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Watford head of medical Marco Cesarini says Hornets head coach Beppe Sannino has made his new role as a translator easy
At the start of the season the majority of Watford fans wouldn’t have known too much about Marco Cesarini.
After all, why would they? The Hornets head of medical spoke on occasion when it came to injuries but he often remained in the background, working with those players who required treatment and rehabilitation.
That changed with the arrival of Beppe Sannino. The Italian head coach couldn’t speak English when he was named Watford boss in December so Cesarini was asked to become a translator – as Sannino didn’t want a professional translator.
The role initially involved work both on and off the pitch. He helped deliver Sannino’s instructions on the training field and translated in post-match press conferences with the written media.
Eventually the head coach was able to communicate directly with his players but Cesarini has continued to assist Sannino with the press, whilst goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlain conducts most of the video interviews.
Cesarini, who joined Watford in July 2012 and also had a two-year stint at West Ham United, stressed his role translating has not impacted on his job as the club’s head of medical.
He is not a native English speaker but says he hasn’t found it difficult to interpret for Sannino.
"Beppe is very good because he doesn’t use the standard Italian phrase,” Cesarini explained during an interview at the end of the 2013/14 campaign. “When you are speaking to somebody you talk normally, without thinking.
"But he does not often use standard Italian phrases which would be hard to translate. It’s very helpful that he is using a simpler vocabulary because it makes it easy for me to translate."
Sannino arrived at Watford with the side struggling in the Championship. Changes were needed and they needed to be made quickly to halt a mid-season slump.
Cesarini was charged with explaining Sannino’s tactical approach and what he wanted from his players on the pitch. It’s the only part of his new role he found tough.
He explained: "The football side was difficult. I have never been that involved in that side of things but football vocabulary is very short. After two weeks it was ok for him to explain.
"But in those first two weeks it was very important to have clear messages on the pitch. After that he used me very rarely when it came to things on the pitch.
"Sometimes, if he had to give certain clear indications to the players in meetings, then he would use me. On the pitch, after those first two weeks, he has been completely able to communicate with the players.
“Don’t forget, there are other members of the staff who are also improving their English. So, if I had to, I would be able to sit in my office and not go out onto the pitch to translate."
Watford have a multi-cultural and multi-lingual squad with players from across the globe coming together at London Colney.
Several different languages can be heard at the club’s training ground. Italian, Spanish and English are predominant but others are also spoken.
Cesarini believes it is important to not force the Hornets’ foreign players to speak English away from the pitch.
He said: "English is the main language and we all try to speak it. There is a rule to speak English on the pitch but you can’t force players who speak other languages to speak in English all day.
"An example of this is my children. They are in an English school and they enjoy it a lot. So they speak English in school until half past three.
"When they get home, if we talk in English they will cry. They want to talk in Italian even though their English is amazing.
"So you can’t force somebody to speak in English all day because it is mentally tiring. When the players are on the pitch though, everything is in English."
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