After a five-day action-packed programme, this year’s Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery Eurosport Christmas Tournament came to an end with Floriana being crowned champions of the Under-14 category. It was a festival of football, where all the participants had the opportunity to guage their potential against their counterparts from other nurseries.
This event was also characterised by a spirit of fair play and respect, with the match officials rarely having to apply severe punishments during the matches. Another important aspect of this tournament was that of charity, where each player contributed with a €2 donation with the amount collected being forwarded to Puttinu Cares.
Like previous years, the Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery 20th Eurosport Christmas Tournament was open for two age groups, the Under-12 and Under-14 categories, with eight teams in each. The Under-12 category did not play on a competitive basis. The teams were split into two groups of four and after playing each other through a round-robin system, they were once again split into two groups according to their placing.
The participating teams were the following:
Under-14 – St Patrick, Pieta’ Hotspurs, Naxxar Lions, Hamrun Spartans, Sliema Wanderers, Birkirkara, San Gwann and Floriana.
Under-12 – Paola Hibs, Birkirkara, Hamrun Spartans, Melita, San Gwann, Mosta, Pieta’ Hotspurs and Valletta.
As for the Under-14s, Hamrun and Pieta’ qualified from Group A while Floriana and Sliema progressed from Group B. It was Hamrun and Floriana who made it to the final after having the best of Sliema and Pieta’ in their respective semi-finals. Floraina went on to win the tournament thanks to a 4-1 win against Hamrun, who were worthy finalists, as the game was evenly poised at 2-1 before Floriana killed the match in the last minutes.
With regards to the tournament’s top goalscrorer, the award went to Jake Grech of Hamrun Spartans, while Naxxar Lions and San Gwann won the Fair Play awards for the Under-14 section and Under-12 section respectively. All players were presented with a commemorative medal at the end of the last match in which they were involved.
The Under-14 category teams were also presented with a trophy according to their final placing. Trophies and medals were presented by Mr Richard Muscat, Mr Fabian Catania on behalf of Eurosport and Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery Chairman Mr Henry Bray.
When the nursery committee asked all participating coaches their feedback, their response was a very positive one both from the technical point of view and also from the socio-educational one. It was surely a great experience from all those involved, and something to look forward to come next Christmas.
Meanwhile during the same week, the Infetti training grounds were also hosting sixty children, including two girls, who took part in training sessions led by coaches from the Atalanta BC youth sector. Mr Andrea Bassi, Mr Matteo Moranda and Mr Andrea Paravisi were aided by some of the Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery coaches who acted mostly as interpreters. This was also an opportunity for the Maltese coaches to apprehend new ways of coaching youngsters.
The children, aged between seven and eleven, were grouped acording to their ages even in the case of the 10 goalkeepers. Each group had a total of four and a half hours training, spread on three sessions. All participants were presented with official Atalanta BC merchandise together with a photo and a certificate. Both children and parents expressed their satisfaction at the end of this experience.
For further details with regards the Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery 20th Eurosport Christmas Tournament and the 5th Atalanta Christmas football stage can be found on www.birkirkaranursery.com.