YFA’s 10th Annual Gatorade Seminar for nursery coaches and administrators

The Youth Football Association celebrated its 10th Annual Seminar sponsored by Gatorade by putting together an impressive line-up of speakers and instructors, including UEFA’s Technical Director, Mr. Andy Roxburgh. The Youth FA’s President, Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro, revealed that he befriended Mr. Roxburgh many years ago and kept in contact over the years.

As in the last years, the seminar was divided in two parts, one for the nursery administrators, held at Le Meridian Hotel in St.Julians and a lecture and practical session by Mr. Andy Roxburgh, for the grassroots coaches at the Luxol St. Andrew’s football grounds. UEFA’s Technical Director first instructed the coaches about how Barca benefit from player development and then led a practical session focusing on scoring options.

After a brief introduction by the Youth FA Vice-President, Mr. Robert Attard, he introduced Mr. Bjorn Vassallo to officially open the administrators’ session. The Malta FA CEO, praised the Youth FA Council for putting together a very interesting seminar, in a very hectic week which included two National ‘A’ team Euro 2012 qualifying matches, two U/21 European Championship qualifiers and the Futsal International Tournament.

The Malta FA’s CEO reminded that those present he knows very well the reality that local nursery administrators face everyday, as he was still involved at club level until just over a year ago. Mr. Vassallo stressed that we should continue investing in grassroots and youth levels, as the MFA has done over recent years, as this is the cradle of the beautiful game. He continued that we have gone long way in infrastructural investment and the MFA will strive to ensure that there are adequate facilities in each and every locality in Malta. The MFA’s CEO said that these sports facilities alone are not enough to improve our game, but we should also ensure that we have fully qualified coaches at grassroots level, with a positive attitude and mentality, together with continuous practice.

Mr. Vassallo said that due to our small size we can never fully compete with the bigger nations, which have millions of registered players and thousands of qualified coaches, at all levels, but even though the vast majority of those involved in the local game are not professional, our attitude and commitment has to be, if we want to win more points, gain the respect of our opponents and raise the level of our game. He concluded his speech by reminding those present of the MFA President’s words, an appeal to all member clubs and nurseries to step out of their comfort zone and face the challenges that the changes bring along.

Ms. Beverly Cutajar then led an interactive session with the administrators about how to manage stress in their nurseries and Mr. Ray Bezzina explained in depth how to avoid injuries using biomechanical screening. Next in line was Mr. Robert Gatt, MFA Technical Director, who explained comprehensively how the regions system will operate as from this season and the drive to bring football closer to young children, so as to encourage them to take up the sport, thanks to collaboration with the KMS. Mr. Adrian Casha, Head of the MFA Refereeing Department, then looked into the ‘Respect’ issue, Mr. Joe Micallef concluded this highly informative and very well attended seminar.

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