Malta international Ylenia Carabott will continue the 2019-20 season in Italy after penning a one-year deal with Serie B side Chievo Fortitudo Women.

For Carabott, 30, this will be her third experience away from the Maltese islands but her first in the Mediterranean’s heel.

In fact, her previous spells where both in Sweden at Alby FF in 2012 and three years later at Ange IF.

 “It has always been my dream to embark on a foreign experience but after suffering long-term injuries in a span of two years, my hopes were all but dashed,” Carabott told Times of Malta.

“Although I had already two spells abroad – both in Sweden – I continued to chase another opportunity to play in a different country and finally my commitment and the contribution of my Birkirkara team mates has paid dividends.

I feel that this is a different challenge from the ones I had in Sweden as I will be plying my trade in a much more competitive league, where I can eventually improve as a player.”

Carabott has enjoyed a distinguished career at domestic level, hailed as one of the best ever products in the Maltese game.

The clinical forward has topped the local scoring charts nine times – eight in a row between 2009 and 2017.

In the women’s league, Carabott played with Raiders, Hibernians and Birkirkara. It is with the Paolites where Carabott established herself as a proving scorer with 328 goals in 245 appearances, winning every domestic silverware in the process.

At Birkirkara, Carabott played a key role with her 12 goals in 24 games as the Stripes clinched the league and the cup in the 2019-20 season.

She played in the Women’s Champions League where she was part of the Birkirkara side that clinched a point in the qualifying stage of the competition in the 2018-19 campaign – the second time a Maltese representative recorded such result after Hibernians in 2015.

At international level, Carabott collected 80 caps – her last in the recent Women’s Euro 2021 qualifier away at Bosnia.

In Carabott, Chievo Fortitudo will be adding a highly-experienced and proven scorer to their ranks as they look to be one of the most competitive teams in the Serie B Femminile.

 “For me, this is a big step in my career as I will be joining a team whose ambition is to challenge for the Serie A promotion,” Carabott explained.

“Moreover, I think that this move, together with the deals that my fellow Maltese players have penned in Italy, means that female players are being more courageous in taking such leap in their careers.

I believe that in Malta there is a good number of individual talents who are all able to play abroad – that is the next step for the growth of the local women’s game.”

This will be the first year of collaboration between Chievo and Fortitudo.

Last season, the Verona club ended their relationship with Valpo despite managing to secure their Serie A status on the final day of the season.

Meanwhile, Fortitudo are a renowned team in the Italian second-tier with Carabott becoming the second Maltese to play for them after Martina Borg’s spell last season.

Led by Diego Zuccher, Chievo’s team has a mix of youth and experienced players including former Italy international Valentina Boni who prior to her arrival at Fortitudo she had registered a staggering 208 goals in 326 games between Serie A and Serie B.

After two outings, Chievo have collected three points – a 3-0 win over Perugia and 1-0 defeat at the hands of Lazio.

Carabott has become the fifth Maltese female player to head to Italy after Martina Borg (Sassari Torres), Nicole Sciberras (Juventus Primavera), Shona Zammit (Pink Bari) and Emma Lipman (Florentia San Gimignano).

In the men’s game, there is youth goalkeeper Rashed Al Tumi who is on the books of Serie D Casarano, for whom he has played three games including last weekend’s goalless stalemate away at former Serie A club Foggia.

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