It is going to be a while before Adam Alif Mustafa and Muhammad Firdaus Amirrudin can live down their experience at the recent Allianz Explorer Camp (AEC) – Football Edition in Munich, Germany. 

The duo joined 50 other inspiring footballers aged 14 to 16 years old from 23 countries including Germany, Spain, Argentina, South Africa, and Japan to participate in the camp from 22 to 27 August 2019.  

During the camp, Adam and Firdaus took part in daily training sessions with FC Bayern Munich’s youth coaches at the club’s Saebener Strasse training ground. There, they were put through their paces, working on various techniques such as passing, ball control and shooting accuracy. Besides that, FC Bayern’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara also made a surprise appearance during one of the sessions.

“It is not every day that you get the chance to train at one of the biggest clubs in Europe. I feel lucky to have had that opportunity. Everything was great here from the weather to the training drills and techniques we learnt. Even the grounds at Saebener Strasse were amazing. I think this has been one of the best experiences of my life,” said Adam, 16, from SMK Ahmad in Pekan, Pahang.

Other highlights from the camp include a stadium tour of the Allianz Arena, the chance to watch FC Bayern’s 3-0 win over Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga.  The pair also went on a city tour exploring the Bavarian capital and showcased their skills in a football tournament on the last day of the camp.

“This experience was more than just about football. It was about learning to be in the moment and being able to try thing outside your comfort zone. I tried surfing for the first time in my life, made some new friends, and even picked up some new words in German and Polish! I just loved every second of it,” said Firdaus, also 16, from SMK Khir Johari in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Allianz Malaysia Berhad Chief Executive Officer Zakri Khir said “It is vital that we invest in our young people. It is important to inspire them and to nurture the development of their talent and abilities as well as the communities they live in. That has always been our aim with our Allianz Junior Football Camp and the AEC – Football Edition. It is truly a privilege to be able to create a pathway for young talents in Malaysia like Adam and Firdaus to live the impossible dream.”

Allianz Explorer Camp (AEC) – Football Edition in Munich began in 2009 and is open to teenagers aged between 14 to 16 years old. This is the 11th year that AEC– Football Edition is being held globally. The programme debuted in Malaysia in 2012 and is known as Allianz Junior Football Camp - Malaysia League.

Captains of the future: Adam (left) and Firdaus partnered well on the pitch and lead their team to victory in a football tournament on the last day of the Allianz Explorer Camp (AEC) – Football Edition in Munich
Tourist for the day: During their stay in Munich, Adam (left) and Firdaus went on a city tour of the Bavarian capital as well as stadium tour of the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena
Here for the experience: Adam (left) and Firdaus on their first day of the camp. They joined 50 other inspiring footballers from 23 countries to participate in the camp from 22 to 27 August 2019

Surf’s up!: Firdaus (facing camera) high-fives a participant as they try their hand at indoor surfing at the Jochen Schweizer Arena