Zebre, head coach Bradley sacked

The Irish coach pays for the worst season since he took office. The excellent work done since 2017 remains, the best season of the franchise since its inception

Michael Bradley is no longer the coach of the Zebras. The paths of the federal franchise and the Irish coach were already destined to divide at the end of the season, but the club decided to “anticipate the technical renewal planned for the next seasons”. To accelerate the time of separation was also the season played by the Zebras so far, by far the worst since Bradley arrived in Parma in the summer of 2017, not only for the lack of results (no victories in the United Rugby Championship and in the Challenge Cup ) but also for the disappointing performances (only one point in the ranking in Urc, the offensive bonus obtained on the first day of the tournament in September).

Record debut

Michael Bradley’s arrival in Parma coincided with the best year for the franchise. His offensive game had restored vitality in an environment that came from the short period of private ownership concluded between missed wages, player strikes and uncertainty about the future. That Celtic championship 2017-2018 had instead seen the Zebras close with the franchise record for victories (7), points in the standings (36) and goals scored (50). All this by making the various Minozzi, Giammarioli, Licata debut in the high level as well as making a leap in quality to those who were already in the national team (see Canna, Violi, Castello, Bisegni, Boni, Mbandà …).

All management nodes

A season that had created so many expectations but that has never been repeated, even if good victories have often arrived, other young prospects have been launched (Mori, Bruno. Fischetti) and last season also the first historic qualification to the quarter-finals arrived. Challenge Cup final. On the involution of the team and the individuals that is reaching its peak this season, however, there are parentheses that also affect the management of the Federation. Bradley in fact arrived in Parma on the recommendation of Conor O’Shea, who had recently taken over as head of the national team and who also imposed a supervision of physical preparation both for the Zebre and for Treviso entrusted to Pete Atkinson and the results were evident (also Benetton closed that year with the record of 11 wins). A job that, however, in recent years, at least in Parma, has no longer been able to follow up: the sprints of Minozzi, Giammarioli who for 80 meters cannot be reached by an All Black like Piutau, a novice Licata who breaks through with his head down, Bellini’s slalom has been lost with the passage of time. Another not insignificant factor, Bradley has always found himself working with staff not personally chosen but “imposed” by the Fir, and as often happens in these cases the ideas do not always coincide.

New coach

Despite this early divorce, there is no doubt that Bradley still left a more than positive footprint not only on the team but on the entire Zebras structure. Now the ball passes to Fabio Roselli and Emiliano Bergamaschi, who will remain in office until the end of the season to then understand if the choice will be to return to an Italian head coach or whether to look abroad again.

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Zebre, head coach Bradley sacked