Two weeks ago some of the Birkirkara Youth Nursery players had the opportunity to travel to Bergamo for a unique football experience. The 15 Birkirkara youngsters, accompanied by three delegates and three coaches, spent five days in Italy where they participated in two tournaments and indulged in other football-related experiences.
The team, composed of U-13s and some U-14s players, had its first commitments on Friday at Ponte San Pietro in a triangular tournament against U.S Giemme and A.C. Pontisola.
Birkirkara played first against Giemme and managed to win comfortably with a 3-0 score which gave the players the right to play in the last match. The second match was a tight affair between the other two teams where in the end it was Pontisola that emerged victorious with a 1-0 scoreline. This meant that the match between Birkirkara and Pontisola was the final match.
Birkirkara managed to go 1-0 up but their opponents overturned the result to make it 2-1. In the final minutes the Stripes managed to equalise and set a final score of 2-2. With this result both teams ended level on points but the Maltese team managed to clinch the trophy thanks to a better goal difference.
Claudio Fasola presented the trophy to Birkirkara Nursery chairman Henry Bray and congratulated the team and the staff for their achievement amongst the joy of all the players. Locals explained to the delegates that their win was no mean feat as the Pontisola youth nursery was amongst the best in Bergamo. It boasted the fact that in the past it had Davide Astori in its ranks, who is now an established player with Cagliari in the Serie A who also debuted with the Italian national team last week.
In the second tournament Birkirkara played against the teams of A.C. Colognese and Atalanta B.C. at Cologno al Serio. This time round Birkirkara played two consecutive matches starting off with a 1-0 win against Colognese. Afterwards the Stripes had to face tough opposition in the likes of Atalanta whose senior team is topping the standings in the Serie B and could win promotion back in the top division sooner rather than later. The Maltese team were beaten 3-0 their only loss on foreign soil in a show of tactical brilliance and discipline from their foreign counterparts.
In the final match between Atalanta and Colognese, the latter were beaten 7-1 much to the delight of the Maltese delegation who acknowledged the fact that the Maltese youngsters did not suffer such a heavy scoreline. During their time in the north of Italy the delegation had the opportunity to visit the Stadio Sinigaglia, home of the Como Calcio and Zingonia, Atalanta training grounds. Apart from this they also attended the match between Atalanta and Triestina at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia which finished with 4-0 win for the Nerazzurri.