National coach Ray Farrugia has fond memories of his secondary school years, especially the students’ enthusiastic participation in the ‘colours team’ football competition, while Malta midfielder Rachel Cuschieri, currently playing for Dutch women’s side PSV Vrouwen recalls how her family’s love for football ignited her passion for the game.
These interesting features can be found in the first edition of GOAL, a quarterly newspaper issued by the Malta Football Association in collaboration with Union Print.
The objective of this colourful publication, intended for children and youths aged between nine and 15, is to raise further awareness of the benefits of practising football, both as a path to a sporting career, and also to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
The health and educational aspects are at the heart of GOAL, which is being distributed in several schools and eventually also youth nurseries.
The first edition, which has just been launched, contains other interesting articles and features, including the story of ŻEPP, the dog that was left abandoned in a Mellieħa field before being adopted by the Malta FA in 2013.
ŻEPP has won the hearts of one and all since taking residence at Ta’ Qali. In addition to his duties as mascot of the Malta national football team, ŻEPP is also the official mascot of GOAL.
The first edition of GOAL also features an interview with young referee Joanna Vassallo, an illustrated story about the memorable match between Malta and England, played in 1971, an article on the importance of staying fit by Luca Pagani, the national team’s performance coach, while medical doctor Malcolm Paul Galea provides some tips on how to limit screen time.
The launch of GOAL is supported by an outreach campaign, targeting different schools. Young Malta and Hibernians female player Kayleigh Chetcuti visited the Mater Boni Consilii School in Paola on Monday while De La Salle College hosted the second activity which was attended by national team players Joseph Mbong, who plays for Hibernians, and Rowen Muscat, of Valletta together with Peter Busuttil, from the Malta FA’s Football Social Responsibility Department.
On Wednesday, Malta coach Ray Farrugia and national team captain Michael Mifsud were joined by ŻEPP during a visit to San Andrea School in Mġarr.
More information on GOAL may be obtained by sending an email to email@example.com or by visiting the Facebook page – MfaGoal4Kids.