MFA teams up with Government to build football schoolPublished: 15-07-2017 17:25
The following are the key points from MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo’s closing address at the 2017 Annual General Meeting: NATIONAL SPORTS SCHOOLMFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo hailed the agreement with the Ministry of Education over the construction of a National Sports School for football as a very important breakthrough. “Following a meeting held just over two weeks ago with the Minister of Education, the Honorary Evarist Bartolo, the MFA will be entering into what I think is a very exciting project that will surely reap the desired benefits in the longer term,” Darmanin Demajo said.“Following the success of the National School of Sport, the Education department has agreed to build a second National School of Sport, which school will be dedicated specifically to football.“This school will be built at Ta’ Qali, in our training grounds, where we also plan to relocate our Technical Centre. This is an important breakthrough in the history of education and football development in our islands, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Muscat, and Mr Bartolo, for their courage and commitment in this landmark decision for our game.“A memorandum of understanding has already been drawn up and this will be signed and concluded in the coming days.” NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL BODYDarmanin Demajo said the Malta FA needs to conduct a review of ‘amateur’ and ‘grassroots’ football which are likely to be assimilated into a new ‘Non-League Football’ body that will bring together all the member associations around one table. “The present trend seems to be that Maltese players are finding it more difficult to play in leagues that allow the use of non-Maltese players in their teams – I believe that ‘non-league’ football has an important role to play and we need to see how we can improve this sector,” he said. SUPPORT UNIT FOR YOUNG PLAYERSOn the creation of a support unit to help young Maltese players cope with the demands of professional football when moving overseas, Darmanin Demajo said: “It seems the talent is there, but talent is not enough – you need sacrifice, self-discipline and resilience – nobody ever said it would be easy – on the contrary, it is turning out to be very hard for our young players to settle abroad, especially when they are still at an age where they rely a lot on family support. “In the future I think we should look into this matter and see if the MFA can come up with some form of ‘support unit’ that would help to ease the transition, and make it easier for our players to settle.” CLUB ADMINISTRATORSThe Malta FA president also spoke about the lack of trained administrators at club level, a situation made worse by the retirement of the ‘older’ officials. “The stakes are now much higher – mistakes could cost a club thousands of euros,” Darmanin Demajo said. “The position is stressful and demanding – if we do not respond to this situation, we could well begin to lose our clubs due to lack of administrators. During the coming months, the MFA will be running its first courses for administrators. Let’s hope that we will get a good response from the clubs in this initiative.” REGENERATION OF TA’ QALIHighlighting the projects undertaken by the Malta FA to transform the Millennium Stand into a multi-purpose, fan-friendly arena, Darmanin Demajo said that the Association was now focusing on the regeneration of the whole Ta’ Qali footprint with the launch of five ambitious projects, including the construction of a futsal hall and the redevelopment of the SOuth and North Stand.