Proper preparation of Malta Team players needed

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 17:15

Addressing a Press conference at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali, MFA President Dr Joe Mifsud spoke of the impending commitments of several Maltese representative teams in the next few days, saying that the importance of such matches can never be overstressed. The aim of such commitments is to foster more interest in our national teams and above all to seek new avenues for the continued improvement of our levels.

He referred to our ‘A’ team’s friendly against Bulgaria on the 18th November at the Hibernians Stadium and the Women’s match against Austria in a FIFA World Cup group match at the Centenary Stadium on the same day. There was also the Under 21 Team’s away match in a Group Eight Under 21 qualifier against Slovenia (13th November 2009) and the commitments in the UEFA Qualifying mini-tournament which the Malta Under 19 team will play in Malta against the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Cyprus between the 12th and the 17th November 2009, at the Centenary Stadium. On the 2nd December Malta will face Italy in an Under 23 home match valid for the International Challenge Trophy, a competition intended to tap the resources of those players over 21 years of age who are considered to be on the fringe of being selected for the ‘A’ team. Early next year Malta will also meet Rumania on home soil and Belgium away in this competition.

Dr Mifsud said that Malta’s National Teams in the different categories are constantly being engaged and this is a good sign because it is only through such matches that we can gauge our progress. One competition follows the other and draws will soon be made in Nyon for the Under 17 and Under 19 UEFA competitions for 2010-2011 and for the UEFA Elite Under 17 Competition to which the National Under 17 team has recently qualified, and which will be played in March 2010.  In the beginning of February 2010, the draws for the UEFA European Football Championship 2010/2012 will be held.

It was stressed that the MFA is not only an organiser but also a regulator.  It organises its national domestic competitions and administers all matters regarding international participation at club and national team level. This demands a vast network of activity.

The MFA is also engaged in the improvement of sports infrastructure at several of its Member Clubs.   Only a day before, a new artificial pitch was inaugurated at Marsa, whilst works have already started on the projects of Gudja FC, Pieta` FC, Qrendi FC, Rabat Ajax FC, Santa Lucija FC, Zebbug R. FC and Zurrieq FC. Works on projects of other member clubs will start soon.

The MFA President said that these MFA initiatives together with those of the government and local council authorities are a reflection of the solid commitment the association has to raise the levels of our game.

It was in this context that Dr Mifsud referred to the importance of optimal preparation of all our national teams’ players. This could be done in the framework of co-ordination with the clubs who also need to have their own players for their training programme. At the same time, our National Team players need to be prepared professionally if we want to aspire for better standards.

He hoped that certain club coaches will see sense in this matter and he was sure that they would have the foresight to see that only benefits could accrue from a proper modus vivendi in which training programmes can be devised for the benefit of both the clubs and the national teams.

During the Press Conference national team coach, John Buttigieg, the Under 21 coach Edwin Camilleri, Mark Gatt, the women’s team assistant coach and Raymond Schembri, the Under 19 assistant coach, spoke about their respective teams’ forthcoming commitments.





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