MFA meets coaches, club administrators over national teams' training schedules

There was a good turnout of Premier League coaches and club administrators who met at the Centenary Hall on Saturday to continue the discussion with top MFA officials regarding the schedule for the national team players’ training programme and a continuation of the dialogue over the utilisation of qualified physical trainers and goalkeepers’ coaches.

The Executive Committee had previously discussed the importance of having a goalkeepers’ coach and a physical trainer in all the clubs. CEO Bjorn Vassallo commented on this, and duly referred to the current goalkeepers’ course.

The MFA official showed his dissatisfaction at the fact that only five Premier League clubs sent their goalkeepers’ coaches to the current course which has just come to an end. He also mentioned the fact that even though there is no particular qualification for a goalkeepers’ coach in Europe, the MFA is taking the initiative to educate all those who are willing to show their interest and develop their skills in this specialised sector of coaching.

The discussion then focused on the physical trainer course which produced 13 qualified persons last year and the fact that our association intends to hold the second edition of this course next year. Both president Norman Darmanin Demajo and Bjorn Vassallo stressed the fact that the clubs need more physical trainers to help improve the level of physical fitness of their team players at all levels.

After a long debate between all parties the association identified a solution to have more qualified coaches in the nurseries by introducing another course in between the Coaching Young Footballers (CYF) and ‘C’ level course.

The issue over the national team training schedule then resulted in a healthy discussion, with those present contributing for the benefit of the local game in finding a solution to accommodate both club football and the national team.

Bjorn Vassallo revealed the intention of the association to have second and third division games played in various stadiums around the island, with all matches being played in the afternoon. Premier Division matches will still be played from Friday to Monday whilst the First division matches will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Norman Darmanin Demajo pointed out that it was a no mean feat to plot out the training schedule and to try and satisfy the demands of all the parties involved, while guiding everyone in the coming months. The president finally thanked the MFA CEO, Bjorn Vassallo, for his efforts in this regard.