Watch: “Don’t let anyone tell you that football is only for men” – Nicole Sciberras

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Video and editing by Miguela Xuereb

18-year-old Nicole Sciberras’ dream is to eventually become a professional footballer playing in the Italian Serie A. 

Newsbook.com.mt had a chat with Nicole who was signed by Juventus Women Primavera in August, becoming the first Maltese to join the legendary Italian team. Currently, in Malta ahead of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 qualifier against Italy which will be played on the 4th October at the Centenary Stadium, Sciberras spoke about her dreams and new adventure away from Malta. 

The teenager, who plays in right fullback position, recently netted her first goal with Juventus Women Primavera. Speaking about her current experience, Sciberras said that before every Juventus game she is excited and eager to achieve more. 

Sciberras started playing football at the age of 10 with Mosta. Even in primary school, she would play football with the boys. 

From the very beginning, Sciberras found the support of her family during her ventures in sport. “They were always there for me,” she stressed. 

Asked whether she still encounters people who tell her that football is man’s game, Sciberras remarked that this mentality is still around, however the situation is improving, she observed. 

The first time she left for Italy, Sciberras was just 16, at an age when most of the young people are still living with their parents. She already had two seasons with Grifone Gialloverde under her belt before signing to Juventus. She sat for her A-levels while training in Italy. Asked how she balances between her studies and training, Sciberras emphasised the importance of time management and self-discipline.  

She is currently reading for a degree in Sports Science and Coaching in Football. 

Managing her time well means that Sciberras spends her mornings studying and afternoons training. She trains every day, with a day of rest following a game. 

Professional football

“My dream is to continue playing and be a professional footballer,” Sciberras told Newsbook.com.mtThe determined teen stated that she will continue striving towards achieving more in professional football. 

Speaking about personal and professional growth, Sciberras described her experience with Grifone Gialloverde as “fundamental”, adding that it was the first step for her to get to where she is now. This experience helped her grow; from cooking to taking care of herself. 

Last Sunday, Sciberras played a full game in Juventus Women Primavera, and the team won 4-0 against Lady Granata Cittadella. During the previous game, Sciberras netted her first goal with Juventus. She described the game as a memorable one. “I couldn’t believe it, I was jumping for joy!” she recalled, adding that it was difficult to play on the pitch. Sciberras said that it was a memorable one.

“Whenever we are playing away, young children are in the stadium watching the game. They high-five us, ask to take a photo with us and ask which number we were wearing,” Sciberras remarked, “It is a beautiful experience.”.

Malta’s national team

Speaking about her experience with the national team, she affirmed that it is an honour to wear the country’s gear. Her emotions come to the fore when the national anthem is sung at the beginning of the match, she added. 

Speaking ahead of the upcoming match against Italy, she said that the team is busy preparing for it and eager to play against the Italian team, some of whom play with the older Juventus team. 

“My dream is to play in Serie A”

Sciberras stated that her dream is to eventually play in Italy’s Serie A, adding that she will continue working towards that dream. 

At the end of the interview, in her message to those who would like to start football, Sciberras said that it is important to never give up and she appealed to those girls and women who would like to take up the sport not to be discouraged by those who say that it is a ‘man’s game’. She also encouraged those who would like to take the leap and play abroad to do so. 

“It’s a beautiful and unique experience,” she concluded.