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Antonio Conte lands coaching award

Juventus coach Antonio Conte was voted as the best Serie A coach of the 2012-13 season by his peers at an awards ceremony in Coverciano on Monday.

Juventus fans will be praying Antonio Conte does not wave goodbye to Turin anytime soon.
Antonio Conte led Juventus to their second straight Serie A title last season.

Rzouki: Pedigree carries Juve

Conte last term led the Bianconeri to a second straight scudetto and to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, where they were eliminated by eventual winners Bayern Munich.

And the Italian took the Panchina d'Oro prize ahead of Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella and current Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri, then at Napoli.

"I'm very pleased to receive this reward from my colleagues, also because it follows the one I earned recently from the AIC [Professional Footballers' Association], so from the players," Conte said. "This means that the whole football movement understands and appreciates the extraordinary work which is behind our successes.

"That's because there is a lot of hard work and time dedicated to football behind our triumphs which gets taken away from your family. For this reason, I would like to dedicate this reward to my family, because they support me and put up with me, and then to my players, staff and the club."

Juventus’ 2-0 win over AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday night has put Conte into a strong position to win the award once again next year, if as expected Juve go on to clinch a third straight scudetto. The Bianconeri  are currently 11 points clear of second-placed Roma at the top of the Serie A standings.

"Last night was an important step," Conte said. "It was a difficult weekend for us and we risked dropping points, but instead we've won at a hard venue, which is Milan. I'm happy, but we've not done anything yet. There are still 12 games to be played before we can sew that third scudetto onto our shirts."

To win the Panchina d'Oro, Conte picked up 26 votes in the poll of all Serie A coaches from last season -- three more than Montella, who guided Fiorentina to fourth, narrowly missing out to Milan for a place in the Champions League.

Eusebio Di Francesco won the award for the best coach in Serie B after leading Sassuolo to promotion.

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