Coach of the Year:
Antonio Conte of Bari
Conte, the former Juventus star, took over the Bari job in 2007 and ever since the club has raised their level of play. Conte is enjoying a ten spot climb in the ranking this season and a Serie B championship as well. Unfortunately, the former Italian footballer will not be rejoining the club in Serie A. Bari has recently hired former Pisa coach Giampieo Ventura to replace the SATO Coach of the Year. Apparently Conte showed a little too much interest in a potential manager opening at Juventus and was recently replaced.
Golden Boot Award:
Francesco Tavano of Livorno
Tavano showed the world he is still an excellent goal scorer this recent Serie B season. Tavano’s 27 goals was the best of any Serie B player this year by 3 total goals. The goal scoring forward may have finally found a nice home at Livorno. Tavano had tried to fit in plenty of other places, including a few years back at Valencia and Roma, but the striker never could get the desired minutes on the pitch. Tavano took a humbling step back in 2007 and signed with Livorno. Now it looks like the move has paid off as the club looks to battle Serie A competition next season.
Most Valuable Player:
Paulo De Souza Barreto of Bari
Paulo De Souza Barreto not only has one of the greatest names ever to try to say ten times real fast, but he also is this year’s 2009 SATO Serie B Most Valuable Player. Barreto deserves the award this year by leading his club to the Serie B title and also scoring the second most goals in all of Serie B football with 24. The Brazilian striker was on loan last year from Udinese, but is likely to stay with the Bari squad.