The 2021/22 Serie A Femminile season is rapidly approaching and a number of teams will be hoping that they will be the ones to finally stop Juventus’ continuous domination of the Italian women’s game.
Le Bianconere won their fourth Serie A title in a row in 2020/21 but a host of managerial changes around the league mean that Juve cannot rest on their laurels.
Juventus themselves will be adapting to life under a new coach after the departure of Rita Guarino, who was the brains behind those four consecutive Scudetti. She has been replaced by former Arsenal coach Joe Montemurro who won the Women’s Super League and League Cup whilst in London. He led Arsenal to Champions League qualification last season so he could need up facing his old team.
As for Rita Guarino, she has taken up a new challenge further down the table at Inter. For a club of Inter’s size, it’s important for them to put in a better showing than their eighth-place finish last season. With Juventus and AC Milan sitting first and second, a big season for Le Nerazzurre is needed.
Another interesting managerial change has taken place at Fiorentina. Their previously very successful coach, Antonio Cincotta, has signed up for a new challenge in the very literal sense of the word new. He will be in the dugout for Sampdoria during their maiden Serie A Femminile season after they bought the rights for Florentia San Gimignano who finished seventh last season.
Cincotta’s replacement at La Viola is Patrizia Panico who is known for being the first female coach of an Azzurri team as she was previously in charge of the Italy men’s Under-15 team.
Roma have had a more seamless coaching change as previous coach Betty Bavagnoli has become Head of Women’s Football at the club with Alessandro Spugna coming in after his dismissal from Empoli just before the end of the 2020/21 season.
Transfers and Contracts
As is so often the case in women’s football due to the lower amounts of money being handled, transfers are very regular during the summer.
The outgoings at Roma have been more notable than their incomings with Lindsey Thomas moving to AC Milan to experience Champions League football. Marija Banusic, who Forza Italian Football spoke to exclusively last season, has also left the club. She will be representing newly promoted Pomigliano who she scored an excellent goal for against Juventus in a recent friendly win.
@AnnaSerturini‘s winner against PSG! ?
#ASRomaWomen #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/yZOvQiKC9s
— AS Roma Women ? (@ASRomaWomen) August 5, 2021
Le Giallorosse have managed to tie Annamaria Serturini down to a new contract despite interest from English and Spanish sides, but Agnese Bonfantini departed for Juventus. There’s a chance that Roma will struggle to build on their fifth-place finish from last season.
Sassuolo were narrowly beaten to the second Champions League slot by AC Milan last season so they will be looking to go one better. They’ve brought in Sofia Cantore on loan from Juventus who scored 10 Serie A Femminile goals whilst on loan at Florentia last season.
There was a contract extension at AC Milan for Valentina Giacinti which will keep her at the club until 2024. She was very important for the Rossonere last season, but they have lost the Italian’s strike partner Natasha Dowie after she left for Reading in England.
Who is most likely to challenge Juventus?
Juventus Women recorded their first ever Champions League game today with a 12-0 victory.
The Italian outfit saw off the North Macedonian champions, Kamenica Sasa. ?? V ?? pic.twitter.com/Mfxx7ZHMYg
— Her Football Hub (@HerFootballHub) August 18, 2021
Given they finished second and third last season and seem to have strengthened again, AC Milan and Sassuolo have to be considered serious contenders to capitalise on any potential continuity issues that Juventus may have under Joe Montemurro. It is worth keeping an eye on Inter though as they now have the title-winning experience of Rita Guarino to tap into, and they seem to be announcing a new signing every week.
In what is a fantastic step for Italian women’s football, one game from each round of fixtures will be shown live on free-to-air Italian television, as well as Coppa Italia Femminile games and the Supercoppa Italiana. In total, 28 games per season will be shown by La7 and they will also be offering highlights packages and analysis.
The matchday that has drawn the most attention is matchday 11, which will also be the same as the final day of the season thanks to the mirrored fixture list. Those two rounds will see a Derby della Capitale between Roma and newcomers Lazio, Inter take on Sassuolo, and Juventus face AC Milan. If we do get treated to a genuine title race, that could be a remarkable final day of the season.
Overall, this Serie A Femminile season is set to be the most accessible yet, and whilst it is most likely that Juventus will clinch the title once again, some teams look like they have the tools to at least stop them from winning every single league game like they did last season.