The Youth Football Association held its Annual General Meeting during which Stephanie Rocco was appointed as the new General Secretary while Stewart Said would be serving as officer in charge of fixtures.
In his message, Youth FA President Fr Hilary Tagliaferro reiterated his thoughts on the involvement of all those in youth football. He thanked them for their invaluable work and asked them to continue working with enthusiasm to raise children in soul and body. He spoke about the challenges the association had to face this season due to the extraordinary situation of the Covid-19 pandemic which also led to this AGM to be held online.
Fr Hilary added that following appointment of a new MFA President whose programme included the establishment of the Fondazzjoni Inħobb il-Futbol, discussions started between the two parties so that the Youth FA would be part of the foundation. In order to have a period of transition and continuity, a motion for the term of the present Council to be extended for one year was approved.
However, the Council will have two changes as for the first time, a woman will be taking the role of General Secretary. Joe Micallef decided to relinquish his seat and will be replaced by Stephanie Rocco who has served as neutral member in the Council for a number of years. On the other hand, Stewart Said was appointed as the new officer in charge of fixtures. While thanking Joe Micallef and Alex Pace for their contribution towards the association and youth football in general, Fr Hilary said this would be a big challenge for both Stephanie Rocco and Stewart Said considering the sterling work done by their predecessors.
The Council of the Youth FA will therefore be made up of:
Fr Hilary Tagliaferro (President), Joe Cassar (Vice-President), Robert Attard (Vice-President), Stephanie Rocco (General Secretary), Alfred Cacciottolo (Treasurer). Godwin Aquilina (Sta Venera), Joe Baldacchino (Zabbar), Simon Spiteri (Mtarfa) and Paul Vella (Mġarr) are the members representing nurseries while Charles Bugeja, Joe Mallia, Joe Micallef, Joe Pace, Alex Pace, and Stewart Said will be neutral members. Paul Zammit was appointed as consultant to the President.
Outgoing General Secretary Joe Micallef thanked all the nurseries for their work during the years in which he has served both as a neutral member but above all in the last 20 years as Secretary General. He thanked members of the Council, and of past Councils as well as other stakeholders including the MFA, the Referees Department and the Technical Centre for their collaboration and pledged his support during the coming season.
MFA President Bjorn Vassallo explained how the youth football sector could be renewed further. He mentioned an administrative and technical taskforce that will be set up between the YFA and the MFA to work on the transition to the Fondazzjoni Inħobb il-Futbol. However he stressed on the importance of keeping the YFA identity alive. Vassallo said that as from this season the MFA is covering the expenses related to the Under-15 and Under-17 leagues. He stressed that it was of utmost importance that everyone pulled the same rope to help the MFA implement its strategy and make clubs more sustainable. He concluded by thanking Fr Hilary for leading the Youth FA throughout the years and Joe Micallef who he believes still had a lot to contribute to the youth football sector.
Fr Hilary concluded by wishing the President of the MFA all the best in his enthusiasm to carry out his plans.