Italian legend Francesca Piccinini, now 39 years old, has officially announced that she will extend her contract with Igor Novara Volley for a third season, her 25th as a professional player. The news ought to make Igor fans ecstatic, as the player was instrumental in this season’s title run, specially in the playoffs. Here is the official release available on the team’s official website:
“25 years after her first season as a professional with Carrarese, Francesca Piccinini is ready for new challenges and we are happy that she has chosen to share, for the third year, the ambitions and the path of our club. We know how an athlete like her can be fundamental both for the technical contribution and for the human aspects of the game. In two years we have won together three trophies, we hope, of course, that the positive streak can continue.” Novara‘s general manager Enrico Marchioni
“I have always said that I still enjoy the court, and that’s why I did not think about stopping. I am sincerely happy to be able to play one more year with Igor Volley. Novara has ambitious goals that motivate me like any other athlete involved in the project. I’m fine here, as I feel like an integral part of a “family” and a project that I hope to continue to make winning. This is a team that deserves the best, which every day makes important efforts to support the activity of us athletes.” Piccinini
Piccinini has represented Italy in four Olympic Games (2000-12) and led Italy to its lone World Championship Gold in 2002. At the club level, she has won 5 Italian Championships and a staggering 6 CEV Champions League title. She will probably start the season backing up recently signed American Michelle Bartsch, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if she makes her way into the team’s staring line-up as the season progresses into its most important games, just as it happened the past two seasons.