Under-17, Under-15 leagues' reform unveiled during Youth FA draws

The draws for season 2011/12 of the Youth Football Association’s Under-17 and Under-15 Leagues were held at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali, on Friday. Following a brief introduction by the Vice-President, Robert Attard, General Secretary Joe Micallef proceeded to highlight the reform of these leagues over the next two seasons.

Mr. Micallef started off by stating, that change always brings along different reactions and resistance, however the Association was adamant that these changes were for the good of the game and our young players. This reform which will enable more teams to be promoted and relegated at the end of the season, will make the leagues more competitive and ensure that more teams are still in contention until the last matches.

The Youth FA has not taken these changes lightly, but only came to a decision after numerous meetings with the Technical Centre, some stakeholders, studying of statistics and SWOT analysis.

The Secretary General also stressed that as from this season, for every Under-17, Under-15 and Under-13 match, the team was expected to be led by a UEFA ‘C’ (at least) licensed coach and failure to do so will result in hefty fines. Joe Micallef also revealed that the Technical Centre will publish a booklet in the coming weeks, regulating the festivals and tournaments, listing the size of playing area, goalposts, etc., for every age group.

MFA Technical Director Robert Gatt discussed again the coaches’ issue and insisted that the nurseries have to make the step up and ensure that they have good, fully-licensed coaches in their set up in order to improve the level of our game. He continued that this booklet will assist the nurseries to instil a serious mentality and ensure consistency.

The YFA General Secretary explained that as from this season’s fixtures will be governed by a separate board who will publish the whole season’s fixtures, covering from September to April, in the coming weeks. He also pointed out to the changes made to the Association’s Competition Rules and Disciplinary Board, mainly in order to eradicate the violence from the beautiful game.

The sequence of matches and the updated Competition Rules will be available on the Association’s website (www.theyouthfa.org.mt) in the coming days.

At the end of the meeting, Joe Micallef revealed that this season’s Youth FA seminar, to be held on the 10 September, will be addressed by Andy Roxburgh, UEFA’s Technical Director.

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