Luxol Sports Club and St Andrews will be organising the 1st Christmas International Football Tournament between the 26th and 30th December at the Luxol Stadium. Fifty-two teams from seventeen nurseries for a total of seven hundred boys and girls will be taking part in the tournament.
The tournament is open to children born after January 2003, 2002, 2001, 1998 and 1997. The nurseries taking part are: Birzebbuga Windmills, Hamrun Spartans, Lija/Iklin, Melita, Mosta, Naxxar Lions, Paola Hibernians, Pietà Hotspurs, San Gwann, Sliema Wanderers, St Patrick, Sta Venera United, Tarxien Rainbows, Valletta, hosts St. Andrews and two foreign academies Raith Rovers of Scotland and Agrigento from Sicily.
Games from the 1998 and 1997 categories will be controlled by MFA referees.
Addressing a press conferene at the Luxol Stadium, St. Andrews Administrator Mario De Battista said the organisers wanted to invite foreign teams for this tournament which had to be a football feast for children, coaches and parents. The main objective was to provide a sporting experience in a sense of respect. All children taking part in the tournament should be given the most playing time possible and they should be allowed Children should be allowed to express their talents without any interference.
Meanwhile between the 28th and 30th December, a training camp will be held for children attending the St. Andrews nursery by the Newcastle United Academy. Coaches from the nurseries taking part in the tournament can assist these sessions which will be valid as one of the Instructional Meetings approved by the MFA Technical Centre. Those interested in attending should contact Mario De Battista by not later than December 20.
St. Andrews Technical Director Pippo Psaila praised the idea behind this tournament and said that for five days, St. Andrews will be the home for the children participating in the tournament. He emphasised that children have the right to be respected in the game they love and this was the reason, RESPECT was chosen as the main theme for the tournament. Psaila appealed to coaches to take this opportunity to attend the training sessions by the Newcastle coaches.
Youth Football Association general secretary said this tournament featured three aspects – the competition, Fun Football and the Instructional Meeting. He said he was glad nurseries are organising such events in a professional manner.
Also present for the press conference were Time International Marketing Manger Edward Borg and St. Andrews president Paul Falzon.