Zejtun Corinthians returned to Malta following a short training camp in Sheffield which was held in collaboration with League Championship side Sheffield United. During this four-day training camp, the Zejtun squad had the opportunity to train on a professional basis at the Sheffield United Academy.
During this training camp, Zejtun Corinthians played a friendly match against Hallam FC, who are celebrating the 150th anniversary and play at what is recognised as the oldest football ground in the world. The game ended in a 3-3 draw.
Zejtun suffered an early goal but Gary Busuttil levelled matters on the half-hour and towards the end of the first half, Kenneth Abela put Zejtun 2-1 ahead. Andy Portelli increased the lead but Hallam scored twice in the final seven minutes to equalise.
Coach Alan Mifsud said this was a memorable experience for all the Zejtun contingent. He said he was confident that this training camp will leave a positive effect on players, technical staff and officials as it served a lot to unite players ahead of this season’s commitments where the club will be aiming for honours.
Zejtun Corinthians secretary Carmelo Abela, who was the mastermind behind this training camp, said this was a most pleasant experience for all the players who could work in a professional environment in Sheffield. He also said that this training camp helped a lot in team-building.
The Zejtun contingent was invited to visit the Sheffield United FC museum – The Legends of the Lane, the dressing rooms and the stadium – Bramall Lane. A few minutes before the League Championship game between Sheffield United and Queen’s Park Rangers, the team was invited to go on the pitch where mementos were presented. Blades Chairman Kevin McCabe was also present.
Carmelo Abela thanked all those who made this training camp possible and thanked Sheffield United officials and staff for hosting the squad for this training camp. He also thanked the sponsors, namely Supreme Travel, Cassar Service Station, Schembri Bros., Nordic Bar, Roger’s Bakery, Tutto Sport, Brownrigg Services & Supplies Ltd., Sigma Paints Malta, Vandan Confectionery, Kastell Wine Bar Tarxien and AF Signs.
The Malta Tourism Authority, main sponsor of Sheffield United, also played an important role in the establishment of contacts which eventually made this dream for Zejtun Corinthians possible.