A Most Enjoyable TournamentPublished: 13-04-2012 10:15
16th Edition of The Malta International Under 17 Tournament Another Under 17 tournament organised by the Malta Football Association came to a very successful conclusion on 12 April after four enjoyable days which had the participation of hosts, Malta, Liechtenstein, Northern Ireland and Romania. The six matches were held at two venues, the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun, and the Centenary Stadium, Ta’ Qali. Malta started in positive fashion when disposing of Liechtenstein by a solitary goal after Romania had surprised the Irish 3-0. The morale of the Maltese team, coached by Branco Nisevic, soared as they lowered the colours of the fancied Romania 2-1 on the second day, with the Greens of Northern Ireland thrashing the Municipality of Liechtenstein by seven clear goals. Before the last round of matches got under way at the Centenary Stadium, the issue of who would emerge winners was still in the balance as Malta, Northern Ireland and Romania were hoping to strike success. As it turned Romania beat Liechtenstein 4-3 in the earlier match, while Malta came unstuck to Northern Ireland 2-0, results which rewarded the Irish team whose goal difference wrapped the tournament in their favour. The most important fact that emerged was the enjoyable atmosphere that prevailed as all the young lads put in maximum effort to represent their countries’ colours. It was, of course, an anti-climax for the Maltese and their supporters who had entertained hopes of success in a tournament that lived up to its billing of a much awaited event. Nevertheless, the tournament was yet another opportunity for our team to raise their learning curve as youngsters from 13 different local clubs who represented Malta, can vouch. Above all, the entertainment factor was the most important element. This was most evident when the MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo presented the Northern Ireland captain with the tournament prize, a ceremony which was followed by jubilation from the Irish group.