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Simone Farina Now A Community Coach At Aston Villa

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Last November, Simone Farina refused €200,000 to help influence a Coppa Italia match. Now he's helping influence young players in the Birmingham area.

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In a world in which we hear so much about football players, clubs, officials and national associations acting in ways that are patently unsporting, it's nice to know that Aston Villa have hired a staff member that has some integrity. The club has hired Simone Farina as a Community Coach.

Now, if you're not enmeshed in the world of Italian football scandals and don't pay attention every time Sepp Blatter opens his mouth, you might not recognize the name of Farina. He spent his career outside the first division of Italian football, rising as far as Serie B with Gubbio.

It was while at Gubbio that he was offered €200,000 to help fix the outcome of a Coppa Italian match with Cesena. Not only did Farina refuse, he reported the incident to the police -- a surprisingly honest move that the likes of Siena and Antonio Conte surely could have done well do emulate. For this, Farina was rewarded with three days training with the national side and an award from FIFA.

In September, Farina came to Villa, and he's now taken on a community coaching role, working with kids to help them develop their football skills (and moral character, one would assume).

This may be a low-level position, but any move by the club to bring in players/coaches/staff from outside the British Isles can only be taken as a positive. Although the official press release noting "longstanding links" between INTERPOL and Aston Villa gives me pause.