Women’s football is on the rise

Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 14:55

Among its objectives the Malta Football Association is committed to support fully women’s football in our country. As a result the game is becoming increasingly more popular and more accessible to females.

Football’s beauty as a sport and its utilitarian element for different purposes have been extolled over and over again.

Notwithstanding this, more is being done to promote this popular and global game amongst the females so that bigger numbers will opt to take it up. Football helps those who practise it to benefit from the various physical advantages it offers while also helping to imbue in the youngsters sound qualities of a social dimension.

Girls stand to gain from this sport. One should mention that besides basic skills such as agility, balance, co-ordination and speed, football also helps them in their educational upbringing, instilling in them upright values in the way of fair play, a spirit of camaraderie and self-discipline, among many other qualities.

The Malta Football Association, through its Women’s Football Department within the Technical Centre and also thanks to UEFA’s assistance, is fully immersed in organising and further promoting women’s football at all levels. This is evident from the fully-fledged national football leagues, the international matches Malta is taking part in and the unending number of festivals which are organised throughout the year.

The coaching sector is also being catered for and seminars are held on a regular basis. Presently there are three fully qualified women coaches and the fourth one is in the offing. These coaches form an integral part of the MFA’s coaching staff at the Technical Centre and are vital to the work being done in the Girls Football Academy.

The purpose of this academy is to ensure a constant supply of talented individuals who can be gradually drafted into Malta’s representative squads.

Physical trainers’ courses go hand in hand with this technical build-up of the association’s coaching staff, and as far as this is concerned four women will soon qualify as physical trainers.

The complement of players to date is 1474, a number which has grown from the figure of 1318 there were in season 2010/2011. It must be remembered that the number of registered players has grown steadily from the starting base of 151 in season 1995/1996.

A truly remarkable increase, which is also reflected in the number of teams there is at present – 17 in the two divisions and ten in the Under-16 league. Increasing numbers of girls are envisaged by way of introducing the game through programmes for church and primary schools, where free football sessions are now being conducted.

The MFA’s women’s football department is liaising with these schools and devising programmes tailor-made to their requirements. Promotion of girls’ football is now being carried out in the schools by the women’s teams’ national coaches.

These MFA’s initiatives will undoubtedly ensure a bright and exciting future for girls. With training, motivation and determination they could one day have the opportunity to become part of Malta’s representative teams, besides playing league football with their clubs on a regular basis.

Addressing a media conference at the technical centre, the MFA’s Chief Executive Officer, Bjorn Vassallo spoke about the association’s involvement in investing in women’s football through its Grassroots programme backed by UEFA’s initiatives.

He said that the MFA is working incessantly to promote football among girls as well as cater for all sections of women’s football. He reiterated that it is of great satisfaction to see so many young girls take up football alongside boys.

He thanked local clubs for the work being done so that girls can ‘Get into football and gain confidence beyond the field’, as per the fitting motto unveiled during the occasion in an attractive brochure prepared by the Women’s Football Department. ‘We want to give the youngsters every opportunity to play and enjoy football,’ the association’s CEO said.

Technical director Robert Gatt thanked the MFA, the technical staff and the women’s department for the work being done in this sector, saying that all this is aimed towards promoting and sustaining grassroots football. The technical centre is committed to monitor and assess the potential of the many youngsters, boys and girls, through the recently set up academies.

Maria Mifsud, MFA Deputy General Secretary (Grassroots, Youth Development and Education, gave an overview of the ongoing work by the association’s women’s department in promoting and improving women’s football.

She said that organising league football, holding festivals for schools, as well as coaching and physical trainers’ courses and promoting the game have one objective – that of providing a wide and progressive base for women’s football in our country.


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