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Ylenia Carabott heads to Charleroi

Ylenia Carabott will start a fresh chapter in her career as she will be plying her trade in Belgium in the upcoming season after signing for RCSC Charleroi.

Carabott had several offers from Italy, Greece and Cyprus. The Malta forward was also in advanced talks with English side Portsmouth before she opted to accept the Belgian club offer.

The Malta international travelled to Belgium this week and immediately joined the squad for a pre-season training camp, with the Belgian league pencilled to start on August 28 as Charleroi will take on Gent, who placed third in the 2019-20 season.

“After a difficult season in Italy, I wanted to measure myself overseas again,” Carabott told the Times of Malta.

“Last season was still an important campaign for me as I feel I have stepped up my level as a player, while also serving as a learning curve from a personal point of view.

“As long as I still have the opportunity to play in competitive leagues, I want to continue to relish these chances and remain at the top of my game.”

RSCS Charleroi is one of the new faces of the Belgian top-flight after the league was

expanded from six to ten teams, with Zulte Waregem, WS Woluew and Eendracht the other teams who will be featuring for the first time.

Owned by the Belgian FA president Mehdi Bayat and known as Zebras, Charleroi started as a partnership with Girls Foot Academy.

Carabott will be coached by Philippe Venturoso and the team is already assembling itself with various new signings including Iran international Yasaman Farmani and Ludmila Matavkova of Slovakia.

Carabott will be the second Maltese female player to feature in the Belgian league after Rachel Cuschieri’s one-year spell in 2017-18 with Anderlecht with whom she scored six goals on the way to winning the league title.

For Carabott, 31, this will be her fourth experience away from the Maltese islands. Last season she was in the Italian Serie B with Chievo Fortitudo Women, with whom she scored her first goal in a Coppa Italia encounter against Novese.

She also faced Italian giants Juventus in the same competition before the season came to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previously Carabott had spells at Swedish duo Alby FF in 2012 and three years later at Ange IF.

Carabott has enjoyed a distinguished career at domestic level, hailed as one of the best ever products in the Maltese game.

The clinical forward has topped the local scoring charts nine times – eight in a row between 2009 and 2017.

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