Valletta FC Futsal will fly to Macedonia on Monday for their UEFA Futsal Champions League experience in the Preliminary Round.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Valletta FC Futsal coach Xavier Saliba together with his assistant Josef Borg, said the team has been preparing since early July.
“Ending our league commitments in March was not easy to get back to the court after almost three months absent, nevertheless we rolled up our sleeves and we put all our effort to get ready for this challenge.”
Apart from a mixture of local experienced and youth players, the Valletta squad for Macedonia also includes eight foreigners, three from Georgia, an Italian, Spanish, one from Colombia, Serbia, and another foreigner from Libya.
Xavier Saliba spoke about the importance his team stays concentrated for these three matches in Macedonia.
“We watched footage of our opponents, we know this group is a tough nut to crack, thus we have to stay unite, keep focused and avoid stupid mistakes to have a real shout of reaching our objectives.”
Valletta FC Futsal chairman Edward Bartolo spoke about the preparations leading to this important competition, as together with President Chris McKay they put all their efforts to have a competitive side to face this stiff triple test in Macedonia next week.
Bartolo and McKay also focused on the new Futsal League with less teams participating.
They believe the fact that some teams raised the bar and are much stronger, prompted a sour decision from others to stay out.
“Futsal in Malta has improved a lot, in the past we use to have thirty teams or so with so called foreigners who were already settled in Malta and use to play Futsal in their spare time.”
“Today a foreigner is handpicked, he is brought on a high salary just to play his trade in Malta as a professional Futsal player, and help the sport continue to grow,” Bartolo and McKay concluded.
Meanwhile, Valletta will play their three UEFA Futsal Champions League matches next week in the Jane Sandanski Arena in Skopje – on Wednesday they take on Cosmos from Estonia, on Thursday they play Futsamba Naas from Ireland, prior to their final match on Saturday September 1st against host Macedonian Champions, Veles.
Nothing less than finishing first and winning this Group E would guarantee Valletta qualification to the Main Round of this Competition, to be played in the first week of October.