• Conte ... Juve coach won the Golden Bench. (AFP)
Juventus head coach Antonio Conte has won the Golden Bench award after being recognised as Serie A coach of the 2011-2012 season.
Source:
PA Sport
19 Feb 2013 - 1:04 AM  UPDATED 19 Feb 2013 - 12:07 PM

Conte, 43, replaced Luigi Del Neri in May 2011 and steered the Turin giant through the entire league season unbeaten to earn its first official Scudetto in nine years.

Juventus also reached the Coppa Italia final, only to be denied the league and cup double by Napoli.

Conte started the current campaign with a 10-month suspension for his alleged failure to reported attempted match-fixing while in charge of Siena, but he returned to the bench in December after the punishment was reduced by six months on appeal.

The former Juve midfielder, whose side leads Serie A by four points, told La Repubblica: "It's an important honour and I remember the satisfaction I felt when I won the Silver Bench award (for Serie B coach of the season) with Bari."

Zdenek Zeman, recently sacked by Roma, was rewarded for his previous record-breaking achievements at Pescara with the Silver Bench award.

Pescara returned to the top flight after a 19-year absence under the stewardship of the veteran Czech tactician, whose attacking philosophy saw the Delfini score 90 goals in 42 league matches on their way to the Serie B title.

"My biggest thanks go to the Abruzzese club and the players I coached there," Zeman said.

"They allowed me to play the kind of football I like."

The Lega Pro awards went to
Domenico Toscano of Ternana (gold) and ex-Perugia boss Pier Francesco Battistini (silver).

The coaches guided their respective clubs to Serie B and to the Lega Pro first division respectively.