Wolves’ coach and captain share philosophy
Luca Ragagnin has loved his time with the St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves in the League1 Ontario Men’s Premier Division.
‘It has been a great experience,” the 21-year-Vaughan native said, prior to Club Roma’s home opener Friday night. “The home games here are like nothing else in League1 and the coaching is great as well. Federico (head coach Turriziani) is incredible and it has been very positive.”
Ragagnin tried out for the team last season because he knew he would be playing for Brock in the fall of 2021. His Club Roma season jumpstarted his season with Brock.
“It helped me develop over the summer and also playing with a few of the Brock guys leading into the season was very good because I got to know them and play with them.”
He transferred to Brock from NCAA Division 2 Lake Erie College, just outside of Cleveland.
“I had a great time there soccer-wise. I was starting every game, we made it to the national tournament and then COVID hit. I decided to take a year off and work and transferred to Brock.”
The St. Catharines university turned out to be a great fit.
“Academically and socially it is a lot better than school in the States. Soccer-wise, it is a bit less serious than the States but I think that we have good team and we’ll have a better team next year with the players coming in. We have a new coach and I am very excited for next year.”
Brock was in a lot of its games last season but failed to make the playoffs.
Turriziani is a big fan of his centre back and team captain.
“Luca is a leader for us on our defenders’ line and we are very happy with him. His commitment is amazing and he is a guy that had a great soccer background,” he said. “He’s a guy that helps out on the pitch to communicate my philosophy. He has a good background from his parents and family and I appreciate his effort.”
Ragagnin agrees he shares his coach’s philosophy, especially the defensive side of the game.
“We have the same mindset. It is a very Italian style, meaning you defend as a team and you try to counterattack,” he said. “Growing up, I was always watching Italian teams play and I understood their tactics. I think that is why I have a bit more of an understanding of his tactics.”
He was honoured to be named the team’s captain.
“I have always been somewhat a captain throughout my youth and I just try to lead by example and talk when I need to. It is better to have multiple leaders on the field than just one,” he said. “The captain’s armband has meaning but to me if you can have 10 players on the field who are leaders, it is a lot better than one.”
Turriziani also appreciates Ragagnin’s skills.
“He is very aggressive on the man, he has a good right foot and he is very good recovering the ball.”
Ragagnin, who has two more years of eligibility remaining at Brock, has noticed a different vibe with the Wolves this season.
“The main difference is the togetherness of the team. It is a lot better and we have bonded a lot more. Last year, was a bit separated with the Brock players, the guys from Niagara region and the guys from outside the region. Now it is one team and I think coach Federico did a great job of bringing us together as well as the players who are the leaders on the team.”
The Wolves fell to 1-3-1 Friday night with a 4-1 loss to the Woodbridge Strikers.
Abdou Mohamed, David Mutembezi, Santiago Saavedra and Damion Kayes scored for the visitors while Michael Solomon scored in the 90th minute for the Wolves.
Roma hosts Alliance United next Friday at 8:45 p.m.