From the San Siro to Broad Street

Italian footballer now working on Birmingham jazz festival.

At the age of 18 Emanuele Orlandi was a promising attacking midfielder with the Italian giants Milan, then in their pomp with a first team squad including Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi. This week he is using his excellent English and communication skills as a volunteer for the Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell Jazz Festival.

Emanuele found himself in the position of many talented young footballers with the world’s top clubs – at Manchester United or Chelsea just as much as at Milan or Juventus. He realised he was not going to reach the first team and the club released him. He speaks of this without bitterness, but feels that the system is wrong when so many fine young footballers are suddenly cut off from their clubs with no safety net or guidance for the future.

In Emanuele’s case he has made a good career, playing approximately 200 games as a professional in what were Leagues C1 and C2 in Italy. From Milan he went to Carpenedolo, he also played for FC Castiglione, but he achieved his major success with Carrarese, the club owned by Gianluigi Buffon. In the first of his three years in Carrara, the team won the C2 title and gained promotion to C1, the equivalent of the English League One.

Recently Emanuele has been playing for Piacenza, a former Serie A team with their glory days behind them. At the same time Italian football was reorganised, C1 and C2 merged into a new C League – and Piacenza faced the prospect of League D and semi-professionalism.

Emanuele decided this was the time for a new challenge. He has moved to England and is actively seeking a club in the London area, possibly in the Conference. He has been training with Sutton Coldfield Town in the seventh tier of English football and feels that the fifth tier is a realistic target for him.

Emanuele’s girlfriend, Francesca Cardia, is currently working with Big Bear Music in Birmingham, promoters and organisers of the jazz festival – and this, together with his love of music, has brought Emanuele onto the streets of Birmingham distributing programmes, completing surveys and generally charming the jazz audiences with the skills that have earned him a degree in Communication.

And any clubs somewhere between League 2 and Conference South that feel that an experienced and skilful Italian midfielder is just what they need, contact the Jazz Festival 0ffice on 0121 454 7020 and they’ll pass the message on to Emanuele.