IT IS going to be a while before Adam Alif Mustafa and Muhammad Firdaus Amirrudin can live down their experience at the recent Allianz Explorer Camp (AEC) – Football Edition in Munich, Germany.
The duo joined 50 other inspiring footballers aged 14 to 16 years old from 23 countries, including Germany, Spain, Argentina, South Africa and Japan, to participate in the camp.
During the camp, Adam and Firdaus took part in daily training sessions with Bayern Munich’s youth coaches at the club’s Saebener Strasse training ground.
There, they were put through their paces, working on various techniques such as passing, ball control and shooting accuracy.
Besides that, Bayern’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara also made a surprise appearance during one of the sessions.
“It is not every day that you get the chance to train at one of the biggest clubs in Europe. I feel lucky to have had that opportunity. Everything was great here from the weather to the training drills and techniques we learnt.
“Even the grounds at Saebener Strasse was amazing. I think this has been one of the best experiences of my life, ” said Adam, 16, from SMK Ahmad in Pekan, Pahang.
Other highlights from the camp include a stadium tour of the Allianz Arena and the chance to watch Bayern’s 3-0 win over Schalke 04 last week in the Bundesliga.
The pair also went on a city tour exploring the Bavarian capital and showcased their skills in a football tournament on the last day of the camp.
“This experience was more than just about football. It was about learning to be in the moment and being able to try thing outside your comfort zone.
“I tried surfing for the first time in my life, made some new friends, and even picked up some new words in German and Polish! I just loved every second of it, ” said Firdaus, also 16, from SMK Khir Johari in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
Allianz Malaysia Berhad chief executive officer Zakri Khir said, “It is vital that we invest in our young people. It is important to inspire them and nurture the development of their talent and abilities as well as the communities they live in. That has always been our aim with this initiative.
“It is truly a privilege to be able to create a pathway for young talents in Malaysia like Adam and Firdaus to live the impossible dream.”
The AEC began in 2009 and is open to teenagers aged between 14 to 16 years old. This is the 11th year that it is being held globally.
The programme debuted in Malaysia in 2012 and is known as Allianz Junior Football Camp – Malaysia League.