Swieqi United FC held their annual business breakfast at Cavalieri Art Hotel on Saturday where they showcased their squads and aspirations for the 2014/15 season.
Swieqi President Notary Dr Justin Fenech reported that the club continued to grow since last season. The club currently has one hundred and eighty one players registered and will be competing with five teams this season as apart from the senior team, the Futsal squad and the Youths team, Swieqi United has now set-up the Under-17 team and the Women’s team.
After a brief introduction, the coaches of the five teams presented their teams and objectives.
Roberto Debrincat, coach of the senior team, which will be playing in the Second Division after securing promotion at the end of last season, said that following promotion, the squad’s objective for this season, was to cement itself in the Second Division. Even though obvious underdogs, Swieqi United would be looking to play attractive and attacking football with the scope of giving each and every opponent a run for their money.
Swieqi United Futsal coach Zvezdan Vukovic remarked on the positive “One Club” philosophy adopted by the Executive Committee which has seen the Futsal Squad fully integrated within the club structure. This was not a practice that was adopted by many clubs in Malta. The squad will be facing its second season in Premier Division and will be aiming to improve its standing in the league.
Youth team coach Mario Mifsud, who is assisted by Andrea Vella, said that this was the second season for the Under-19 who ended their maiden season in a respectable fourth place. A number of Under-17 players had graduated to the Under-19 squad and with 45 players competing for a place, the team was geared to challenge for a higher league position. Since the pool of players was a large one and since the club does not wish to leave anyone behind, the squads were split in two in order to help further develop the players who were on the fringe of the team. The development squad will be training regularly and will be playing a number of friendlies in order to gain match experience.
The Under-17 squad which will be taking part in competitions organised by the Youth FA is managed by Paul Gatt, Leon Camilleri and Gilbert Micallef. Paul Gatt explained that it was imperative that the main objective of Under-17 training would be the holistic development of players in order that they might effectively challenge for places in the Under-19 and Seniors Squad. In line with this, Leon Camilleri would be offering mental coaching as well, to help bring out the best from the kids. The squad was made up of 28 players and has had a promising pre-season.
The Women’s team is being managed by Jochen Lenders and Max Bartolo. Jochen Lenders gave a brief overview of how the squad, mainly made up of university students, had integrated within Swieqi United and had attracted a total of 30 players. This would be a first experience for the club and for many of the players so he was looking forward at this foundation year as one which would build character and create a united team.
Meanwhile the club was concentrating on the Under-5 to the Under-8 age groups. During these foundation years, the club would be offering a multi-sport programme that would concentrate on football but would also expose players to a number of other sports. This was mainly due to the fact that the club wants to create athletes that have a love for sport. As the kids will grow they will then start specialising in the sport they love the most.
Swieqi United’s MFA Relations Officer Mauro Miceli said that the club was involving itself within the MFA structures in order to help modernise Maltese Football. He voiced the Ccub’s backing of MFA’s initiative to tackle the thorny issue of parameters, saying that this was long overdue.
Swieqi United President, Notary Dr Justin Fenech reported that the club had founded the “Swieqi Sports Association” together with Swieqi Overseas Rugby Club and Swieqi Phoenix Handball Club. The Association will work together in a number of ways and will foster the idea that clubs should collaborate together especially in the development of young athletes.
Da Vinci Hospital Managing Director Dr Pierre Vassallo commended the Club on its professional approach and vouched that SUFC players and their immediate families would be receiving the best possible treatment. Josef Pace, head of the Physiotherapy department and Noel Hili, physiotherapist, will be coordinating with the club for on-site physiotherapy while recovery will be conducted at the Hospital.
Swieqi Mayor, Noel Muscat, concluded the meeting by thanking the club for representing the locality in such a commendable manner and wished all squads the best of luck in their respective leagues. Swieqi United President Notary Dr Justin Fenech, thanked all SUFC Committee Members, coaches, players, sponsors, in particular Stargames.com and Cavalieri Art Hotel, and all those who have aided the club.