Bernardo Vital, Gabriel Castro and Afonso Valente sign for U23
Three players from Estoril Praia’s under-19 team arrived on Wednesday, July 31, to agree to join the under-23 squad, which is in the Liga Revelação, a competition organized by Federação Portuguesa de Futebol.
Accompanied by President Alexandre Faria and Vice President Víctor Neves, the players Bernardo Vital, Gabriel Castro and Afonso Valente were welcomed by SAD President Jeff Saunders.
Bernardo Vital, an 18-year-old central defender, will wear yellow for the fifth year in a row after two years in the under-17 team and two more in the under-19 team. At 1.84 meters, the athlete says that it is “an honor, but also a responsibility to wear the Estoril Praia jersey. An 80-year-old club with a rich history. ”
Gabriel Castro, 18-year-old right-back, started football at the age of 5, having first year with Estoril Praia’s jersey last season. “I was very well received and welcomed at Estoril, even though the championship is already underway. The integration was quite natural. The formation of Estoril Praia is very united and cohesive, which makes everything easier,” said the young player of 1.80 meters tall.
Regarding the rise to U23, Gabriel says that “it is a great vote of confidence. I see this opportunity as a reward for the work I have been doing in training, but it must be remembered that this is only the beginning, we must continue to work towards the next goals ”
Afonso Valente has been in Estoril Praia since he was three years old, claiming to be “100% Estorilista”. Aged 18 and 1.73 meters tall, Afonso follows the footsteps of brother Duarte Valente and joins the professional team of Estoril Praia in the 2019/2020 season.
For Afonso Valente “wearing the Estoril Praia jersey, whatever the age, is always an honor. I know this from a very young age and I am motivated in this new stage.”
A midfielder who can play “at 8 or 10”, Afonso believes that “all the youths of Estoril Praia’s team want to make the leap for the professional team”, leaving an advice to all: “ The formula is always the same, work, dedication and focus, with this things happen naturally ”, still confessing that“ playing alongside Duarte? It’s a dream for me and my family. ”
The three young players are already part of the Estoril Praia U23 squad, continuing to train at the Estoril Center of Excellence, where they are preparing for the first game of the Liga Revelação, to take place on 12 August, in Matosinhos, against SC Leixões.
In the photo: Alexandre Faria, Bernardo Vital, Jeff Saunders, Gabriel Castro, Victor Neves, Afonso Valente.