The Youth Football Association will be inaugurating its new premises at the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali on Thursday 17th March. This was revealed by Youth FA president Fr Hilary Tagliaferro during a press conference at the W.O.W. Hall, Millennium Chapel, Paceville.
Fr Hilary said this was an important milestone for the association since its foundation twenty-nine years ago. He explained that the actual beginning was the setting-up of the ?entru Sport Edukattiv in Marsa in 1972 as this was the first football nursery although it was on a national scale.
The Youth FA President said that after he quit coaching at senior level in 1970, he had asked the government to provide the land at Marsa in order to set up a sports centre. About a decade later, a football school was established at Ta’ Qali. Fr Hilary said that the need was felt to set-up an association with a proper statute which would cater for youth football, therefore getting rid of the concept of having anyone creating a youth football team. The Youth Football Association was founded in 1982 comprising about ten nurseries at first. The association can now boast of forty-nine members.
In 1982, the Youth FA took the premises of the ?entru Sport Edukattiv in Market Street, Floriana and since then, these premises had served as the association’s headquarters.
Fr Hilary explained that during the annual Youth FA presentation this summer, new MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo had expressed his views regarding the fact that the Youth FA should be at the heart of football in Ta’ Qali.
The YFA President thanked Darmanin Demajo and MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo for making sure that the new premises were completed in a short period of time. He said these new premises will be serving the Youth FA’s needs as the association will also be able to make use of the other facilities in Ta’ Qali. Fr Hilary said that the association could now work hand in hand with the MFA even closer than ever.
Fr Hilary concluded his speech by thanking all those who had served in the Youth FA Council throughout the years and also the coaches and volunteers of the ?entru Sport Edukattiv together with the football nurseries which make up the Youth FA. He also thanked the main sponsors of the association, namely APS Bank and Farsons, through the brand Gatorade, together with the Malta Football Association who supports the Youth FA in various ways.
Youth FA General Secretary Joe Micallef spoke in detail about the programme on the occasion of the opening of the new premises. The programme will include speeches by YFA President Fr Hilary Tagliaferro, MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli. This will be followed by the presentation of a total of €152,000 to the licenced football nurseries as part of the solidarity payments by UEFA. The premises will then be inaugurated by the MFA president and blessed by the YFA president.
Micallef announced that thanks to an agreement with the Kunsill Malti g?all-iSport, a seminar will be held for administrators in youth nurseries. He said that the KMS will be offering its services to youth nurseries with regards to the provision of speakers about various topics for the latter’s seminars.
The YFA General Secretary said that a football festival meant for children who usually fail to make it to the starting line-ups in their teams, as part of an EU project turned out to be a success. It was also revealed that the Youth FA is planning to introduce a new competition for the Under-13 age group.
Joe Micallef also revealed that discussions are currently underway with the MFA Technical Director Robert Gatt about possible changes to the set-up of the Youth FA leagues and festivals.