Champions Hibernians will be hosting Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in a friendly match at the Hibernians Stadium on Tuesday, kick-off at 19:30. Details were revealed by Hibernians secretary Stephen Abela and SLFC director Helmut Amhof during a press conference at the Hibernians Stadium on Thursday.
PSV Eindhoven, who placed second in Group B of the UEFA Champions League this season ahead of Manchester United to secure a place in the Round of 16 stage where they will be facing Atletico Madrid, are one of sixteen or more teams who will be visiting Malta in the first three months of 2016 to conduct training camps thanks to the initiative of SLFC – one of the biggest agencies in Europe which organises training camps for clubs and national teams.
Hibs secretary Stephen Abela thanked Malta Football Camps and SLFC for making this friendly match possible. He said that although this was not the first time, Hibs were facing such a high-profile team, it was still an important occasion for the club and was expecting the local sporting public to turn out for this game. Abela said that he hopes such games become annual events.
Tickets cost €10 for adults and €2 for children under the age of twelve and will be available from the club premises in Paola Square on Monday or at the gates before the game. Gates open at 18:30. Stand C will be reserved for Hibernians supporters and Stand A for neutral fans.
All nurseries were invited to send up to twenty-two players to watch this game.
Before the game, entertainment will be provided by some of the 2016 Malta Eurovision Song Contest singers.
Both Hibs and PSV are expected to field their best formation although the Paolites will be lacking the injured Marcelo Dias and Rodolfo Soares. Edison Luis dos Santos is back with Hibs after a spell on loan in South Korea but will not be available for the game.
Hibernians vs PSV Eindhoven will be controlled by referee Marco Borg.
Meanwhile SLFC director Helmut Amhof said SLFC was one of the biggest companies in Europe in this sector and during 2015, it hosted one hundred and forty teams on training camps. He said that Malta is an added destination for the company’s clients apart from Turkey, Spain, Portugal and Middle Eastern countries. The company has sixteen teams which are permanent clients.
SLFC made big market research and found that Malta was ideal for short distances: from the airport to hotels and from hotels to the training grounds. Amhof said the company found fantastic partners in the Malta Football Association and Hibernians. He said all professional teams wanted to train on natural grass and said that PSV was one of around sixteen to twenty teams who will be visiting the country in the coming weeks. These will be playing around twenty to twenty-five friendly matches and said that at particular stages, there would be four to five teams at the same time conducting training camps. With the right infrastructure, especially in terms of more natural grass turf pitches, Malta could attract double the number of teams which are visiting Malta this year.
Helmut Amhof said that his company’s focus was not only on business but also on a way of cooperation with the local game with regards to the national teams and local clubs and also on giving the opportunity to the local sporting public the opportunity to watch top-level teams in action.