During the opening speech at the YFA Annual Seminar, Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro revealed that this season the Association will be investing in various projects as part of an educational drive, aimed mostly at the administrators and parents. He continued that the first two projects will include a set of boards with positive messages, in all the football grounds hosting YFA matches, sponsored by Global Security and the Administrators Course in Scotland. The YFA President concluded his speech retaliating his disappointment that some nurseries have withdrawn from the YFA leagues, after the draws had taken place, displaying a lack of fair play, respect, responsibility and basic administration.
The first speaker at this seminar, Ms. Anthea Xuereb, Communications Officer at European Union Programmes Agency (EUPA), urged the football nurseries to make full use of the various training programmes available and explained in detail all the requirements for such submissions.
Ms. Stephanie Rocco launched the Erasmus+ Programme Investing in our people – Scotland 2017, which will enable a number of nursery administrators and YFA Officials to participate in a training programme held at Kilmarnock Football Club in Glasgow. This training programme will include various administrative aspects, such as best practices, ethics and interactive networking. This was the only local sport related project accepted during the last Erasmus+ presentation, a worthy reward for months of preparations and matter of pride for all connected with YFA.
Secretary General, Joe Micallef introduced a new standard centralised email system to be used by all nurseries and YFA officials, in order to ensure better communication. Dr. Roberta Lepre and Ms. Isotta Rossini from the Victom Support Unit delivered a presentation – Together against bullying. Next up was Joseph Armani, who revealed that his son, Denzel, a Birkirkara youth nursery player himself, will be presenting a tv programme, #D21, on the national broadcaster focusing on football nurseries as from this October.
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Robert Gatt (MFA Technical Director) and Stephen Grima (MFA Director of Coaching) explained in detail the stringent demands required to qualify for the newly launched Elite Academy pilot project and the way forward. Stewart Said (YFA Statistics Officer) delivered an interesting presentation detailing the figures of the U17 & U15 APS Bank Leagues from last season. Amongst the various figures included in this presentation, one can find the number of minutes played by each player, disciplinary records and goals scored statistics.
In the closing address, Norman Darmanin Demajo revealed that this seminar was an annual appointment he genuinely looked very forward to, as it focused on development and growth, an enduring success which cannot be measured by the trophies won, but by continuously progressing. So much so that he suggested to that the Youth FA should consider introducing another seminar, mid-season to enhance further the communication lines between the nurseries, YFA and the same MFA. The Malta FA President revealed his greatest disappointment at not having enough Maltese players plying their trade abroad. Despite the MFA, in particular the Technical Centre doing their utmost to facilitate this, it was ultimately down to the players themselves to forge a career abroad. The MFA President concluded his speech by thanking all those involved in any capacity in the running of the football nurseries, especially their dedication to the development of the beautiful game at grassroots level.
The Seminar, held at the Palace Hotel in Sliema, was concluded with a networking lunch, involving all participating administrators, coaches and officials. Ludovico Micallef and Robert Attard, MFA and YFA Vice Presidents respectively, were also in attendance.