Velardo takes reins at the Italian Stallions28 July 2020
The Stallions have been a force to reckon with in recent years, winning the Harmony Cup in 2017 and 2020, and also lifting the World 9s trophy in 2019.
Velardo has been heavily involved with the Harmony Cup, both as a player and organiser. Along with Domenic Carosella, Velardo was responsible for organising Team Harmony’s participation in the event in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014 the pair founded the Italian Stallions, with the team emerging as a dominant force in the Harmony Cup. “I feel privileged to play for Italy. I was born here but I am proud to be an Italian Australian”, Velardo said.
“Also, recruiting has never been as issue. Melbourne has the largest Italian community in Australia, with more than 250,000 people having Italian ancestry.”
Velardo is stepping back into the role as the head of Team Italy following the departure of the previous coordinator.
“I realise these are big shoes to fill, as my predecessor was a most worthy winner of the Strength Through Football Unity award. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. Forza Italia!”