Sheffield United prepares to turn up the heat

The countdown is on! Sheffield United are gearing up their pre-season preparations ahead of their footballing tour of Malta. Kevin Blackwell and the Blades squad will travel to Malta next week for the start of an intense training programme on the Mediterranean island.

Maltese side Birkirkara FC have had to withdraw from the triangular tournament they were due to contend with Sheffield United and Maltese Premier League side Vittoriosa Stars FC. Birkirkara FC have reached the Champions League second qualifying round for the first time and they will now play Slovakia’s MŠK during the week of United’s tour. Hibernians FC, another of Malta’s top clubs, have taken up the challenge and will be hosting the round-robin fixtures at their ground. The first kick-off is between the two Maltese sides on the evening of Friday 16 July at 7:30pm local time.

Sheffield United’s shining relationship with the Malta Tourism Authority will enable the club to stage a host of activities that will act as the perfect precursors to the tournament. The action starts with Kevin Blackwell and Daniel Bogdanovic supporting a fans’ forum on the evening of Tuesday 13th July. Tour attendees will also have an opportunity to enjoy a true taste of the Mediterranean lifestyle at the beach BBQ attended by the players (14th July) and watch a Blades morning training session open to the public (15th July).

The Blades’ Maltese newcomer Daniel Bogdanovic said: “Obviously, I am looking forward to the trip tremendously and I know from speaking to the lads who went last year that they loved what they saw of the island. I know a lot of people in Malta and it will be good to catch up with them and the fans – and doing it as a Sheffield United player will make it that bit more special.

“Malta is a small place but there is a lot of pride over there, not only in the people themselves but also in the bond that I know has grown between the island and the Blades.”

Booking enquires for the host of Blades activities taking place in Malta can be made through ALPINE STERLING via Tel: 2576 6000 or email: [email protected]

Meanwhile the Sheffield United Supporters Club Malta has been set-up recently. Those interested in joining the supporters club should phone 98120590 or visit the website http://sufcmalta.weebly.com/