The great success of previous annual Futsal festivals held on a schools basis, was again much in evidence as phase two of the event was staged at the Cottonera Sports Complex. This attraction drew 56 schools from different parts of the island.
The festival, sanctioned by the MFA and organised through the collaboration of the Kunsill Malti Ghall-Isport and the Sports Promotion Unit (KMS-SPU) started with the first phase in November. Five-a-side matches were played on a class basis in the respective schools, with the participation of the different school classes. After the first phase teachers selected the team to represent each school.
The complex at Cottonera was in contrast to the open venue of the Centenary Stadium where the festival was staged in previous years, and therefore more amenable for both participants and spectators.
During the festival members of the Malta FA were present, among whom Robert Gatt the association’s new technical director, and Vic Hermans, the Malta Futsal national team coach. An innovation this time was the presence of MFA Futsal officials who were in charge of the matches. This was appreciated by the teachers and all those present at the Cottonera Sports Complex.
Such commitment by the referees helped to educate the youngsters on the rules of the game and imbue in them a sense of fair play.
Maltese FIFA Futsal Referee Franco Cachia said the festival was a wonderful experience and a fitting scenario to introduce Futsal in an indoor environment for schools. The festival helped the children to develop as football players as well as Futsal footballers.
National team coach Vic Hermans was of the same opinion, saying that this year another step forward was made as a result of this festival. Futsal referees were invited because the real game has to be introduced to the youngsters as early as possible.
The new MFA technical director Robert Gatt echoed the same views when stating that it is great to bring all children to play five-a-side football in such a pleasant environment. This will help Futsal to grow in our country. Referring to the logo on the T-Shirts given to the participants, he said that it was not only the equation Me+Futsal = Fun, but more than that it was the expression on the children’s faces which indicated that they were really enjoying themselves.
Indeed, the young participants were really pleased to receive the T-Shirts which were presented to them on such an occasion and as a memento of their participation.
The MFA again expressed its satisfaction and thanked all sponsors of the festival for their material assistance, which helped to make the second phase of the event a big success. The main sponsors were TeamSport and General Soft Drinks.
So it is now to the grand finale of phase three. This year it will not be the school winning phase two which will be represented in the final but the elite players selected by the PE teachers from among the teams who took part in the penultimate phase who will represent the college team in the final.
This augurs for real quality five-a-side football in the forthcoming showdown. It should certainly be a
memorable extravaganza of skill and fun.
Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA