The 2011 Futsal Festival for schools is due to come to a climax with the Phase Three matches between Monday the 9th and Friday the 13th May to be held at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
As was anticipated this festival, held on an annual basis, has been another successful venture which attracted numerous participants, boys and girls, from those born in 2001 to those born in 1996. This was a wide cross-section of young players comprising pupils in years 5 and 6 in the primary schools sector and going up to students in Form 4 of the secondary schools.
The first phase saw all the school children forming a multitude of teams and playing on a class basis until the most promising participants were selected to form teams representing schools.
In the second phase the school teams played against each other until the most promising participants were selected to form teams representing colleges. This sifting ensured that playing skills reached higher levels since the performers were of better quality as the event progressed.
The final round is now bound to produce the best football, with keen tussles being anticipated at the well laid out complex in Cottonera. The organisers know that such festivals constitute a medium through which young talent can be detected and eventually nursed and developed into good quality footballers both for the five-a-side game and the more conventional 11-a-side football in our country.
The Malta FA is at the forefront in promoting events of this nature and it is invariably helped by the education authorities, the Kunsill Malti ghall-Isport’s Sports Promotion Unit (KMS-SPU) and the sponsors of such festivals. It is through these events that youngsters can have their skills honed and eventually encouraged to take up the game at higher levels.
In this regard MFA officials from the technical sector will be in attendance with a view to picking talented footballers.
The festival programme of matches will start at 9.00 am on Monday 9th May with the official presentation of the equipment which the Malta Football Association is generously contributing to schools, for which members of the media are invited. The first day is due to end by 1.00 pm.
The week-long activity sponsored by Teamsport (providing t-shirts to all the participants and part of the equipment given to all the participating schools) and General Soft Drinks (providing bottled water) will certainly draw much interest from several schools. A novelty this year is that all participating schools, rather than just the winners, will be presented with equipment.
In order to encourage the spirit of camaraderie and fair play the MFA will, as usual, be awarding the Best Support and Fair Play Prizes to the teams representing the colleges. As for support, members of the South End Core will be present to encourage the young spectators to give their full backing to their team and thus imbue in them school pride and eventually passionate support for their country.
The schedule of matches is as follows:
Monday 9 May – Year 5 (born 2001) and Year 6 (born 2000)
Tuesday 10 May – Form I (born 1999) and Form II (born 1998) Girls’ teams
Wednesday 11 May – Form I (born 1999) and Form II (born 1998) Boys’ teams
Thursday 12 May – Form III (born 1997 and Form IV (born 1996) Girls’ teams
Friday 13 May – Form III (born 1997) and form IV (born 1996) Boys’ teams