The boot room at the Academy of Light

Maltese youngsters visit

by Ashley Houghton

Trio from Justin Haber Academy head to Wearside.

The Justin Haber Football Academy in Malta is approaching its first anniversary and has reason to celebrate after a successful year in connection with the Black Cats.

Three of the youngsters who are coached at the Maltese academy, named after Malta keeper Justin Haber, were invited over to the Black Cats’ Academy of Light.

Leo Agius, Steve Farrugia and Nathan Vella all trained with the academy with young Leo doing so well that he has been invited over for a second period of training at the end of August.

Steve McClarence, Head Coach at the Justin Haber Academy, has been delighted with the progress made in Malta.

“We hope that this partnership between Sunderland AFC and the Justin Haber Academy will improve Maltese football and enhance Sunderland's profile in Malta in the future,” he said.

“Leo has shown tremendous ability and promise ever since he joined the Justin Haber Academy; over the last four months, Leo has improved significantly because of his drive and determination through the direction of the Justin Haber Academy.

“He loves football and trains with a smile on his face every day so Leo has been invited back to Sunderland Academy to enhance his skills playing with excellent players and being coached by excellent coaches.”

The Justin Haber Football Academy works in association with Sunderland AFC and has programmes for boys and girls aged 3-16 years old.