Antonio Conte has not changed. He continues to set an example, just as he did when he played, inspiring both team mates and fans. On the first day of preliminary training, for those who have suffered injuries (De Ceglie, Quagliarella and Martinez, see news), the new manager arrived first in Vinovo.

Less than a month after his official unveiling, Conte returned to the Juventus Centre to begin work. The session was held exclusively in the gym, but from tomorrow the players will move out onto the training pitches. Over the past few weeks, his desire has remained the same as displayed in his initial press conference, a drive that was underlined in an interview with Juventus Channel.

“There’s a great will to get going again, not just as far as I’m concerned, and that’s important. It takes enthusiasm; we need to rediscover the Juve spirit. After calling all the lads I’m very happy. I found them all willing and angry for how last season went. This is a good starting point, but now actions must speak louder than words.”

Today the manager met De Ceglie, Martinez and Quagliarella. Soon he’ll meet the others for the first time (Del Piero and Buffon aside), in particular the new arrivals. Pirlo, Pazienza and Ziegler’s signings have already been made official and Conte has great belief in the new acquisitions. 

“These players have been bought in accordance with the directors. There’s little that needs to be said about Pirlo, he’s possesses important technical qualities, he’s got the will to make up for a season that saw him spend time on the sidelines. He knows what winning’s all about and above all he knows how it’s done.”

Pazienza impressed me at Napoli for how he covered the midfield alongside Gargano. He’s humble, determined, and will give us tenacity and determination, making a great contribution. Ziegler also arrives having not had the happiest of seasons. He’s got good feet and a good engine. We’ll need to get the whole side together to work on tactical situations.”

The first step was made this afternoon. Next up for Conte will be the chance to work with the whole group and greet the fans who have always held him dearly: 

“The fans’ affection gives me pleasure, I hope that this enthusiasm continues and lasts for the whole season. We need to get back to being Juve, competitive and fighting until the end. I want the supporters to be proud of this squad. I’m happy at the supportive comments I’ve received. Now I must prove these people right, the facts need to speak for themselves, as they’ve always done throughout my career.”