Back in the Netherlands again, but I got to enjoy a 5 day trip to Malta over the weekend. As part of the IGETS Gender Equality Project that ran over the past 2 years, 5 Olympia players were invited to go and play 2 exhibition games on Gozo, Malta. The Project mostly focused on sharing experiences and knowledge within the youth teams and coaches of Olympia Haarlem from the Netherlands, Princ from Croatia and the Ghajnsielem Redcoats from Malta. As a 'big' ending of the project, the 2 exhibition games were arranged.
On Thursday morning we left from Amsterdam Airport by plane, about a 3 hour flight. We had some delay because of the stormy weather in Italy, but made it safely. Then we had to cross the bigger island of Malta to get to the ferry. The driver thought we could make the ferry leaving at 4.30, which made the drive a very intense one. Of course we still missed the ferry...?! But had a nice coffee and got the next ferry. Because of the delay we missed out on practice, and went straight to the bed&breakfast to check in.
Dinner was at the clubhouse of the Redcoats, they share the clubhouse with the soccer club. A nice sports bar/restaurant where we got to eat and meet our teammates for the weekend.
The Friday morning we got to be tourists and were shown the Citadel of Gozo and had lunch at one of the Operas of the island. Then it was time to go to the field and prepare for our first game. The teams were mixed and we played the games with a soft softball to make it a bit safer. A fun experience to play with three different teams in one and playing on a turf soccer field. Smart solution when there is no softball field available! Saturday morning we played the second game.
The games ended 10-4 and 4-10 so we actually ended up in a tie, quite nice I would say for the occasion. We all got to share the Gozo Cup.
On the Friday night we had dinner at a really nice restaurant with a view over the haven of Gozo and the Saturday we were hosted at a Club for our going away party combined with a birthday party after seeing some beautiful coast views of Gozo. The Sunday morning we took the ferry back to the bigger island of Malta to see some more of the island. Monday night we had our flight back to Amsterdam, so we got to visit Vittoria and St. Pete's pool before we left. What a beautiful islands! Thank you Joseph and everyone from the Ghajnsielem Redcoats who made this happen :)
This week I am back to studying, getting ready to graduate in a couple of months. In 10 days our official National Team program for 2019 takes off. Let's make it work!