Andreas and Shaun have trained at Marcet thanks to the Erasmus+ program, designed to empower the federations that need it most.
Andreas was at home when his father called him to break the news. The technical director of Malta’s National Team had just called with the important news. It was time to pack. Andrea and her partner Shaun has flights booked for Barcelona. They had both been selected by the Maltese Federation to spend a month at Marcet within the Erasmus + program, an international arrangement with the objective of promoting the practice of football in the countries that need it most.
Andreas Vella and Shaun Dimech‘s visit was scheduled between September and October of this year. The two players of the Maltese National Team joined the High-Performance Academy thanks to an agreement reached between their Federation and Marcet. “It’s a scholarship program designed to develop sporting talent as well as cultural and linguistic skills,” explains Andreas, who studied Spanish for two hours a day during his stay.
“I learned that in life you have to take risks to succeed”
“We made friends quickly here at Marcet, we had no problems adapting to the environment,” says Shaun. “Everyone helped us out and it’s been an experience that has taught me a lot. I learned that in life you have to take risks to succeed, especially abroad.” In fact, the Erasmus+ Program has been designed precisely with that objective in mind: taking advantage of the ‘know how’ of an academy like Marcet to contribute to the football development of countries that still have a lot of room for improvement and that are isolated from the networks that connect the world leaders in the football scene’.
“Traveling to Barcelona has been like leaving my comfort zone”
“Apart from the training, during our stay in Barcelona we did physical tests, had talks with sports psychologists, took part in personalized sessions with New Technologies… and we also had time to visit the city and see some games,” explains Andreas. “But the best thing was the football, without a doubt. It was a great experience, very intense and different from what we were used to in Malta.”
It is not just about growing technically or tactically. Erasmus+ is a global experience, focused on the integral development of the person involved. “Being four weeks away from my family allowed me to grow in terms of developing my personality,” adds Andreas. “Traveling to Barcelona has been like leaving my comfort zone. Everything I learned at Marcet is helping me progress as a player.”