A group of coaches from the Malta Football Coaches Association will be visiting the FIGC Technical Centre in Coverciano in Italy for a one-week seminar between the 22nd and 29th March. This visit was made possible after the association obtained funds from the European Union Programme Agency through the Lifelong Learning Programme.
Addressing a press conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, St. Julian’s on Tuesday, MFCA president Lolly Aquilina said the association has always tried to give its members the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and experience through such visits. Since it was not always possible to send coaches abroad, the MFCA brings foreign coaches and lecturers from time to time to conduct seminars in Malta.
Aquilina said that the idea behind this visit in Coverciano came during a meeting with Associazione Italiana Allenatori Calcio (AIAC) president Renzo Ulivieri during a AEFCA (Alliance of European Football Coaches Associations) symposium last year. Ulivieri expressed his full support and during a meeting in Croatia, they discussed the MFCA’s plans which were concluded during another AEFCA symposium in Turkey last December.
To make this visit possible, the MFCA applied for funds from the European Union Programme Agency. Meetings between the MFCA and the EUPA were held on the regular basis and the EUPA guaranteed funds, covering travel, insurance, accommodation, fees and the kits for eleven coaches.
Since thirty-nine coaches applied to take part in this seminar, the MFCA appointed a selection board made up of MFCA president Lolly Aquilina, vice-president Emmanuel Micallef and MFA vice-president Dr Chris Bonnett and selection criteria were set.
Thanks to a sponsor, the MFCA obtained enough funds to cover another eight coaches and therefore, nineteen coaches will be making the trip to Coverciano.
The aim of this visit is for the coaches to gain experience which they would then pass on to other coaches in instructional meetings.
Jessica Giordimaina from the European Union Programme Agency said that the Lifelong Learning Programme catered for vocational training, sport, education, culture and youths. Over the past years, various nurseries and the Malta Football Association obtained funds from the Leonardo da Vinci Programme (2007-2013). The Erasmus+ (2014-2020) programme has now replaced this programme but will serve for the same purpose.
Also present for the press conference was Tony Amaira representing the Parliamentary Secretary for Research, Innovation, Youth and Sport.