Futsal Leagues enter crucial stage – by Sandro Micallef

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 15:58
An action from a 4th Division match in the 2009.10 season

An action from a 4th Division match in the 2009.10 season

The National Futsal leagues organized by the Malta Football Association have just entered a very vital stage as all teams including the ones participating in the lower divisions have just started the final phase of the season.  There are 69 teams participating this season with 10 forming the Top Division, 14 teams participating in the Second Division with 7 teams in each of the two sections, 16 teams in the 3rd Division playing in Section A and Section B, whilst an impressive number of 29 teams are participating in the 4th Division placed in three sections.

Division 1.

Paola Downtown FC and Naxxar Motors Futsal seem to be the two teams that will contest this season’s 1st Division Championship. The Paolites who supply an impressive number of players to the National Futsal Team are all geared up for the crucial match of the season against Naxxar Motors scheduled for 8th Match at the Kordin Indoor complex. Paola Downtown have registered with them ex Premier League player Kevin Laoughborough, and base their game on Malta’s International Xavier Saliba and Paul Bugeja. Former National team keeper Bjorn Vassallo is having a very good season conceding few goals this season.

White Eagles coached by John Mizzi may be considered as the big disappointment of the season so far as they lie in mid table position with little Championship title hopes. Excess Futsal and Scandals Bar are having an encouraging season with both Clubs aiming for a top three finish.

Division 2.

Loz Street Boyz and Sliema Bolboa are leading their respective Sections in the second Division. In Section A the team founded in 2006 Los Street Boys have registered an impressive run of positive results. Their direct rivals in this section are Kerygma Krystal one of the teams in the local Futsal Championship that have been participating since the foundation of the MFA National Futsal Leagues. In Section B, Zurrieq FC Futsal and Valletta St. Paul’s are ready to get closer to the pace setters Sliema Bolboa as they lie together in second place with 15 points each, four points under the Blues. Lying bottom of the table in each section are Zurrieq Old Boys and Head Hunters two teams that are finding it very difficult to collect points this season.

New faces set to make it to the Futsal National Team under the new helm of Vic Hermans

New faces set to make it to the Futsal National Team under the new helm of Vic Hermans

In this Division the first placed of each section gets promoted and play a Championship decider between them. The second placed teams of each section will play a promotion decider with the winner to play against the 8th placed in the 1st Division.

Division 3.

This Division is composed of two sections similar to the 2nd Division. In Section A,  Busy Bee and Tal-Werqa SG and fighting neck to neck to gain automatic promotion. On the other hand Todos FC and Classics Futsal are also currently both top of the table with 18 points each. Todos FC who are regarded to be one of the most organized teams in local Futsal, are led by Jermain Brincat of Floriana FC who thanks to the new MFA Futsal rule can play both in the Premier League with the greens and even with his Futsal team as player – coach. In section B,  Mellieha Bobs and Red Marleys are also  two strong teams who can enter the title race in the last phase of the season. In Section A of Division 3 Riviera FC can be the only team to challenge for promotion along with Busy Bee and Tal-Werqa SG.

The first placed team in each section gets promoted and plays the Championship decider. The second placed of each section will play a promotion decider and the winner eventually will play loser of 2nd Division 5th placed decider. Teams placed 6th, 7th and 8th in each section will be relegated.

Division 4.

A number of MFA Clubs have entered the National Futsal League over the past three seasons. Clubs like Hamrun Spartans, Luqa St. Andrew’s, Qormi FC, Marsaxlokk, Balzan FC, Zebbug R, Kirchop United, Msida SJ, Mgarr and Pembroke all feature in this lower section.

Section A is being dominated by Boca Juniors who have registered an impressive run of 6 wins out of 6 games. Luqa and Qormi follow up closely but very unlikely that they will challenge for promotion.

Section B sees Hamrun Spartans with maximum points as well. With former Malta International and ex Premier League stalwart Stefan Sultana scoring an impressive amount of goals per game, Hamrun are regarded to be hot favorites to play in 3rd Division next season.  Sultana is joined in the team by his brother Conrad Sultana whom together with some promising Hamrun U/18 players will try and finish the 2009.10 season unbeaten. Fresh Events, Kingmasters and Progress Press are battling it out for second place for a playoff opportunity.

Section C is the most interesting section in the 4th Division with no less than four teams with a clear chance for promotion. Melita Sports together with City Boys lead the group with 12 points each, one point ahead of Pembroke and Pieta` Futsal with eleven points. Melita Sports have recently signed ex Rabat Ajax captain Jonathan Bezzina with their team.

The 4th Division is played on a round robin system and to the contrary to all the other Divisions the teams only play once against each other throughout the season in the League. The first placed team of each section here gets automatic promotion to the third Division whilst a playoff between the second placed teams is played for the fourth team to get into the upper division.

All Futsal enthusiasts can follow the progress of all the Futsal Divisions on the recently launched website www.maltafutsal.com

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