Shaun Dimech and Andreas Vella treasure enriching experience in Spain Published on: 31-10-2018

Malta Under-19 players Shaun Dimech and Andreas Vella adapted well to the demands of professional football during what both described as an “enriching” four-week training and educational experience at the Barcelona-based Marcet Academy recently.
This visit, supported by the Erasmus+ programme, came about thanks to the agreement the Malta Football Association signed with the Marcet Academy earlier this season with the aim of giving young Maltese talents more opportunities to train in a professional environment outside Maltese shores.
“Thanks to this experience, I’ve learnt new things, football-wise but also for my personal development,” Dimech said.
“Most of the time, we trained twice, in the morning and evening, and also underwent physical tests and other assessments using new technologies.
“When such opportunities arise, you can’t think twice because, if you really want to succeed in your footballing career, you must embrace challenges.
“This experience was truly enriching as it helped me to gain more confidence and mature as now I feel I’m better prepared to cope with the demands of living an independent life.”
Vella echoed Dimech’s comments.
“I had a wonderful experience at the Marcet Academy,” the young Hibernians defender said.
“This opportunity enabled me to develop as a football player but also to become more independent and be able to take up challenges out of the comfort zone.
“We had a video analysis of one of our training sessions to assess our strengths and weaknesses. The people at Marcet treated us very well.”
During their stay in Barcelona, Dimech and Vella, who thanked the Malta FA and Technical Director Robert Gatt for their support, had double training sessions on most days and also underwent rigorous physical and technical assessments.
Carlos Rivero (Sport Manager) and Matías Irace (Coach), two members of the Marcet Academy who worked with the two Maltese players, were very pleased with the effort put in by Dimech and Vella.
“Shaun and Andreas adapted really well to the programme and integrated well with the players in the Team A squad,” they said.
“Their attitude is very good with both showing a great willingness to work hard. They listen to the coach and his observations, and they train very seriously. Both players have a good technical and tactical base.”
By virtue of this partnership, every year four promising Maltese players are given the opportunity to spend four weeks training at the Marcet Academy while two coaches from the Malta FA Technical Centre will benefit from a two-week working experience.
In Spain, the Marcet Academy have established a strong reputation for their innovative training methodology, using the latest technological equipment during the training sessions and tests.