Long-term vision for Futsal Development outlined

Futsal Development is fundamental in the way forward the Malta FA is aiming to embark for the development and application of the sport.

All this was outlined by Malta FA Vice President overseeing Futsal matters Dr Matthew Paris and Head of Futsal within the Association Mark Marlow during a Press Conference on Tuesday.

Dr Paris highlighted the fact that quick fixes are also key, “We’re all inspired when our National Teams secure positive results not less in Futsal, however these are short-lived, we are here to set up a much needed legacy for a solid Futsal foundation beneficial to the sport and for many years to come.

“All this is part of our 2027 Strategy wherein Futsal is a valuable pillar in our projects starting off with the grassroots sector up to National Team level”, Paris affirmed.

The MoU signed with the Futsal Malta Association to embark on the development of domestic leagues is also a step in the right direction and as part of the regulatory framework agreed between both entities with FMA entrusted with the match day operations and domestic action in what is turning out to be a hugely enthralling season this time round.

Photo: Copyright Joe Borg / Malta FA

Dr Paris also listed a number of notable areas indicating the progress Futsal has endured in recent months and albeit all setbacks due to pandemic.

This includes the hefty investment in Futsal Development in terms of grassroots and the partnership agreement to be signed shortly for the introduction of a Futsal Academy, barring also more investment when it comes to recruiting highly qualified people into the National Team Technical Staff.

Head of Futsal within the Malta FA Mark Marlow gave a detailed overview when it comes to Futsal Development and what is being carried out at Youth and Grassroots levels with the aim of bearing fruit going forward for our National Teams at international level.

“It’s our aim to go further what we have already achieved with the first ever point in a Qualifying Round match, a 1-1 draw against Greece in a UEFA Futsal EURO 2022 Qualifier in January last year.

“This is also the aim of our National Team coach Zeljko Anicic to further improve and reach the highest standards against stronger opposition at international level”, Marlow insisted.

He also listed all National Team’s engagements in the new year leading to the Qualifying group for the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup, with preliminary round matches for Malta scheduled to be played between 4 and 13 April 2022.

Ahead of this tournament, Marlow announced that the Malta Futsal Team shall be playing friendly matches away to Hungary in early February.

Marlow also referred to the Under-23 Development Squad with the selection of players from the FMA League that going forward can be part of the National Team, the always refined Youth U nder- 19 National Team Development with a key role to instil experience at this level therefore players are well prepared when it comes to representing Malta at senior level.

Also the U nder- 16 Futsal League now in it’s second year and already reaping benefits with more kids engaged and a significant rise in club participation compared with it’s maiden season last year.

Head of Futsal Marlow also referred to the Futsal Academy, “This is fundamental in our vision, targets, desire and long term plan, this Futsal Academy scheduled to get underway next month will be attracting kids born 2007 and 2009 to start Futsal at a very young age participating in a weekly session until May with in-depth sessions overseen by qualified and experienced coaches”.

Finally reference was also made to the Futsal Courses for Coaches as part of the strategy the Futsal Department within the Association is spearheading forward.

This will operate in sync with the Technical Centre with a yearly introductory course ensuring that clubs are hiring qualified and licensed coaches at the very beginning of this Courses Pathway Pyramid that the Association will be embarking on for the long term benefit of Futsal in Malta and the legacy that current decision makers within the Association are resolved in carrying out over their mandate.