For over a decade, Andre Schembri has been flying the Maltese flag high across the world while being on the books of some of the most prestigious football clubs in Europe including Ferencvaros, Boavista and Apollon Limassol.
Earlier this year, Schembri hung up his boots after his one-season stint with Indian Super League side FC Chennaiyin which unfortunately for him ended with a defeat in the league’s final.
Nonetheless, Schembri managed to forge a warm relationship his Indian supporters through his professionalism and charisma… two characteristics that he seeks to transmit to the future generation through a new project on which he embarked, Traainer.
Traainer will be focused solely on the individual development of the player.
“At best, our local players are guessing what the professionals are doing… or using the ‘more is better’ approach,” Schembri told the Sunday Times of Malta.
In fact, Schembri has opted to lay the foundations of this project in Malta to help the young players here measure themselves with footballers in the English Premier League.
“We brought this to Malta first as a privilege and also social responsibility,” he explained.
“We have already had enquires from the English Premier League and professional players in Europe, so it will like expand globally in the future.”
Schembri said that Traainer is targeting players from U-13s and above, and those who display high potential will be selected after a thorough due diligence process.
One of the most common problems in Maltese football that Traainer will tackle is the fact that the participants will receive round-the-clock support, not only on the pitch but also from a physical, nutritional, psychological and tactical point of view.
“The participants will train not just harder but in a smarter way,” Schembri said.
“Our local players would never have continuous access to this kind of support, let alone a team of these.
“We will provide, for the first time ever, access to a team of professionals who all work in the English top-flight clubs and beyond.”
All this support is intended to redefine minimum acceptable standards to develop the local players while preparing them with more individual care in order to maximise their individual potential.
Backing this project will be the commitment that Schembri and his staff will put in order to make sure to support their participants.
“Our first commitment is to meet the participants in person, so that means that we would travel to Malta in order to get to know each other before creating an individual player profile,” Schembri explained.
“This will enable us to benchmark the players against professional players of their age.”
Earn the chance
Remote coaching, the crux of this project, will be introduced in their second commitment as the Traainer stuff starts to create the individual development for remote coaching.
“The third commitment will be related to the monitoring of the players as we will be doing this through player progress reports and ongoing feed-back loop,” Schembri pointed out.
“We will be repeating this cycle three times a year in order to push our participants towards professionalism.”
As Traainer will help the participants to chase their dreams, Schembri wants to point out that by joining his project does not mean that there will be any recommendations.
“One has to earn the right – first, they have to excel at a local level and show us that they are committed to our programme,” Schembri said.
“We probably have the strongest connections Maltese football can offer, with scouts and agents in top professional clubs in the United Kingdom and Europe.
“For example, we have a talent ID manager in Joe Sutton who was a previous scout at Arsenal and has links with all London-based clubs.”
No one better than Schembri can mentor our local players in helping them commit themselves to the dream of becoming a professional football players, hence such project can lay the foundations to help the Maltese game step up its level.
For more details about Andre Schembri’s new project, Traainer, you can visit to the programme’s official Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Traainerdotcom