Year 7 and Year 8 Football students were given the opportunity to attend a training camp in Belgrade, Serbia, between the 25th and the 29th of March, 2019. The students were accompanied by coaches Paul Zammit and Stefan Sultana together with physiotherapist Yolande Attard.
They had the opportunity to have training sessions and games against three top Academies in Belgrade namely Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade and Cucaricki.
This training camp was made possible in collaboration with iSports, the National Sport School, Sport Malta, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sports and Voluntary organisations and the parents of all students involved.
We arrived in Belgrade on Monday 25th March, and after settling in at our hotel, went for the first training session.
On Tuesday morning the boys had another training session with coaches Paul Zammit and Stefan Sultana in preparation for the first game in the afternoon. They visited Partizan Belgrade’s stadium before playing against boys of the same age from Partizan Academy. The level of our opponents was very high. Year 8 lost 0-3 while years 7 lost 0-7. It’s fair to say that the Academy of Partizan Belgrade is one of the top in Europe.
On Wednesday morning, after breakfast, the boys went for a sightseeing tour in the Serbian capital. After lunch and a rest they departed for their second game vs Red Star Belgrade Academy. Before the match they visited their stadium museum. Red Star have a glorious history in European football.
In the games, the boys played excellently and were very unfortunate to lose after having very positive performances. Year 8 team lost 1-2 while Year 7 lost 2-4.
On Thursday morning we had a light training session and in the afternoon both age groups played against Cucaricki. This being the 3rd game in as many days, our students gave their utmost but still lost both games 0-2 (Year 7) and 0-2 (Year 8). These matches were also followed by NSS ex-student Mattia Veselj who was having a footballing experience in Belgrade at that time.
We flew back to Malta on Friday 29th March, 2019. It was a very good life experience that the students will treasure for a long time.