Balzan will be hosting its first Under-17 tournament over the Easter weekend where four foreign teams as well as Balzan will be taking part.
The teams travelling to Malta to participate are Italian side Prato, AC Milan Academy (Sydney), Santa Sofia Calcio and Caltanisetta. The teams will play in a round-robin tournament over the weekend, with the Final to be played on Monday April 1.
Balzan FC Honorary President Anton Tagliaferro said “To have four foreign teams travel to Malta to play in a tournament hosted by us is another major step forward for the Balzan youth sector. It is also a further sign of the club’s commitment to provide Balzan’s youth teams with the opportunity to develop further by playing against top players from other parts of the world. I have to thank Silvan Ciscaldi and Peter Cipriott for working so hard to make my dream of hosting an international youth tournament at Balzan a reality.”
“We would like to thank all the overseas teams for participating in our tournament but in particular I must thank the AC Milan Sydney team who are literally travelling from the other side of the world to be here. I also must thank AS Prato for participating. Prato are a professional Italian team who are currently top of their youth section in Italy. For this I have to say a special thanks to Prato President Paolo Toccafondi for his enthusiasm in accepting Balzan’s invitation.”
“I am also pleased to say that many boys from AC Milan in Sydney will also be trialling with many top Italian and English clubs while in Europe in April, with several boys also staying on in Malta for trials with Balzan.”
During these four days of football, the AC Milan Academy coach Francesco Zanoncelli, will be holding an instructional meeting for all coaches. This will be held at the Balzan Training Grounds. Zanoncelli, who is a UEFA PRO Licenced coach, spent six years with the AC Milan Youth Team before becoming a Professional Player with AC Milan.
Balzan appointed Italian professional youth coach Riccardo Tumiatti as the Technical Director of Coaching for the club on a 3 year contract in January 2013 .
“I am very pleased with the fantastic progress that Riccardo has made in only 2 months at the club. He is taking Balzan’s youth development programmes to a level never seen in Malta before, introducing a professional training methodology which all coaches are following. He has got everybody behind him including all the coaches, parents and players at the club. These are very exciting times to be involved with the Balzan football club,” concluded Tagliaferro.