Youth FA president: "Always strive to improve"

YFA-AGM-2013-14The Youth Football Association held its Annual General Meeting for the season 2013/14 last Saturday morning at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali.

YFA President, Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro opened the meeting by welcoming the member delegates to the AGM and congratulating the Malta FA for organising successfully the UEFA Under-17 Championship. Fr. Hilary said that this was an accomplishment for the whole country and even more so for the Youth FA and its member nurseries, who contributed by providing a good number of volunteers during the event, as well as assisting to ensure a good turnout for all the Championship’s matches through the nursery players.

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The Youth FA has co-operated with the Technical Centre, throughout the whole of last season as with regards to its fixtures, in order to enable the best preparation possible for the national team players. Although this has caused some disruptions to the member nurseries, as well as the Association itself, the Youth FA President said that all should be proud to have been part of this huge success.

The President prompted the nurseries’ administrators and head coaches to focus on supporting the children entrusted in their care to become better persons through sports and assist them to develop into better players for the Maltese clubs and national teams, rather than having results and winning at all costs at their centre of attention. Fr. Hilary concluded his opening address by encouraging the nurseries administrators to embrace the new YFA Green Passport, as apart from projecting a professional image and being an additional administrative tool, it also gives a personal status to the players and promotes football as a component of their education.

Youth FA General Secretary Joe Micallef presented a detailed report on the 2013/14 season which included 600 matches in the Under-15 and Under-17 APS leagues and knock out competitions, apart from the Under-13 Inħobb il-Futbol Events, the Under-13, Under-11 and Under-9 festivals. Mr Micallef remarked that the Under-11 festivals reform, introduced this season to incorporate culture, education and a more professional approach with fun football was a total success, so much that the YFA was thinking of expanding it beyond the five events held this year.

The General Secretary remarked that the Technical Centre had recommended further reforms to the U15 and U17 leagues in order to ensure more competitiveness and that this will be discussed in a consultative meeting on the 2nd July, involving all the stakeholders. Joe Micallef also highlighted the way forward for the Association which will include more reforms in the football festivals to ensure that more children play football, amends to the Statue and competition rules, as well as better administrative tools to ensure a more professional approach.

He concluded his intervention by announcing the winner of the Most Promising Youngsters, Under-17 Joseph Mbong (Paola Hibs), runner up – Aiden Farrugia (Sliema W.) and Under-15 Ian Busuttil (Pieta H.), runner-up – Gianluca Bugeja (Rabat A.), while the APS Play Fair Awards went to Lija/Iklin Nursery (U17) and Mtarfa Nursery (U15).

All five Youth FA Officials were uncontested and confirmed for the next two seasons as follows:-

President – Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro
Vice Presidents – Joe Cassar and Robert Attard
Hon. Treasurer – Alfred Cacciattolo
General Secretary – Joe Micallef

The following were elected to form part of the YFA Council as nurseries representatives for the 2014-15 season:-
Mario De Battista (Luxol St. Andrews); Godwin Aquilina (Santa Venera); Charles Cassar (Rabat); Alex Pace (Sliema) and Simon Spiteri (Mtarfa).

The YFA President concluded the AGM by urging the nurseries administration to always strive to improve and to take the risk of stepping out of the comfort zone by taking on new challenges.