The second phase of the merger of the Cottonera nurseries into Cottonera United Youth Nursery has started. Details were revealed by Cottonera United president Stephen Spiteri during a press conference at the premises of the Senglea Nursery which is now also the premises of the Cottonera United Nursery.
Spiteri explained the problem clubs in the Cottonera region are facing due to the minimal growth of the population and the decreasing number of children and youths in the Three Cities. He explained that four years ago, the three Cottonera nurseries were challenged with massive problems due to the lack of players in the Under-15 and Under-17 section. This led to the creation of the Cottonera United Youth Nursery as Senglea Nursery, Vittoriosa Stars and St. George’s did not have enough players to participate in the Youth FA leagues. If no action had been taken at that time, these nurseries would have lost all their players and Cottonera would have remained without any active team in the region.
This amalgamation experiment proved to be a success since in the second season of Cottonera United competing in the Youth FA leagues, the Under-15 and Under-17 teams both won their sections and the Under-17 team was promoted to Section B. Cottonera United, last season, was also awarded the “President’s Award” by the MFA President himself as a sign of recognition for the hard work Cottonera United is doing for Maltese football and for the well-thought initiative of merging the three Cottonera nurseries together for the good of the Cottonera children and youths. This idea was also praised by the Youth FA and other small nurseries around Malta are being encouraged to to emulate this idea.
Thanks to this amalgamation, youths with a talent in football are staying in the Cottonera region, thanks to Cottonera United, as they found a good competitive team with a great coaching staff, able to flourish their football talents.
Stephen Spiteri said that following the success of the amalgamation of the Under-15s and Under-17s, Cottonera United worked endlessly to strengthen the Under-13, Under-11 and Under-9 teams as even in these categories, the number of children is well-below average.
Spiteri explained that before this amalgamation, parents of players in the Under-13, 11 and 9 teams used to seek other nurseries outside Cottonera for their children but now, upon seeing the success stories of the Under-17 and Under-15 teams, these same parents are opting to leave their children train and be part of the Cottonera team, the Cottonera United Youth Nursery.
Thanks to this merger, the Cottonera children and youths are having the opportunity to compete in the Youth FA tournaments and this has bought a greater level of quality in the players thanks to the professional team of coaches. This is also encouraging other players to join the Cottonera United nursery. The Cottonera United Youth Nursery is constantly being promoted within the Three Cities in order to attract more children.
The Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa nurseries will continue to exist autonomously and players can register in any of the three teams, so once they have grown out of Cottonera United Nursery, they can continue playing with their respective parent club where they are registered.
This second phase of the merger was greeted by the three parent clubs as this was being done for the sake of the younger generation in Cottonera. In fact, the committees of the three nurseries and their parent clubs have approved the report on the amalgamation of the Under-13, Under-11 and Under-9 categories.
This report has been now sent to the MFA and YFA and is waiting for approval from the same MFA.
Meanwhile Renato Attard, representative of Carpegiani and spokesman for ShoeMark presented Stephen Spiteri with a sponsorship for the Cottonera United nursery. Spiteri thanked Attard for this sponsorship and also thanked the Spiru Mizzi Foundation which presented a donation to the Cottonera United Nursery earlier this season.