The new premises of the Youth Football Association at the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali were inaugurated on Thursday by MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo in the presence of Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli.
Youth FA president Fr Hilary Tagliaferro said that the association had been working for the good of youth football for the past three decades. He said youth football was of utmost importance for the game in Malta and that without these youths, top level football in Malta would not exist.
He said that Norman Darmanin Demajo had promised to offer the Youth FA new premises at Ta’ Qali and in a few months’ time following his election as MFA President, he maintained his promise.
MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo, on the other hand, said that it was only natural for the Youth FA to be located at the cradle of football at Ta’ Qali.
Darmanin Demajo said that association wanted to invest in grassroots football. He said that the association will be providing the head coaches of nurseries with the proper coach education and then they will pass on their knowledge to the coaching staff within the nursery. The MFA Technical Centre will be working on the standardisation at youth level with regards to festivals for children aged 5 to 13.
The MFA President said the association is developing software which will provide the necessary information which would help nurseries organise themselves better. This software will be provided for free. He said the association wanted to make Ta’ Qali an open learning centre, providing support to clubs and nurseries.
Darmanin Demajo revealed that the MFA Technical Centre will introduce once again the regional system. Malta will be divided into three regions and Gozo being the fourth region. He said that through this system the players could be monitored much better and would make sure that the very best players will be selected.
He concluded by thanking those involved in some way or another in the building of the new Youth FA premises which will make Fr Hilary’s dream come true. He said that these new premises were now the Home of Youth Football.
Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport Clyde Puli said the ?entru Sport Edukattiv founded by Fr Hilary in 1972 laid the foundations of the different sports programmes of the Kunsill Malti g?all-iSport.
He said the government will continue to work hard to increase participation in sport and said that children in Years 3, 4 and 5 will be practicing three basic sports – athletics, gymnastics and swimming – for a number of weeks. This would hopefully encourage them to start practicing a particular sport.
Puli concluded his speech by saying that although one does not necessarily have to train on a professional basis, one could take a professional attitude towards sport.
The new premises were then inaugurated by the MFA president in the presence of the Parliamentary Secretary. Darmanin Demajo and Puli proceeded to sign the visitors book.
The ceremony was followed by the presentation of the UEFA solidarity funds for youth football to all the licenced nurseries.
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