Fortuna Dusseldorf, Universitatea Craiova, FC St. Gallen, Stabæk, RZ Pellets WAC, FC Wintherthur and a Major League Soccer selection are among the teams visiting Malta for training camps over these three months. The Slovakia national team will also conduct a training camp in Malta while here for the World Cup qualifier against Malta in programme on March 26.
Addressing a press conference at the Corinthia Hotel, Attard, on Monday, MFA General Secretary Dr Angelo Chetcuti said that in recent years, there was an increase in the number of requests by foreign clubs to organise training camps in Malta. The association continued to work hard to improve its facilities, including the newly-installed hybrid pitch at the National Stadium and the new floodlights at the MFA Training Grounds. He said that these projects will ensure that the facilities will be in line with what is required by top-level teams when conducting training camps in Malta.
Malta Football Camps Chairman Hannes Empl said that when the company decided to focus on Malta, they were well-aware that the country boasted of high level pitches, good hotels, good weather, good atmosphere and a lot of people who love football. This was confirmed after the first year of collaboration. Empl said these training camps were giving Malta extra exposure due to the high profile teams who came to Malta for training camps. This was confirmed by Malta Tourism Authority Chairman Dr Gavin Gulia who said that he was delighted that Malta Football Camps chose Malta to host training camps for the second consecutive year. He said that this should again serve as an excellent advert for Malta to help set new records of incoming tourism.
Malta Football Camps reached an agreement with leadig Swiss company TRAVELclub company, who are also the official travel partner of the Swiss national football team, the ice-hockey, tennis and handball federations. Thanks to this agreement, the two companies will be jointly marketing training camps in Malta with Malta Football Camps being responsible for professional teams and TRAVELclub for amateur teams. Sixteen professional teams and thirty-five amateur clubs are expected to carry out training camps this year.
Malta Football Camps aims to ensure that between 30 and 40 professional teams and 150 amateur teams visit Malta for training camps in the first three months of each year but despite the huge demand, the company is restricted by the number of natural turf pitches which are available. The huge demand is also due the successful training camps held last year by PSV Eindhoven, Legia Warszawa and FC Viktoria Plzeň who all ended up by winning the championship in the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic.