Michele Paolucci Signs For FC Manitoba
Former Juventus and Valour FC striker Michele Paolucci has returned to the Winnipeg soccer scene to sign for USL League Two side FC Manitoba.
The club – formerly known as WSA Winnipeg – was purchased by the Garcea Group this January and rebranded, with Paolucci becoming the first signing of the new club era.
The 34-year-old striker will join the Winnipeg-based team as both a player and a member of management. Today’s announcement marks Paolucci’s first official steps into the administrative side of the game, though he isn’t hanging up his boots yet.
Paolucci arrived as a mid-season addition for Valour FC last year alongside Jose Galan, with the former Italy U-21 athlete ultimately finishing with three goals and two assists in fifteen appearances over a difficult campaign for Valour FC.
The veteran striker had intended to stay with Valour FC, but ultimately left the side well ahead of the 2020 Canadian Premier League season. He made it no secret that he loved the Winnipeg area, however, so perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Paolucci has opted to stay within it.
The veteran striker was a highly rated Juventus academy product during his youth career. Having been unable to secure himself regular playing time in Italy’s top flight, he spent the bulk of his career in Italy’s lower leagues before enjoying a successful spell in the Maltese Premier League prior to his jump over to Canada last year.
FC Manitoba – then known as WSA Winnipeg – finished in sixth place in the Heartland division of USL2 (formerly PDL) for the last five years running, which is a figure Paolucci will be hoping he can help improve.
In any event, the veteran striker will be a good influence on plenty of Canadian footballers at FC Manitoba, and that connection is all due to the foundation of the Canadian Premier League – which evidently helps in more ways than giving direct minutes to domestic talent.
Paolucci’s contract length was not disclosed by FC Manitoba, but it is suspected this a long-term acquisition by FC Manitoba owners Garcea Group.