Through a collaboration between the National Sport School and the Malta Football Players Association, a Training Camp in the UK for our Year 11 football students was organised between Tuesday 9th and Saturday 13th July 2019. The contingent was made up 18 NSS football students and 6 officials, Ms.Nadine Zammit (NSS Assistant Head), Mr.Carlo Mamo and Mr.Luke Zahra (MFPA), Mr.Paul Zammit and Mr.Stefan Sultana (NSS Football Coaches) and Mr.Cedric Sciberras (NSS Physiotherapist).
The contingent had an early flight to London on Tuesday 9th July 2019, then travelled to Derby by private transport and settled in the Jury’s Inn Hotel. The Squad had a training session at the Derby University Sports Centre in the late afternoon, but before that, Mr Justin Tellus, a Maltese ex-footballer working at Leeds Utd gave us a complete picture of the life of a 16-year old at Leeds Utd and showed us around the University. The boys paid close attention to what Mr.Tellus said, as all of them are aiming to live the life of a student-footballer in a top club one day.
On Wednesday 10th July 2019, after breakfast, the Squad had a Team talk and an indoor training session in the hotel gym. In the afternoon, we had the first game of our Training Camp, against Leeds Utd. We played 4 sessions of 30 mins each, as Leeds Utd had a larger squad and they were undergoing trials. It was a very good performance by our students, in fact it was only at the end that Leeds Utd managed to score the winning goals. We lost 3-1 and our goal scorer was Isaiah Micallef.
On Thursday 11th July 2019, the squad had a Game Analysis and a Recovery session in the morning and another training session in the afternoon.
On Friday 12th July, the contingent spent some time at Derby city centre in the morning, then travelled to Sheffield for their next game at the Club’s facilities. It was a great performance by our team, and we managed to beat Sheffield Utd 5-2, after being 2 goals down. Our goals were scored by Andrea Zammit (3), Jacob Crossey (2) and Kurt Briffa.
On Saturday 13th July we woke up earlier than usual because after breakfast we had to travel by private transport to London, to play our final game against Daniel Sturridge Academy. Although it was a long and tiring trip, our students showed great resilience and character, and in an excellent performance, managed to beat the opponents 4-1. Andrea Zammit (3) and Dale Mifsud were our goal scorers. After the game we went to Heathrow Airport, had dinner together and waited for the flight back to Malta.
Apart from the fruitful experience, our students had the opportunity to be scouted, as scouts were present during all our games. In fact some of our students attracted the interest of these scouts, and are being monitored for future invites to trials with Clubs from the UK. This was an experience to treasure, and as a school we will do our best to hold this training camp every year for our Year 11 football students at the end of their secondary education studies at the National Sport School.