, inspire and improve hockey infrastructure across the globe.
One country leading the development of hockey is Italy. The country’s men’s and women’s teams rank competitively on the international stage and are looking to take the next step. On the domestic scene, better facilities and more players are leading to competitive hockey leagues and, as a result, an ideal destination for a hockey tour.
From our Italian offices, who better to tell you about the Italian hockey scene than Enzo Corso, a former Italian National Team Coach and current president of Hockey Roma. We caught up with him this weekend to ask him all about Hockey in Italy.
Enzo, can you introduce yourself and describe your experiences in hockey?
“I started playing in a school at the age of 14 as other friends of mine were already practicing, then I moved on to play at my club in Rome until I reached Serie A and national selection. After my career as a player I started coaching the Italian men's national team, through the 90s and for many years. Over the past 25 years I have held various management roles both nationally and regionally and I am still the president of the Rome Hockey Club.”
Any particular memories that you can mention?
“As a coach of the Italian national team I played 3 European championships, but in particular in 1991 the men's team had very competitive players and we went to play for the Olympic qualification in New Zealand, where we placed fifth, drawing against the kiwis in a full stadium with an incredible atmosphere.”
Can you briefly tell us the history of hockey in Italy?
“The first games started in the time of Mussolini in the 30s in Genoa with a club in which several British immigrants were present. Subsequently, the game spread to various parts of Italy, especially in the North and in Rome. Then following the Second World War the championships stopped, before resuming with even more enthusiasm and vigour. In the following decades it was played more and more on grass pitches across various Italian regions.
The peak was in the early 90s, later, probably due to the scarce availability of synthetic pitches, the competitiveness of Italian hockey decreased. The present situation sees an association made up of approximately 100 clubs and 6000 players with the women's team ranked in the top 15 worldwide and the men's team, which is regaining competitiveness, positioning itself around 25th in the ranking, but aiming to return to the top 20.”