Let me introduce myself – my name is Tine Župan, I am the head of marketing and PR for NK Olimpija, a reputable club in the Slovenian First League, with a long tradition and a multitude of loyal supporters. I would like to use this opportunity to share with you our honest impressions from the club’s preparation session held in Umag.
Reasons for choosing this location
What I want to emphasize primarily is that our stay in Umag went spectacularly! We arrived with our senior team to get ready for the matches coming up ahead of us, which is why we chose the best location possible – Umag. The reasons why we picked it as a base for our winter training are plenty. First of all, the proximity of the destination, just an hour and a half away from Ljubljana; and then there is the quality of the football infrastructure at our disposal here in this beautiful city in Northwest Istria.
The course of preparations
In addition to the fantastic location, our choice was also affected by the possibility of cooperation with plenty of good teams that took part in the preparations with us, as well as the opportunity to organize friendly matches with many international football teams. And though you can’t go against nature, not even the rainy February weather could keep us from going through the preparations on the level we wanted. We stayed in Umag for two full weeks, during which time we played a whole series of practice matches with different regional teams, and even those outside it, which had an extremely positive effect on the team.
Hotel accommodation and sports infrastructure
Besides the training facilities, which were excellent, we also had very satisfactory hotel accommodations intended specifically for athletes. We were delighted with the Sol Garden Hotel, which we consider an outstanding establishment. Moreover, we have nothing but praise for the hotel restaurant and gym, which was at our footballers’ disposal, and big enough to accommodate the entire team’s needs. I would like to particularly commend the five fields (four with natural and one with artificial grass) at the Stella Maris Football Camp located near the hotel and also equipped with excellent training facilities. The field we were appointed to was excellent quality, but unfortunately we did not get to use it as much as we wanted due to the rain, which disrupted the course of the preparations. But I am sure we will have plenty of opportunity to make up for it.
Excellent local support
What was of the utmost importance of us during preparation was local support, and we were more than happy with the service provided by Istraturist – from the hotel accommodation to the football assistance. I believe we will keep coming back to Umag in the years to come because we are very satisfied with the service provided here. Umag truly deserves the title of an elite sports destination when it comes to football. The preparations for the new Juventus Soccer School Summer Camp set to be held in Umag again, last year’s visit of Manchester City, which held its preparations in Novigrad, and finally the fact that this year the junior and women’s teams of this reputable club are expected to return, all speak to the same idea. Many interesting clubs choose this destination for their football preparation, one more reason why we should also come back and perhaps even arrange some form of cooperation with some of the stronger teams.