Swieqi United’s main objective will be that of acquiring a premises for the club and training facilities. This emerged from a business breakfast at the Hotel Cavalieri, St. Julian’s on Saturday during which club officials explained the club’s intentions and ambitions for season 2011/2012.
President Dr Justin Fenech said the club, which was founded three years ago, was not set up simply for the sake of creating a football team but was created by a group of young people who love the game and the locality. The club is in fact the first organisation created by civil society in the town of Swieqi.
Dr Fenech said the club knew the value of sport – how it fosters human development, how it gives the opportunity to members to manage a club, how it allows players to get involved and keep fit and how it gives citizens the chance to create culture in the locality.
The Swieqi president went on to explain that the committee was young and dynamic and setting up the club was a big endeavour which shows the strength of youth. He said that although the club has amateur status, it took a professional approach.
The club has established a business plan – a document which allows it to grow in a sustainable manner – helping Swieqi United maximise its exposure and promote the principles it stands for.
Off the pitch, the biggest challenge is finding the premises to serve as a club house and finding a place where to set up the club’s training facilities.
Swieqi United want to increase their pool of players and will be working hard to establish a youth nursery, a football academy, a youths team and a futsal team. Setting up the nursery would be among one of the top priorities as this would give young Swieqi residents the opportunity to train with the club representing their locality.
Dr Fenech concluded by saying that the club had good collaboration with a number of other clubs and will continue to do so in the coming years. The club will also continue to work hard to attract more supporters to the stadium. He thanked the sponsors, committee members, players and supporters for their support.
MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo compared the foundation of Swieqi United FC as that of Luxol and said that setting up a new club, despite a number of difficulties, has its advantages mainly in terms of not being bound by what had been done before.
Darmanin Demajo said football is now in a very crucial situation and that respect for financial fair play is the biggest challenge. He said that for clubs, winning cups was coming at too high a cost and therefore they should change mentality.
The MFA president said that Swieqi should work hard to obtain premises for the club, even in the form of just one room as without premises a club would find it very difficult to survive. Having training facilities, not necessarily in the town, was also of utmost performance.
Darmanin Demajo told Swieqi officials that it would become more difficult as one grows older and therefore, they had to build a good base. He concluded by telling the club to stay the way they were – working for the club for the love of the game.
Robert Arrigo, who is one of the club’s main sponsors, focussed on the clubs’ need of help and appealed to the local council to support Swieqi United.
Swieqi United coach Roland Sollars said he and the club shared the same philosophy and aimed at laying the foundations based on sound values and sports morality.
Sollars explained that together with the club, the idea of forming affiliations with nearby clubs led to the signing of spillovers – fringe players at other clubs who would be given the opportunity to train and play first team football with Swieqi, without excluding the possibility that these players would return to their former clubs should they improve enough.
The Swieqi coach said the biggest difficulty for the club was the fact that they team was training on small-sided pitches.
Sollars concluded by saying that the club’s objectives will be achieved only by hard work and sacrifice.
Committee Hani Arebi explained the club’s marketing strategy which will focus on awareness (magazine and posters), revenue (membership and sponsorships) and public relations.
Ralph Agius Fernandez said Swieqi United wanted to give an identity to Swieqi and appealed for more support by the Local Council. Despite the support of individual councillors, the club is hoping for the council will give it the much needed attention.
Agius Fernandez said that the club was trying to identify a small site where they could set up their club house and said that in the new civic centre, the club would only have to share a room with other organisations.
Gavin Ellul, on the other hand, confirmed that the club will be organising once again two competitions – the Noel Muscat Cup and the Strickland Cup. The latter will be expanded to a four-team tournament.