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Dream big, Dream Empoli

Founded in 1920, Empoli F.C. is one of Italy's oldest football clubs with over 100 years of history. Empoli's mission is and has always been to find young new talents around the world and foster them by coaching Empoli's unique training technique. Empoli is renowned in Italy and Europe for the quality of its youth development. Just in Italy, there are 85 professional players coming from the Empoli F.C. development program. Empoli's list of achievements is long but just looking at this last season, (2020-21) Empoli achieved the following:

  • Promotion to Serie A (highest division)

  • Winner of "Respect and Discipline" Award 

  • Under 19 (Primavera) champion

  • Winner of "Best young talent" with Tommaso Baldanzi


Empoli Football Academy and International Scouting was created in 2021 with the same objective: Coach Australia's best football talents with Empoli proprietary coaching method & Scout Australia’s best football talents on behalf of Empoli F.C.

Empoli Academy and Scouting provides top training and offers the best opportunity for players from Australia to live out their soccer dream. Empoli Academy is an elite soccer program designed to teach young players Italian tactics and technical skills. 
All Empoli Football Academy and International Scouting coaches are certified and kept updated with the latest coaching methodologies by Empoli F.C. through regular meetings and training.

Our talented and prepared coaches not only train players but scout talent and hand-select players that they believe have to potential to play on an international level at their respective clubs in Italy.


Meet Our Team

Mirko and Bessi met playing football with friends. In 2020 they run a football academy for a local club and started to realize that football in Australia had loads of potential but there were not many clubs or academies really focusing on the growth of children. So, through contact in Italy started exploring ways to bridge this gap and after talking to Empoli F.C., they realized that Empoli would be the perfect club to see their dream come true: having more Australian young players playing at the highest level.


Mirko Gozzo

Managing Director & Founder

Mirko started playing football in Italy when he was 4 years old and never stopped since. At the peak of his football career, he played midfield for A.C. Milan satellite team. Work and life got in the way of pursuing his football dream but allowed him to land in Australia in 2013.

Since 2016 he's been training and coaching teams of young passionate players as a volunteer. In 2018 he decided to leave his corporate job to focus more on his family and his passions. Football has always been Mirko's number 1 passion so he naturally gravitated back there. In 2020 he helped a local club set up its academy and obtained several certifications as football coach. With Empoli Football Academy he's now able to combine years of work experience and the love of football.


Bessi Canaj

Technical Director & Founder

Throughout his 26 years playing career, Bessi spent the majority of his time playing in Italy, although he did most notably play German Youth League football for FC St. Pauli in the 2004-05 season. In the later half of his career, Bessi took up coaching, looking after a range of underage sides at the clubs that he found himself playing for in Italy. It was this passion for youth football that saw him coaching for 3 years in Mexico, 4 years in the UK and several years in Australia. More recently, Bessi coached the U13 team at Linfield F.C. where he won the "champion of the champion" for his category. With the creation of Empoli Football Academy, he can now live his lifelong dream to coach kids and give them opportunities to play with the best in the world.

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