Persistence and determination are fundamental concepts in football. Talent and skill are useful but not enough unless a player imposes his or her character and personality into the game. 

Football is a continuous cycle with ups and downs defining one’s career to the better or to the worst, a cycle which has so far shaped the career of Malta international Martina Borg who is looking to restore confidence in herself at Sassari Torres, the most glorious club in Italian women’s football.

Borg, 23, is in her third year of Italian football and she has targeted the 2019-20 campaign in Sardegna as a very crucial year in her career.

Two seasons ago, Borg had swapped Hibernians for Apulia Trani in Serie C where she had left a good impression in her first spell in Italy.

Her performances earned her a shot in the upper category – Serie B – at ambitious club Fortitudo Mozzecane. 

However, Borg’s experience did not turn out the way she expected as she struggled in getting enough playing time despite the pedigree that she enjoys as a player – winner of every domestic trophy in Malta, a UEFA Women’s 
Champions League participant and a Malta international.

Hence, her next move had to be the right one to redeem herself and prove that she is still able to ply her trade overseas. 

Among the teams that were interested in her, Sassari seemed to be her best destination.

The Sardegna-based club are looking to return to the top-tier where they feel they belong having won a record seven Serie A titles, eight Coppa Italia medals, the Super Cup eight times while reaching twice the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Some of the best Italian players have had a spell at Sassari including current Italy national team coach Milena Bertolini, Roma skipper Elisa Bartoli, Aurora Galli, of Juventus, Carolina Morace (Italy hall of famer) and Patrizia Panico who is now the U-15’s national team coach.

A club eyeing glory in the near future and a player striving to showcase herself – a fitting marriage in which Borg hopes she can thrive.

“Sassari Torres is a club that is given a lot of importance in Sardegna. It enjoys enormous backing from the most prominent people in the region,” Borg told Times of Malta. 

“In every game that we play, you feel that there is a certain respect from our opponents towards our club due to our history. I am very pleased to be part of a team that is looking to return at the highest levels as soon as possible.

“My move may look a step back but I took this decision with the intention of having more playing time while restoring my self-belief to make the most of this opportunity and hopefully I can help this club get into Serie B.” 

Asked about her impressions about the women’s game in Italy, Borg underlined that there is an influx of sponsors into this game and this made her choice easier.

“The game in Italy is an ever-growing movement and that allowed me to stay in Italy where I believe I can improve my level rather than staying in Malta,” she explained.

At Sassari, Borg has already found the net twice – against Pistoiese in Serie C and in Coppa Italia against Caprera.

Speaking to the club’s website, Borg had expressed her relief in finding the net after failing to score a single goal at Fortitudo.

Malta duty

With 36 caps under her belt, Borg boasts having important international experience that can be helpful to the national team.

After being overlooked for the Italy game, last month, Borg is one of the players back into the side and is striving to establish her place in the team. 

“Being left out from the national team was a big upset for me,” Borg underlined.
“Nonetheless, I continued to work hard to earn another shot as soon as possible and now I am happy that I managed to reach this target.

“Israel provides us with a good opportunity to play a more offensive games and hopefully we will have the chance to pick up our first points in the qualifying campaign.

“On the other hand, the Italy game will be another stiff challenge given the huge pedigree of our opponents. But for us it’s an opportunity to make the most of the huge interest that exist in the women’s game in Italy and make a name for ourselves in this match.” 

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