Rolando sizing up new challenge: “Now to break into the first team”

Samp’s academy features portraits of the players who have gone on to play for the Blucerchiati first team and Gabriele Rolando is aiming to be the latest on that wall of honour.

The right winger, fresh from his apprenticeships in Serie C and Serie B, is now ready to fight for a place in the senior team.

“Coming back here was an important step for me,” Rolando revealed. “I climbed every rung at the youth academy and have earned my stripes. It’s time to give it a shot.

“I’m a flexible player, who has played in pretty much every position,” the Genoa-born winger continued, “but [Marco] Giampaolo has started off trying me at full back. My objective was to come back and now I want to stay.”

During his spell with the Doria youth, he managed to win a Scudetto for the Under-17 Allievi Nazionali outfit.

“Winning the title for Samp was an amazing feeling,” Gabriele said in his first interview with the club at the training camp in Ponte de Legno. “I still talk about it with Falcone, the goalkeeper from that team.”