Season 2012-2013 is officially underway for the Youth Football Association with the draws of the Under-17 and Under-15 Leagues which will be sponsored once again by APS Bank.
The Vice-President of the Youth FA, Robert Attard, opened the meeting by applauding the fact that thanks to the valuable work being done by the MFA, Malta will host the UEFA Under 17 Championship finals in 2014, where Malta will be among the finalists for the first time as the host nation. All this requires much preparation and the MFA Technical Centre is doing its utmost to prepare the team for those finals, by participating in tournaments and training camps frequently.
Robert Attard continued that the Youth FA must do its part and cooperate with the Technical Centre team so that our National team is well prepared for these finals. This could mean that those teams who have players called to the national team, both at U/17 and U/15 levels, can experience changes in their sequence of matches.
The Secretary General of the Youth FA, Joe Micallef, explained in detail the changes made in the Competition Rules of the Association from this season. He stressed that all changes made,were for the good of the game and the players themselves, in order to continue with the philosophy of the Association – ‘We Care’.
Joe Micallef announced that as part of its Football Social Responsability, the Association felt the need to include in its fold, children who are illegal immigrants, to participate in the league and festivals organised by the YFA. He recalled a case where a child had been training for years with a particular Nursery, but could never participate in any event because he did not have the necessary documents. The Association felt that, having made the necessary audits, such children should be included in its competitions. The Secretary General emphasized that the Youth FA will not tollerate any abuses of with regards to registrations and poaching, and that nurseries found guilty of such offences will be removed from the league.
The Youth FA general secretary pointed out also that as from this season another important reform is being introduced, that of the Medical Protocol, where every player who attends one of our nurseries needs to be visited and certified by a doctor. This Medical Protocol is mandatory for every player, aged 6 years upwards, because the health of children who are entrusted in the care of the nurseries should be first and foremost.
Micallef concluded by recalling that every season, the APS FairPlay Award will be awarded to the most sportive and well-disciplined Nursery with € 1,000 in vouchers for sports equipment.
The fixtures for season 2012-2013 will be published in coming weeks, while the first game, of almost 800 matches, of the season for the Youth FA, will be played on Saturday the 1st September.