New projects earmarked for the coming six years: construction of school, futsal hall and new stands

The Malta Football Association sees the law on the commercialisation of sports facilities as a great opportunity which both the association and clubs cannot afford to lose and the MFA has already earmarked five projects which could be built on its footprint at Ta’ Qali over the coming years. This was revealed by MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo in the concluding speech of the Annual General Meeting at the Grand Hotel Excelsior on Saturday.

The first project would be that of constructing a National Football School, on the same lines of the National Sports School, and the relocation of the MFA Technical Centre. Darmanin Demajo revealed that in a meeting with Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo, they discussed the possibility of a partnership between the government and the MFA. The MFA President said the National Sports School was a success story and the government agreed to build a second school which would be entirely dedicated to football and which would be built at Ta’ Qali. He said this would be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the development of the game in Malta. Darmanin Demajo thanked the Minister and the government for their commitment and a memorandum of understanding will be signed shortly.

The other projects will be those of the construction of spectator stands for the MFA Training Grounds, the construction of a new Futsal hall and parking area instead of the current parking area in front of the West Stand and the redevelopment of both the North and South Stands at the National Stadium.

In his introduction, Norman Darmanin Demajo said that the AGM was not only meant to report what had occurred over the previous season but was an opportunity to share his ideas. He said that each organisation had to have a strategic plan and his duty as president was to set the agenda.

One area of concern was amateur and grassroots football, especially futsal and women’s football. He said one had to review non-league football and see how the association can assist this sector. The MFA had the responsibility of not only the top clubs but all sectors including amateur football. He said that in the same manner that the FA Trophy was now open for participation for Gozitan clubs, this could also be extended to non-league clubs. Darmanin Demajo revealed that the association was close to reaching a sponsorship agreement for next two years for the FA Trophy.

The MFA President admitted that plans to having a number local players moving abroad to play on a professional players failed to materialise. Possible reasons for this was the lack of self discipline and resilience and the difficulty to settle in a difficult environment. He said that the MFA should analyze this situation and maybe set up a support unit to help these players and make it easier for them to settle down while abroad.

Another area of concern was the lack of administrators at club level. He said older administrators are calling it a day and finding good administrators was always being more difficult. He said this problem needed to be addressed, also considering that stakes were now much higher for administrators and that it was stressful and demanding to be an administrator. The courses which kick-off in September will be the first step.

With regards to the commercialisation of sports facilities, the MFA President said that it was up to the clubs to invest or attract investors in the same way that the MFA is looking at all its footprint and thinking about what it could do with it.

Norman Darmanin Demajo said the association needed the best human resources possible. He said that these need not necessarily be the best people in their areas but they had to have the passion and motivation and be ready to be part of the administration which the current administration managed to bring together. He said the MFA had managed to obtain funds in order to finance courses for continuous professional development.

The MFA President revealed that the association is considering separating commercial activities from governance with the set-up of a limited liability company for this reason.

“Feel part of the association: our success is your success. We all chose football. The best is yet to come,” concluded Darmanin Demajo.

7 comments
  1. Jahasra …imma kif dejjem irridu nbiddlu dak li hu diga tajjeb ueccellenti , meta dan huwa STADIUM UNIKU f’Malta LI NBENA fuq ‘OLYMPIC’ standards !

    Ghallfejn ser neqirdu dik il-panorama li tghatina dak is-SENS ta’ wisa li tant hi nieqsa f’Pajjizna !

    Mhux ahjar l-MFA tIikkoncentra fuq fejn hemm verament il-BZONN , u jirrangaw il-Victor Tedesco is-Centinary u l-Hibs Stadiums ! Grounds b’hall LUXOL u ohrajn huma fi stat ‘PRIMITTIV’.

    Ghandna Tliett PITCHES fejn ser jintlab il-Premier li l’anqas ghandhom il-line of Vision li permess tieghu l-ispettaturi jistaw jaraw il-azzjoni ghax il plejers qrib it-touch line ma jidhrux .

    In -nuqqas ta’ tined u l-istat hazin li jinsabu fih hija haga ohra li titlob rimedju immedjat . Dawn huma biss ftit minn nuqqasijiet ! U dawn huma il-prijoritajiet li ghandha tahdem fuqhom l-MFA u mela iggib li-Stadium Nazzjonali forma ta’ kaxxa u jibnew FUTSAL Pavilion f’nofs il-Parking Area EZATT QUDDIEM il-faccata Principali .

  2. Can the MFA President explain to the would be participants in this so called football school what are their chances to make it to the Premier League when the majority of the Premier League clubs are made of foreign players.

    • My exact opinion,I absolutely agree with you but don’t expect an explanation from the M.F.A.,
      it’s what THEY decide and that’s final, the fan’s opinions don’t count.

  3. I think the face lift of Ta Qali football ground looks fantastic almost like an E.P.L Premier league stadium once completed. I also am impressed with the facilities made for the youths of Maltese kids, who are wanting to give it a shot in a football career, BUT !!! Maltese footballs Associations main focus is to win like any other nations competitions, what is the point of this project, when Maltese clubs are buying their key players, from South America, eastern Europe or some African players, what chance is their for the up coming Maltese kids to shine. I have noticed Maltese clubs in European competitions are achieving more better results lately these days due to overseas bought players. One other thing is there are a few other stadiums in malta, that need a face lift and upgrade, why not fix those facilities instead, the hibs ground i think has a lot of potential and extra room on the other side of the ground to build an indoor facility on it’s own, it is a shame the supporters, don’t get a share in say, but good luck anyways with your plans.

  4. @Raymond – One of the potential reasons for the development of a new Football School would be for these would be participants as you referred to them to have a chance to develop their skills and most importantly their character in a more professional set up – in order for our spoilt players to finally start moving abroad and play at higher levels. The fact that our League is ”filled” with foreign means that our local players are not being developed well enough in their respective nurseries and clubs – So having a new Football School is another opportunity to take on board the brightest prospects at a young age and develop further.
    Reading all the above comments reaffirm how short sighted some Maltese are.

  5. Aaron, The reason that Maltese clubs are doing well in European competitions is that like Malta, we play with minnow teams. They are qualifying rounds between small clubs, so we always have a good chance to beat them. Financially, it is good for the clubs. The foreign players you mentioned coming from those countries are not that good, most of them are released from their contract before the season finishes. Let me take you in the 80″s when the then First Division clubs had two or three ex international Bulgarians playing for each club. Those where the good old days where the foreign players with the best Maltese players in the team created such a furore on the ground. One foreign player I would like to mention is Mark Millar who is still contributing to the game as a Hibs coach.

  6. @ Edward- Can you explain to me how can we improve the development of the young Maltese footballers when the MFA let the clubs dictate how many foreign players they can sign. Isn’t it absurd to let a club to have ten-fifteen foreign players on their books. Once I heard that it is more easier to end a foreign players contract than a Maltese player contract. I do not believe it if it is true. If this is the case let the clubs run the MFA.

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