I've decided to start this feature with 'My Toro Story' but the idea is to make this a regular feature throughout the new season, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answers to the below questions and you too can be featured on the blog.
Name : Rob Gillman
Age : 24
Other Teams Supported : Southampton
How and when did you start supporting Torino : I fell in love with the club after reading about its tragic history in a copy of ‘FourFourTwo’ magazine whilst on a family holiday to Milan in 2005. Having been a big fan of Italian football since the days it was presented by the magnificent James Richardson on Channel 4 in England, it was only natural that I would go and see some live Calcio whilst in Italy, and I was luckily enough to visit the San Siro to see both Milan (v Palermo) and Inter (v Roma) play. The passionate atmosphere that I witnessed at both of these matches increased my interest in Italian football, and therefore I decided it was essential to find an Italian club that I could support. Both Milan clubs were immediately eliminated, as despite enjoying my experiences at the San Siro, I didn’t want to be accused of being a glory supporter by choosing one of the established giants of the Italian game. And then, as if by chance, I read about Torino – once the greatest force in Italian football before being beset by the tragedy of Superga. My mind was made up; Torino would be my Italian team. The fact that in 2005 they were plying their trade in Serie B didn’t deter me (My English team Southampton had also recently been relegated to the second tier), and something that I did not know at the time, but obviously know now, is that Torino won their last scudetto in 1976, the same year that Southampton won their only major trophy, The FA Cup. Maybe it is a coincidence, but I like to think that it was my destiny to become a Torino fan, no matter how corny that sounds.
First Memories : I can remember watching my first Torino game on television in May 2006, as the Serie B playoffs were being broadcast on Eurosport in the UK. I was still in my early stages of being a Torino fan, so didn't really know much about the players, but can remember the commentators being confused about how the playoff system worked in Italy, and did not realise that the final against Mantova would go to extra time.
First Match Attended : My first Torino game was in October 2006, but unfortunately it didn't go so well as the Granata lost 1-0 to Fiorentina after an early Martin Jorgensen goal.
Favourite Former Players : I only like to judge players who I have seen play, therefore these are both players from the last decade. My first Toro hero was Alessandro Rosina who the team was built around after initially gaining promotion from Serie B. Those who know me also know that I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with Rolando Bianchi, and I was lucky enough to meet him when his current club Bologna played in England last year.
Favourite Current Players : Kamil Glik, Omar El Kaddouri, Fabio Quagliarella
Favourite Torino Goal : Alessandro Rosina v Lazio. I'm slightly biased when judging this goal as I was able to witness this goal live in the stadium and literally couldn't believe what I had just seen.
Predictions/Hopes for this Season : It will be difficult to replicate the sensational campaign of last year, especially with the departure of Ciro Immobile but another top half finish is certainly a realistic aim. A decent run in the Coppa Italia along with reaching the Group Stage of the Europa League (where we will hopefully face an English side) would represent a successful season in my opinion.