The Attard F.C. Youth Nursery Under-12 side earlier this month took part in the Storsjöcupen tournament in Ostersund, Sweden. A tournament which hosted three hundred and forty five teams from ten countries in five different categories – Under-12, Under-13, Under-14 and Under-16 for both boys and girls.
The contingent left Malta, destination Stockholm, on Sunday 4th and after a rather long trip, arrived in Ostersund. Following a first training session on Monday, the Maltese contingent had the opportunity to visit the city of Ostersund.
The team played its first game from Group 2 on Tuesday. Norwegian side Byasen IL 1 stunned the Maltese side with four goals in the first half. However the Attard players followed well the instructions of coach Charles Caruana and with a brilliant comeback, they managed to earn a point in a 5-5 draw. Nick Ghio scored three and Cleavon Farrugia made it 4-4. Byasen IL 1 regained the lead but Ghio scored again to restore equilibrium. Later in the day, all participating teams took part in a colourful celebration in the town during which the tournament was officially declared open.
On Wednesday, the team travelled to Lovsta to play the second game against Vinne IL. Playing on an artificial turf pitch, Attard were leading 2-1 by the end of the first half, adding another five goals after the break for a 7-1 win. Nicky Ghio scored five of the goals with Matthias Caruana and Isaac Bray scoring the other two when served by captain Jean Borg. In the evening, the young Attard players had the time to relax and then attended a party during which the World Cup semi-final was also screened.
The following day, Attard met Utleira IL 2 in the last group game. It was a balanced encounter which ended with a narrow win for the Maltese side thanks to another goal by Nick Ghio. Attard therefore won the Group with seven points.
Attard FCYN had to play three games in a day on Friday. Kick-off time for the first one was 8:00 am when Attard were due to meet local side IFK Ostersund. Following a good start, the Maltese side was leading 4-3 by the end of the first half, eventually winning the game 8-4. Goals by captian Jean Borg (4), Nick Ghio (3) and Christian Borg.
In the last-sixteen stage, Attard FCYN defeated Norwegian side National SK 1 7-4, after leading 3-2 at half-time. Cleaven Farrugia, Jean Borg (3) and Nick Ghio (3) scored for Attard. Ghio therefore increased his tally to sixteen goals in five matches.
After a deserved break, during which the young Attard players had the opportunity to meet other children from the various teams, they were due to face Floro SK of Norway who had won their group with maximum points, scoring 37 and suffering just one goal. Goals by Cleaven Farrugia and Jean Borg gave Attard a two-goal lead after just ten minutes but by the end of the first half, Floro levelled matters. However the stress of having to play three games in a few hours’ time left its mark as they ended suffering a 7-2 defeat.
Following a final day touring the city and shopping, the Maltese contingent returned to Malta on Sunday.
It was definitely a remarkable experience for the Attard FC Youth Nursery and its young players as although for some of them, this was their first experience playing abroad, they did really well while enjoying themselves mixing with other young players from different countries.
Front: Matthias Caruana, Christian Borg, Isaac Bray, Nicholas Mangion, Jurgen Caruana