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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 February 2019

Dubai-based teenager Andrea Borg in line for first-team debut with Peterborough United

The Maltese midfielder, 17, has impressed since joining the club on a trainee scholarship in June and hopes to feature in Friday’s home match against Fleetwood Town at the Abax Stadium.
Andrea Borg runs during a training session with Peterborough United. Courtesy
Andrea Borg runs during a training session with Peterborough United. Courtesy

Andrea Borg, the Dubai-based teenager, could be in line to make his senior debut for English League One side Peterborough United Friday.

The Maltese midfielder has impressed since joining the club on a trainee scholarship in June and was last week rewarded with a two-year professional contract.

Borg, 17, has been training with the first team for the past few weeks, and he was named on the bench for recent league matches against Gillingham and Charlton Athletic.

However, he was an unused substitute as Peterborough won both. Borg also travelled with the squad for last Saturday’s defeat to Coventry City.

An attacking midfielder, he has impressed Peterborough manager Grant McCann again in training this week, and now hopes to feature in Friday’s home match against Fleetwood Town at the Abax Stadium.

“It could be quite emotional, it’s a big stage for me,” Borg said. “Especially coming from Malta, because this doesn’t really happen to Maltese people, they don’t really play in England. So it’s a big step. And it’d be a big moment for my family, too.”

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Having relocated to Dubai with his family at the age of eight, Borg is a product of the It’s Just Football academy.

The former Gems Wellington student has also represented his country at youth-team level, and last month he played for Malta in an Under 19s match in his homeland.

Speaking about signing the professional contract with Peterborough, Borg said: “It’s a good feeling, a massive relief to be honest, because I’ve settled at the club since my scholarship began and have been here some time and now have more to come. So it’s great.

“I was surprised I got it so soon, because I’m still a first-year scholar and so was offered that really early.

“Honestly, I was buzzing when the manager said he was going to offer me a two-year pro. My mum was crying when she found out, she was so happy. It was very emotional for my friends as well.”

Borg credited the senior players at Peterborough with helping smooth the transition to the first team.

The club are 11th in England’s third tier, but with only four matches remaining this season, they are almost certain to miss out on the play-offs.

“At first I found it hard, but it’s getting easier with every week,” Borg said. “Training with the first team was definitely more difficult at the start, because it’s more physical, more intense and the speed is obviously quicker. But I’m settling in well now. It’s good.

“The first-team players have been brilliant, giving me lots of advice and helping me feel comfortable with them.

“My biggest challenge was actually doing the stuff I was doing with the youth team, because I was very nervous at the start. But now it’s good, I’ve kind of conquered that challenge.”

​jmcauley@thenational.ae

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Updated: April 13, 2017 04:00 AM

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