Passionate Italian head coach Gabriele Cioffi reveals: ‘Birmingham City was my first girlfriend, Crawley Town is my wife’

Passionate Cioffi celebrates on the pitch after Crawley's second goal. Picture by Steve Robards
Passionate Cioffi celebrates on the pitch after Crawley's second goal. Picture by Steve Robards

New Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi admitted he left his heart at Birmingham City – but now has moved on to married life at Crawley Town.

The Reds boss previously had an ill-fated spell working alongside Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola who was manager during a four-month spell in 2016.

Crawley Town FC v Morecombe FC. Crawley FC Manager Gabriele Cioffe. Pic Steve Robards SR1824283 SUS-180915-155551001

Crawley Town FC v Morecombe FC. Crawley FC Manager Gabriele Cioffe. Pic Steve Robards SR1824283 SUS-180915-155551001

He revealed he loved working for the Blues and likened his time at St Andrews to having a ‘first girlfriend.’ He revealed: “I learned a lot from him (Zola), off the pitch and on it.

“I left my heart there. We were in the right place at the wrong moment. Whatever I do, in private life or sport as well, it’s about heart. Since September 7 my heart is here.

“Birmingham was my first girlfriend, now I have a wife!”

Italian Cioffi admitted he was passionate about football and life in general.

He said: “I feel the game and can read the game with passion. It’s my way. I want to be with them (the fans) inside.”

Cioffi made an immediate impact and showed his own style during his first game in charge.

From shaking hands with the players before kick-off, to running on to the pitch to celebrate a goal, he showed his passion for the game.

He ended the match in a style which was reminiscent of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp by lining up with the players to thanks the fans, creating a lovely buzzing atmosphere.

Speaking to the media, he stressed the importance of establishing a good relationship with the supporters.

He said: “It’s important, because otherwise we are employed, stamp the badge and back home. One day I hope we can fill all the stadium up. How can you call people to watch the game to support you? Make a result. Work it out.

“Without them (the fans) we are alone, so do you want to play in an empty stadium?

“That is my way. If we are doing well, our family, I am talking about the whole club, the sun shines brighter and it is a happier life!”

Cioffi got off to a winning start in his first game in charge with a 2-0 victory at home to Morecambe which was the first win for a new Crawley boss in his opening game since Steve Evans in 2007.

Taste of the Terrace: Gabriele Cioffi gains immediate rapport with the fans
Watch Ashley Nathaniel-George’s reaction to Crawley Town’s victory over Morecambe
The verdict: Columnist Steve Herbert believes Gabriele Cioffi’s first week in charge has been first class
Watch Gabriel Cioffi’s reaction to victory in his opening game in charge