FROM MUSCAT TO VERONA
25 DEC 18
About Hellas Verona FC
Hellas Verona Football Club commonly referred to as Hellas Verona or simply Verona is an Italian football club based in Verona, Veneto, that currently plays in Serie B. The team won the Serie A Championship in 1984–85.
Founded in 1903 by a group of high school students from Greece, the club was named Hellas, at the request of a professor of classics. At a time in which football was played seriously only in the larger cities of northwestern Italy, most of Verona was indifferent to the growing sport. However, when in 1906 two city teams chose the city's Roman amphitheatre as a venue to showcase the game, crowd enthusiasm and media interest began to rise.
In 1919, following a return to activity after a four-year suspension of all football competition in Italy during World War I, the team merged with city rival Verona and changed its name to Hellas Verona. Between 1926 and 1929, the elite "Campionato Nazionale" assimilated the top sides from the various regional groups and Hellas Verona joined the privileged teams, yet struggled to remain competitive.
Serie A, as it is structured today, began in 1929, when the Campionato Nazionale turned into a professional league. Still an amateur team, Hellas merged with two city rivals, Bentegodi and Scaligera, to form AC Verona. Hoping to build a first-class contender for future years, the new team debuted in Serie B in 1929. It would take the Gialloblu 28 years to achieve their goal finally. After first being promoted to Serie A for one season in 1957–58, in 1959, the team merged with another city rival (called Hellas) and commemorated its beginnings by changing its name to Hellas Verona AC.
From Muscat to Verona
Travelling to another country to experience their sport and culture is an essential aspect of ones self-development. For a child to have this experience early on would have a massive impact on his game and personal development. The trip to Verona, Italy is the first of many international trips for Alpha Football Academy.
We had the pleasure of being invited for a camp at Hellas Verona FC, a Serie B club in Italy. Simply a fantastic opportunity for the four players selected for the camp. With the challenging weather and language barrier, the Alpha U16 players were determined to make the best out of it. The technical ability, tactical awareness, intensity and speed of the Hellas Verona U16 players were of a superior level and rubbing shoulders with them gave us the motivation to work harder. The coaches and staff are completely immersed in the philosophy and methodology of the 100-year-old club, and we learned from their expertise every opportunity we got. This trip indeed was an eye-opener to the quality of football in Europe. This exposure gave us a benchmark to aim for and compete.
The trip was much more than football. The historic city, scenic beauty and culture was something to experience. Staying by the lakeside Hotel Brennero, jogging by the lake to the nearest supermarket, visiting Arena di Verona, Juliet's House, Hellas Store, City Centre and savouring the local cuisine of pizza and pasta just added to an already fabulous time. To top it all off, we had the absolute pleasure of watching Hellas Verona vs Pescara at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi. The 3-1 victory by the home team made this even more special.
It was fascinating to see how the sport of football is embedded in the culture and how vital a sport can be to the city and its people. The knowledge and values learned through this trip will undoubtedly be cherished for a long time.
Statements from Alpha Football Academy
Faiz Ibrahim (DOB 20 JAN 02)
The trip to Italy has been full of excitement and a great eye-opener to the quality of football played by the boys out there. I was amazed by their knowledge of the game, their coordination and teamwork. It was a great learning experience for me and was thrilled that Alpha Football Academy had given me this opportunity to train with the Hellas Verona U16 team. To top it all off, we also witnessed Hellas Verona vs Pescara match at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, which was the first professional match I had watched. The only difficulties I faced was the language and the weather. All and all, my trip to Italy was memorable, and I wish to experience it all over again.
Ali Shah (DOB 02 MAR 03)
The experience was amazing; almost a dream come true. I thank Alpha Football Academy for exploring the possibilities of exposure for us and then making it a real experience. The level of game, intensity and sports culture was entirely different. Interacting and playing with Hellas Verona players gave me the idea of my potential, and I could understand my weaknesses. This realization boosted my passion. Our interview with the Hellas Verona media made me feel pampered. Playing in such a cold atmosphere was terrific. Walking to get the bus, jogging to the grocery store and Meeran sirs late-night ghost stories added more fun to the whole experience.
Junaid Faizal (DOB 05 JAN 05)
My trip to Italy was a wonderful experience in terms of getting a glimpse of Italian football and a different lifestyle. The level of discipline and skill showed by the players there was just remarkable. The drills conducted are different from what we're used to, and it was fascinating to find out more ways to work on my technique to improve myself. Watching the Hellas Verona vs Pescara game was also an eye-opener as it showed how vital the beautiful game is to the people. The energy you feel in the crowd when something happens on the pitch is just indescribable. It reminded me about how passionate people are about football and why it is called the beautiful game. Adapting to the cold weather was difficult as I have lived in the Middle-East for the majority of my life. Communicating with people was also an obstacle, as none of us knew Italian. This trip motivated me to work more as it reminded me that life has its obstacles, and no amount of work you put into something is enough as there is always someone else who works more than you. In the end, it all comes down to how much you do and how passionate you are about achieving your goals.
15 DEC 18
22 DEC 18