Youth FA Gatorade seminar: Nurseries urged to move along with times

As for the last 11 years, the Youth Football Association hosted it’s Annual Gatorade Seminar for the forthcoming season, with the first round of matches to be played on the 4th September.

After last year’s successful formula, the seminar was again divided in two sections; the administrative session held at the Corinthia Marina intended for nursery officials and administrators and addressed by three experts in their field: medical, marketing and EU grants to help the nurseries modernise their set up, as well as the President of the Malta Football Association.

As for the technical part, the Youth FA, thanks to Fr. Hilary’s vast networking contacts managed to bring over Mr. Valdier Badu Viera, a Brazilian coach with a very distinguished international experience, having coached in four continents and most notably leading Iran to the 1998 World Cup Finals in France. He also has a previous Maltese connection, as he played in Maltese league for Hibernians in the mid-1960’s.

The technical session started with an overview of the Set up and Youth Development Plan by Mr. Tony Garcia (MFA Youth Technical Head Coach) and a lecture with the title “Helping players to help themselves” by Mr. Valdier Badu Vieira, who afterwards carried out a practical training session Luxol St. Andrews Main Ground.

Mr. Joe Micallef, the Association’s General Secretary, opened the administrative session, by confirming that in during the month of September, no Youth FA matches will be played in the afternoon to protect the young players from the scorching sun and heat. He added that in the coming days, the Youth FA will launch a revamped version of the website,, making it more user friendly and enabling more
enhanced user interface, as well as being more visually compelling.

The session continued with a very interesting presentation by Dr. David Attard, the National Team Doctor, who stressed the importance of keeping a medical protocol for all the players. Mr. Paul Zammit, a director of a local marketing company, followed up with a presentation of how to promote your nursery, thus making it more appealing to sponsors. Then, Mr. Mark Causon, an EU Affairs Consultant, urged the nurseries in
attendance to make the best out of the EU funds and explained how to apply for the various grants available in this field.

Mr. Joe Micallef, subsequently read the amendments to the competition rules for this season, most notably, that the U/15 matches will now be played in two 35 minute halves, instead of the previous 30 minutes, that as from next season size 5 balls will be used in the U/15 competition and the new regulations and obligations of registering of permits when local youth football teams go to play in tournaments abroad.

The Seminar’s conclusion was addressed by the MFA President Mr. Norman Darmanin Demajo, who encouraged the nurseries to embrace the future and modernize their vision to move forward. He added that success is not measured just by victory in the pitch, but also by giving a more value added business minded approach to the club and have a well organized structure. The President retaliated once more his vision to have the Youth FA relocated to the Centenary Stadium at Ta’ Qali in the coming months, to be closer physically to the MFA. Mr. Darmanin Demajo also revealed that the MFA is looking at the possibility of appointing a person within the association to assist and help the clubs and nurseries know what grants are available to them, be it EU funds or local ones, such as the ones offered by KMS. He concluded by announcing that Mr. Vic Hermans, apart from being Malta’s futsal national coach, will be taking a wider role, now being also responsible for the coaching education, youth and women’s football.

The Youth FA, would like to thank all those that made this seminar a success, namely Gatorade (Farsons), Mr. Darmanin Demajo, Mr. Bjorn Vassallo, the MFA’s new CEO, Mr. Valdier Badu, Mr. Tony Garcia, Dr. David Attard, Mr. Paul Zammit, Mr. Mark Causon, and last, but certainly not least, all the attendees.