- Georgia, Libya and Moldova will be taking part in the 13th edition of the Malta International Tournament which will be held in Malta between February 25 and March 1. This year, the tournament will be sponsored by Coca-Cola and Multiplus.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud said the tournament will be providing new national coach Dusan Fitzel the first opportunity to see the players in action.
Agreement with the three countries had already been reached several weeks ago but the association decided to announce the teams only now following the draw of the EURO 2008 qualifiers. However both Georgia and Moldova had agreed to take part even if they were drawn in the same group with Malta.
After being sponsored by Rothmans for sixteen years, the tournament failed to attract a sponsor for the last edition but this time, Coca-Cola and Multiplus agreed to be the joint-sponsors of the tournament.
On behalf of Coca-Cola, Mr Martin Agius said besides being the re-introduction of the brand in football locally, this sponsorship was the first step in a series of initiatives between Coca-Cola and the Malta Football Association which will be taking place over the coming months. On the other hand, Multiplus general manager Mr Anton Attard said their company was honoured to support football in Malta.
For Georgia, this will be the third participation in the tournament. They won the then Rothmans Tournament in 1998 after placing second in 1994. In February 1994, Georgia beat Malta 1-0. Six months later, the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in a friendly match. In 1998, Georgia won 3-1.
The coach of Georgia is former Bayer Leverkusen coach, Klaus Toppmoller. They have set high targets including that of qualifying for the first time for the finals of the European Championships. In the recent World Cup qualifiers, Georgia placed sixth in a group which included Ukraine, Turkey, Denmark, Greece, Albania and Kazakhstan.
Malta met Libya nine times in friendly matches. Malta won three, Libya four and two ended in draws. In 1988, the game was abandoned on 42 minutes due to the collapse of part of the stand at the Tripoli stadium with Libya leading 1-0. The last meeting between the two countries was in November 1991 when Malta won 2-0.
Libya improved considerably in recent years and this year, they managed to qualify for the finals of the African Nations Cup. They were playing in Group A where they lost to Egypt and Ivory Coast but held Morocco in a goalless draw.
The other team which will be taking part in the tournament is Moldova. A country which Malta will be facing as well in Group 3 of the EURO 2008 qualifying round.
Malta met Moldova four times but this will be the first time the two countries will meet in a competition. Following two wins for Moldova in friendly matches - 2-0 win at Ta' Qali in 1999 and 1-0 in Chisinau in 2000, Malta defeated Moldova 3-0 in the Rothmans Tournament in 2002. Two years ago, the two teams shared the spoils in a goalless draw in the Malta International Tournament.
In the recent World Cup qualifiers, Moldova placed fifth in a group which included Italy, Norway, Scotland, Slovenia and Belarus.
Malta won the tournament twice - in 1992 and 2002. Belarus won the last edition of the tournament which was held in 2004.
- For the coming EURO 2008 qualifiers, new Malta national coach Dusan Fitzel has set the target of obtaining more points, score more goals and suffer less goals than Malta did in the recent 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
The national coach said Malta was drawn in a difficult group. "Comparing the ranking of the teams in this group with those of the teams in the group for the World Cup qualifiers, these teams have better ranking."
"Turkey, Greece and Norway are the strongest teams in the group. Against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary and Moldova we could obtain good results," continued Mr Fitzel.
The Czech mentor said five of the teams played more or less the same style of football and it was only Norway which base their game on physical strength.
He went on to express his objective for this campaign. "In the last World Cup qualifiers, Malta obtained three points, scored four goals and suffered thirty-two. My aim is to have the national team do better by obtaining more points, score more and suffer less goals, concluded Dusan Fitzel.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud said the draw failed to provide some attractive fixture for the local supporters who are usually eager to watch big countries like Italy, England and Germany.
"However the draw provided us with a group from which we could obtain positive results," said Dr Mifsud.
The MFA president said that officials and coaches from the seven countries will be meeting in Istanbul on February 16 to discuss the fixtures. Group matches will have to be played on fourteen possible international match days between September 2006 and November 2007.
Dr Mifsud revealed that besides these matches, Malta will be playing a number of friendly matches including a game to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first national team game between Malta and Austria which was played on February 24, 1957. The two countries will in fact face each other in a friendly match on February 7, 2007.
Meanwhile Malta Under-21 national coach Mark Miller said he was quite disappointed with the present situation of the Under-21 competitions.
UEFA had in fact decided to make a number of changes to the Under-21 championship mainly by organising the finals on odd years, in order not to clash with the European Championship and World Cup finals.
For this reason, the format of the competition for this year has been changed and Malta will have to play in a preliminary round - a play-off against Georgia which will be played on a home-and-away basis. If Malta eliminates Georgia, Mark Miller's boys will be playing in a group together with Serbia & Montenegro and Lithuania.
The play-offs against Georgia will have to be played by mid-July while games in the group stage are scheduled for 16 August, 2/3 September and 5/6 September. If Malta beats Georgia, Malta will play Lithuania away from home on August 16 and then hosts Serbia & Montenegero on September 2 or 3.
Miller said that even if Malta qualifies for the first group stage, that would mean that Malta would play only four competitive matches in eighteen months.
"Over the past fifteen months, we played sixteen matches. Playing on such a regular basis, we improved considerably. Several players conquered a regular place in their team's starting line-up in the Premier League and others are now forming part of the national squad," said the Under-21 coach.
"Having few competitive matches would lead the players to losing motivation," concluded Miller.
Some Under-21 players could be included in the national squad for the Coca-Cola & Multiplus International Football Tournament. In fact, national coach Dusan Fitzel plans to have a 24-man squad for the tournament.
- Premier League PietÓ H. vs Msida SJ 0-0, Birkirkara vs Mosta 6-0
- First Division St. Patrick vs Marsa 2-1, Tarxien R. vs Naxxar L. 0-0
- Second Division Qormi vs Vittoriosa S. 1-2, Gharghur vs Gozo 6-3
- Third Division Kirkop U. vs Ghaxaq 1-1, Sirens vs Rabat A. 0-1
- Women's First Division Hibernians vs Rabat A. 12-0, Birkirkara vs Sta. Venera L. 3-0
- Gozo - First Division Nadur Y. vs SK Victoria W. 2-1, Xewkija T. vs Kercem A. 2-3
- Premier League Floriana vs Sliema W. 0-0, Hibernians vs Valletta 1-2
- Second Division Gudja U. vs Dingli S. 0-1, Melita vs Attard 1-2
- Gozo - Second Division Qala SJ vs Zebbug R. 2-1, Gharb R. vs St. Lawrence S. 0-1
- After signing two new foreigners, PietÓ Hotspurs continued to strengthen their squad by securing the services of Valletta striker Mark Galea.
Galea has been playing for Valletta for the past eighteen months after joining the Citizens from Floriana where he spent most of his career.
Meanwhile former PietÓ captain Pierre Aquilina decided to resume his career after deciding to quit football this summer.
He has now resumed training and will be at the disposal of PietÓ coach Georgi Deanov.
- Floriana signed Congolese midfielder Rufin Oba. This will be the second spell with Floriana for Oba after playing for the Greens between 1997 and 2002.
Oba arrived in Malta last Sunday and after a short trial, Floriana decided to sign him as the club's third foreigner along Congolese defender Riad Gango-Rtsa and Anthony Eviparker.
After leaving Floriana, Oba had moved to Belgium but returned to Malta in January 2003. He joined Birkirkara but was released at the end of the season after failing to make an impact in the team.
Last year, Rufin Oba played in Singapore before moving back to his home country.
- Third Division Ta' Xbiex vs Xghajra T. 0-2, Siggiewi vs Birzebbuga SP 0-1
- Malta was drawn with European champions Greece, Turkey, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary and Moldova in the EURO 2008 qualifying competition. The draw was held in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday.
It is definitely an unattractive draw for the Maltese as everyone would have preferred Malta being drawn in a group which included one of the top countries such as England, Italy, France or Germany. A draw which also would have netted a better income for the association from television rights.
However with opponents such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary and Moldova, Malta could aim for a positive result, at least at home.
GREECE - Malta met Greece six times - all being European Championship qualifiers. The record is not so negative as Malta claimed a 2-0 win at the Stadium in 1975 and two 1-1 draws at The Stadium in 1970 and at Ta' Qali in 1991. The latter was the last meeting between the two countries.
TURKEY - Malta met Turkey four times - twice in 1978 World Cup qualifiers and twice in the 1980 European Championship qualifiers. Turkey won the four matches. The last meeting ended in a 2-1 win for Turkey in October 1979.
NORWAY - Malta met Norway six times - twice in the EURO 1996 qualifiers, once in the Rothmans Tournament 1990 and three times in friendly matches. Malta had obtained two 1-1 draws - one in the Rothmans Tournament and another in a friendly match in 1961. In the last game between the two countries, Norway won 2-0 in Oslo in June 1995.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - The two countries met twice in friendly matches. Malta won 2-1 at Ta' Qali in January 1999 but lost 2-0 in Sarajevo in August 2001.
HUNGARY - Malta met Hungary six times in World Cup qualifiers - two draws and four defeats. Two of these defeats were in the last World Cup campaign when the team, then managed by Lothar Matthaus, won 2-0 at Ta' Qali and 4-0 in Budapest.
MOLDOVA - Malta met Moldova four times but this will be the first time the two countries will meet in a competition. Following two wins for Moldova in friendly matches - 2-0 win at Ta' Qali in 1999 and 1-0 in Chisinau in 2000, Malta defeated Moldova 3-0 in the Rothmans Tournament in 2002. Two years ago, the two teams shared the spoils in a goalless draw in the Malta International Tournament.
50 UEFA member associations took part in the qualifying draw with hosts Austria and Switzerland qualifying directly for the final tournament.
There is one group of 8 teams (Group A) and 6 groups of 7 teams (Groups B-G). Qualification games to be played according to the international match calendar between September 2006 and November 2007. The 7 winners and 7 runners-up of each group qualify for the final tournament.
The eight groups are as follows:
Group A: Portugal, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Belgium, Finland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan
Group B: France, Italy, Ukraine, Scotland, Lithuania, Georgia, Faroe Islands
Group C: Greece, Turkey, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Moldova, Malta
Group D: Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Wales, Cyprus, San Marino
Group E: England, Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Andorra
Group F: Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Liechtenstein
Group G: Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Albania, Belarus, Luxembourg
- Malta will be facing Georgia in the preliminary round of the 2006/07 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. The draw was held in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday. The first leg will be played in Malta.
The winner joins Serbia & Montenegro and Lithuania in Group C.
In the last UEFA Under-21 European Championship campaign, Georgia placed fifth in Group 2 with 11 points from 12 matches, beating Albania at home and away from and Kazakhstan away from home. Georgia held Turkey in a goalless draw away from home and Greece 1-1 at home.
The 16 lowest-ranked nations were paired into eight matches for the preliminary round. The winners of these eight ties, to be contested on a home-and-away basis, will advance to the group stage.
The preliminary round matches are:
1 - Estonia v Wales
2 - Malta v Georgia
3 - San Marino v Armenia
4 - Liechtenstein v Northern Ireland
5 - Kazakhstan v Moldova
6 - Luxembourg v F.Y.R. Macedonia
7 - Andorra v Iceland
8 - Azerbaijan v Republic of Ireland
There are 14 groups of three, with the group winners progressing to a play-off series from which seven countries will join the Netherlands in the final tournament.
The fourteen groups are as follows:
Group 1: Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Winner 3;
Group 2: Spain, Slovakia, Albania;
Group 3: Serbia and Montenegro, Lithuania, Winner 2;
Group 4: Belgium, Greece, Winner 8;
Group 5: Italy, Austria, Winner 7;
Group 6: Russia, Hungary, Finland;
Group 7: Portugal, Poland, Latvia;
Group 8: Switzerland, England, Winner 5;
Group 9: Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus;
Group 10: Germany, Romania, Winner 4;
Group 11: Denmark, Sweden, Winner 6;
Group 12: Croatia, Ukraine, Bulgaria;
Group 13: Turkey, Israel, Winner 1;
Group 14: France, Slovenia, Scotland.
Matches in the preliminary round must be played before 15 July, while games in the group stage are scheduled for 16 August, 2/3 September and 5/6 September. After the 2007 finals, the tournament will be played every two years.
Out of UEFA's 52 member associations, only the Faroe Islands are not taking part. The Netherlands, as hosts, have already qualified and will therefore play no part in the draw.
- Msida St. Joseph secured the services of goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo on loan from First Division side San Gwann. Msida have an option of making the deal permanent this summer.
Msida SJ President Dr. Kevin Deguara said that Bartolo is a very promising 22-year old goalkeeper and the Club looks forward to his stay at the Club.
- Four First Division players were suspended. St. George's were the worst hit with three players.
Silvio Sciberras was suspended for two matches while Miguel Mifsud and Larry Lagana were banned for one match. Giles Lanzon of Lija was also suspended for one match.
In Division 2, David Agius (Balzan) and Andre Buttigieg (Gzira) were handed a one-match ban. Gzira United coach Robert Kelly was suspended for two matches.
Bonnici Dino was suspended for one match in Division 3 while Luke Stivala (Birkirkara) was banned for one match in the Youth League. Stephen Pisani (Sirens) and Frederick Tabone (St. Andrews) were both suspended for two matches.
- The draw for the UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying competition will be held in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday at 12.00CET.
Fifty countries will go into the draw, with Austria and Switzerland qualifying automatically as co-hosts of the final round in 2008.
50 UEFA member associations will participate in the qualifying draw with hosts Austria and Switzerland qualifying directly for the final tournament.
There will be 1 group of 8 teams (Group A) and 6 groups of 7 teams (Groups B-G). Qualification games to be played according to the international match calendar between September 2006 and November 2007. The 7 winners and 7 runners-up of each group qualify for the final tournament.
The 50 teams are allocated into 7 pots. Pots 1-6 contain 7 teams, Pot 7 contains 8 teams. The sides are classified on the basis of their results in the qualifying competitions for the 2004 UEFA European Championship and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The draw starts with Pot 7 and ends with Pot 1 in order to ensure the strongest teams are drawn last. Each pot is entirely emptied before proceeding to the next pot.
A ball will first be drawn from Pot 7 to determine the team in the eighth position of Group A. Then, a second ball will be drawn from Pot 7 to determine the team in the seventh position of Group B. The third ball drawn from Pot 7 will determine the team in the seventh position of Group C.
The same procedure is repeated until the seventh position of Group G is filled. The last ball from Pot 7 will determine the side in the seventh position of Group A. Then the 7 teams in Pot 6 are drawn into the sixth position of each group, starting with Group A and ending with Group G. The same procedure applies to Pots 5-1 taking into consideration the respective positions within the respective groups.
UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying round draw
Pot 1: Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, England, Czech Republic, France, Sweden.
Pot 2: Germany, Croatia, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Spain, Romania.
Pot 3: Serbia and Montenegro, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Slovakia
Pot 4: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Latvia, Israel, Scotland, Slovenia
Pot 5: Hungary, Finland, Estonia, Wales, Lithuania, Albania, Iceland
Pot 6: Georgia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Belarus, Armenia, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Moldova
Pot 7: Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Andorra, MALTA, Faroe Islands, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, San Marino.
- The draw for the 2006/07 UEFA European Under-21 Championship will take place in Montreux, Switzerland on Friday at 10.00CET.
The 16 lowest-ranked nations divided into eight matches for the preliminary round. The winners of these eight ties, to be contested on a home-and-away basis, will advance to the group stage.
The teams in Pot D and hence the possible opponents for Malta are: Wales, Iceland, Ireland, Georgia, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Armenia and Northern Ireland.
The teams in Pot E are: Malta, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, San Marino, Luxembourg, Andorra and Liechtenstein.
Teams in the group stage will be split into three pots: Pot C will contain the eight winners from the preliminary round plus the sides ranked 29-34; Pot B has teams from 15-28 in the coefficient list, including a Ukraine side who will compete in this summer's finals in Portugal; Pot A contains the top 14 teams, including holders Italy and five other sides who will vie for continental glory in Portugal in June.
The teams will then be divided into 14 groups of three, with the group winners progressing to a play-off series from which seven countries will join the Dutch in the final tournament. Matches in the preliminary round must be played before 15 July, while games in the group stage are scheduled for 16 August, 2/3 September and 5/6 September. After the 2007 finals, the tournament will be played every two years.
Out of UEFA's 52 member associations, only the Faroe Islands are not taking part. The Netherlands, as hosts, have already qualified and will therefore play no part in the draw.
- First Division Mqabba vs Tarxien R. 0-2, St. George's vs Lija A. 1-2
- Seven Premier League players were handed a one-match ban by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner.
Valletta were the worst hit as they had two players suspended - Jonathan Bondin and Craig Dean. They will be missing the next game against Hibernians on Saturday.
Sliema Wanderers defender Darren Debono will be missing the Old Firm derby against Floriana, also on Saturday.
Claudio Calleja of PietÓ is ruled out of the clash against Msida on Sunday while Adrian Ciantar (Birkirkara) and Dyson Falzon (Mosta) will be unavailable for the top-bottom clash on Sunday.
Hamrun will be without Steve Sadowski for the game against Valletta on February 5.
In Division 2, Hubert Vella of Mellieha was suspended for three matches. Simon Borg and Joseph George Mercieca of Gharghur, Jeffrey Zammit and Sandro Calleja of Vittoriosa were handed a one-match ban. Vittoriosa coach Chris Saliba and team-manager Gerald Ellul were suspended for two matches and three matches respectively.
Mark Drago (Kalkara) was suspended for one match in Division 3 while Ennio Desira (Birzebbuga), Paul Vella (Mellieha), Glenn Magri and Matthew Camilleri (Naxxar), Jason Olivia (Pembroke) and Adam Wingfield (Rabat) were banned for one match in the Youth League.
- Premier League Mosta vs Floriana 0-3, Sliema W. vs Marsaxlokk 0-0
- Chucks Nwoko will join Marsaxlokk after all. The player was on the verge of joining the club a couple of weeks ago but Birkirkara had called off the move. However the Stripes have now agreed to allow Nwoko to join Marsaxlokk on loan.
- Premier League Mosta vs Floriana and Sliema W. vs Marsaxlokk postponed
- First Division Mqabba vs Tarxien R. and St. George's vs Lija A. postponed
- Second Division Balzan Y. vs Gzira U. 0-1, Zebbug R. vs Qormi 1-2, Gozo vs Attard 3-0
- Third Division Sta. Venera L. vs Luqa SA 1-0, Zurrieq vs Fgura U. 2-1
- Women's First Division Birkirkara vs Mosta 1-0, Raiders vs Melita 2-1, Qormi vs Hibernians 0-16
- Gozo - First Division Ghajnsielem vs Sannat L. 2-0
- The BOV Premier League and BOV First Division League scheduled for Sunday at the Hibernians Ground and the Victor Tedesco Stadium respectively have been called off due to inclement weather.
The matches have been re-scheduled to be played at the Centenary Stadium as follows:
Tuesday 24th January: BOV Premier League 18:00 Mosta v Floriana; 20:00 Sliema W. v Marsaxlokk
Wednesday 25th January
: BOV First Division 18:00 Mqabba v Tarxien R.; 20:00 St. George's v Lija A.
- Premier League Valletta vs PietÓ H. 1-0, Hamrun S. vs Birkirkara 0-6
- Second Division Gudja U. vs Gharghur 1-0, Vittoriosa S. vs Mellieha 1-2
- Gozo - Second Division Qala SJ vs St. Lawrence S. 2-0, Oratory Y. vs Victoria H. 1-1
- Former Marsaxlokk coach Atanas Marinov joined Bulgarian Premier League side Botev Plovdiv, the club with whom he started his career as a player.
Marinov spent the last ten years in Malta. He joined St. Patrick in 1996, moving on to Birkirkara in August 1999. Marinov led the Stripes to their first and only Premier League championship in season 1999/2000.
After being sacked by Birkirkara, he joined Hamrun Spartans for season 2002/2003 and the following season, he moved to Valletta. However his stay lasted just one year as he moved to Marsaxlokk in July 2004. He quit Marsaxlokk last October.
Marinov replaces Italian coach Corrado Cota who failed to turn up to Bulgaria following the winter-break.
Botev are currently 11th with 12 points from 14 matches, only three points above the relegation zone.
- Women's First Division Birkirkara vs Mosta 1-0, Raiders vs Melita 2-1, Qormi vs Hibernians 0-16
- Gozo - First Division Ghajnsielem vs Sannat L. 2-0
- The Council of the Malta Football Association approved draft regulations regarding the prevention of substance abuse by players of the national squads.
These regulations were proposed by the Executive Committee.
The Malta Football Association will be trying to monitor those players who are currently forming part of the Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 national squads and eventually those attending the Football School at Ta' Qali.
The association's objective is to develop a programme which will eventually be extended to nurseries as well.
The MFA will be developing an educational programme meant to prevent substance abuse - illicit drugs and alcohol - and provide remedies when possible.
Random tests on players will be carried out and any player who knowingly fails to take the test when required to do so will be deemed to have a problem with regards to taking illicit drugs and/or alcohol abuse and may be dropped form the squad.
The regulations are not intentioned to sanction players but to help them get back on track. However the MFA will be reserving the right to report to the Police any persons who are identified as having supplied illicit drugs to players.
- Under 17 International Friendly Malta vs Wales 0-2
Malta lost their third encounter against UK opposition the week this time against a sprightly Welsh side who are undergoing a training camp in Malta in preparation for the UEFA Under-17 Finals in May.
Joe Grech's young side showed considerable improvement from the double encounter against the Scots with plenty of possession but could not contain their Welsh opponents who were always dangerous in their breakaways.
Wales scored twice in each half first through Hewitt in the 35th minute and another goal after the interval from Lancey from a corner on the 73rd minute.
- Third Division Santa Lucia vs Kalkara 2-0, Pembroke A. vs Zejtun C. 3-1
- Conscious of the growing problem at local football grounds regarding collective misbehaviour by supporters during competitive matches, the MFA Council decided to issue the following statement after the Council Meeting of 19th January 2006.
"The MFA Council members are taking a very serious view of choral obscene language, chanting and swearing during local football matches. Besides strongly condemning this practice which, unfortunately is becoming a negative feature of Maltese football, the Council also deplores collective denigratory remarks directed towards specific club officials.
The Council suggested that high club officials issue a warning to their supporters, possibly through a statement, aimed at curbing such malpractice."
The MFA is contemplating severe disciplinary action against clubs in case of such abusive behaviour by their supporters.
- Valletta strengthened the squad with the signing of two new foreign players. These two will be replacing Nigerians Ndubisi Chukunyere and Jerry Ani whose contract have been terminated.
Argentinian striker Sebastian Omar Monesterolo is 22-years old and played for Juventud Unida in the Second Division.
On the other hand, midfielder Craig Dean, aged 29, joins Valletta from TP-47 of Finland. The same club for which new Hibs recruit David Williamson used to play.
- PietÓ Hotspurs secured the services of two new foreign players. These are Bulgarian midfielder Svetlan Kondev and Romanian defender Daniel Marius.
Kondev and Marius will be replacing Italian striker Carmelo Sciuto and Bulgarian defender Ilian Deanov.
Sciuto had some fine performances since joining the Hotspurs in summer but his stay was plagued by injuries.
Thirty-year old Svetlan Abanasov Kondev played along Martin Deanov with Belasitsa Petrich. He also played for a number of clubs including Lokomotiv Sofia, Litex Lovetch, Maritsa Plovdiv and FK Sliven.
Twenty-six year old central defender Daniel Marius used to play for Tirgu Mures.
- Malta lost one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Wednesday. Malta in now 119th.
With just twenty-one matches played since last month, changes were minimal. Malta is therefore still 46th among the other European countries. Ahead of Malta are Northern Ireland (103), Georgia (105), Moldova (107), Armenia (108) and Azerbaijan (114). Behind Malta are Liechtenstein (123), Andorra (126), the Faroe Islands (132), Kazakhstan (137), Luxembourg (151) and San Marino (156).
Malta, now under the guidance of new coach Dusan Fitzel, will be playing three matches in the Malta International Football Tournament which will be held between February 25 and March 1.
- Upon instructions by FIFA, the Malta Football Association will be holding an exam for those interested in becoming licensed Players' Agents. The exam will be held on Thursday March 30 at 10:00.
Those interested in sitting for this exam should fill in the application form issued by the MFA and send it to the secretary general of the MFA together together with the relevant documents. Application forms should reach the MFA headquarters by February 28.
Application forms and copies of the Players' Agents Regulations may be obtained from the MFA Headquarters, 280 St. Paul's Street, Valletta.
- First Division Naxxar L. vs St. Andrews 3-0, Senglea A. vs San Gwann 1-2
- Under-17 Friendly Match Scotland vs Wales 4-1. Goals by D. Templeton (2), C. Maguire and S. Haoden for Scotland and an own goal for Wales.
- Three Premier League players were handed a one-match ban after collecting a fourth yellow card.
Birkirkara defender Emil Stoilov Yantchev and Hamrun Spartans midfielder Maczerob Okoro are ruled out of Saturday's clash between Hamrun and Birkirkara.
Cleavon Frendo of Marsaxlokk on the other hand, will be missing the important clash against Sliema Wanderers on Sunday.
In Division 2, Martin Ciantar (Vittoriosa) was suspended for one match.
Sta. Lucia assistant coach John Urry was suspended for two matches and Darren Micallef (Sta. Lucia) was suspended for three games in the Youth League. Glenn Lucas (Tarxien) was also suspended for one match in the Youth League.
- Premier League Mosta vs Hamrun S. 0-3, Floriana vs Marsaxlokk 1-2
- Kercem Ajax defender Mario Azzopardi won the Melita Digital Player of the Month award for November. Gifted with speed and sense of leadership, the Ajax defender was a central figure in his team's success against Xewkija Tigers and Sannat Lions.
A product of Zebbug Rovers, Azzopardi won the GFA Player of the Year award for the season 2001/2002 and the First Division League for the season 2003/2004 with the same club.
If the Ajax defender maintains his current form, he would be an asset for Kercem in their attempt to win the Onvol First Division championship.
- "Coaching Malta is a challenge for me. So far, I have worked with youth teams and therefore this was my next step to improve myself." These were the first comments by Czech coach Dusan Fitzel who was speaking during a press conference at the Centenary Hall, Ta' Qali on Monday when he was officially unveiled as the new Malta national coach.
Dusan Fitzel signed a two-year contract and will therefore guide Malta throughout the coming EURO 2008 qualifying campaign. There is also an option of extending the contract by another two years. Besides acting as national coach, Mr Fitzel will also act as MFA Technical Director.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud said the association had started discussions with the then assistant coach Carmel Busuttil as regards the possibility of taking the job as national coach. When it was clear that Busuttil was not to accept the MFA's offer, the association decided to postpone the decision to the beginning of the new season and then later after the final World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria.
Dr Mifsud said that after making sure that Horst Heese had no intention of extending his contract, the Malta Football Association established a number of criteria which the new coach had to have. These included being qualified at the highest level, experience at international level, experience in coaching education and being able to build on what has been achieved at national team level and the coaching education sector.
The Bureau was entrusted with the decision to choose the new coach and in turn, Dr Mifsud had to conduct discussions with possible candidates. The MFA president said that together with Horst Heese, the association analysed these candidates and finally Mr Dusan Fitzel was invited to Malta.
Following an interview with outgoing national coach and technical director Horst Heese, it was felt that Mr Fitzel had the necessary technical abilities and the right communication skills for the job. A coach who could build on what has been done over the past years.
Mr Fitzel evaluated the MFA's proposal and finally accepted to sign a two-year contract. The appointment was approved by the Bureau and then by the Executive Committee.
Dr Mifsud said that Dusan Fitzel is qualified at the highest level and is perceived as being able to keep building on what has been achieved before both in the national team and in coaching education.
"Only time will tell whether he was the right candidate. But on the evidence we have, not only his curriculum vitae but also references from other football personalities, he should deliver," said Dr Mifsud.
"It does not only depend on him. Hard work on and off the field of play, excellent relationship with the Malta Football Association, cooperation offered by staff and players, club coaches, clubs and the media all contribute," concluded the MFA President.
Mr Fitzel said that on his first visit to Malta, he tried to obtain as much information as possible about football in Malta.
He made it clear that his main objective is to improve the level of the game. "My challenge was to come here and give all my knowledge to see improvement."
The new Malta coach said he has no intention of making big changes in the squad. "So far I know players only by name. I will continue to work with the players currently in squad. When I will make up an opinion on players, I will be able to make changes."
As regards tactics, Mr Fitzel said he prefers using a four-man defence but will adapt his plan according to the players he has at his disposal. "I need to know the players first in order to find out the best system," concluded the new Malta coach.
- Forty-two year old Dusan Fitzel holds a UEFA Professional Licence and represented the Czech FA in the UEFA Youth and Amateur Committee between 2001 and 2003.
As a player, he played for nine years with Dukla Prague in the Czech First Division between 1983 and 1992. He then moved to EPA Larnaca in Cyprus where he played for two years before returning to the Czech Republic. Back home, he played for one final year with Chmel Blsany in the Czech Second Division.
As a coach, he was first employed at the Slavia Prague youth sector for three years until 1998 where he joined the Czech FA as Head Youth coach and Under-21 Assistant Coach.
During the past eight years with the Czech FA, he coached the following teams:
1998/1999 Head Coach Under-18 National Team
1999/2000 Head Coach Under-20 and Under-19 National Teams
2000/2001 Head Coach Under-18 National Team
2001/2003 Assistant Coach Under-21 National Team
2003/2005 Head of the National Teams Department
2005 Coach of the Under-18 National Team
Among his achievements are a fourth place in the UEFA European Under-18 Championship as Head Coach in 1999, a second place in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship as Head Coach in 2000, a seventh place in the FIFA World Under-20 World Cup as Head Coach and a first place in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship as Assistant Coach in 2002.
- Malta's Under-17 side lost their second friendly encounter with Scotland by five goals to nil.
Scotland led by two clear goals at the interval.
Scotland, who convincingly beat Joe Grech's side 5-1 last Saturday, will meet a strong Welsh side in another friendly match at the MFA Technical Centre, Ta' Qali on Wednesday at 14:30. Wales have qualified for the UEFA Under-17 Finals later on this year
Wales, who are also undergoing a training camp in Malta, will play Malta in another Under-17 encounter on Friday, 20th January, at 18:00.
- Premier League Mosta vs Hamrun S. and Floriana vs Marsaxlokk postponed
- First Division Naxxar L. vs St. Andrews and Senglea A. vs San Gwann postponed
- Second Division Balzan Y. vs Dingli S. 1-2, Melita vs Qormi 0-1
- Third Division Mgarr U. vs Sirens 0-2, Rabat A. vs Kirkop U. 3-0
- Women's League Sta. Venera L. vs Rabat A. 1-0, Qormi vs Hibernians postponed
- Gozo - First Division Ghajnsielem vs Sannat L. and Nadur Y. vs SK Victoria W. postponed
- The BOV Premier League and BOV First Division matches which were in programme on Sunday were called off due to inclement weather.
The two Premier League matches between Mosta and Hamrun Spartans, Floriana and Marsaxlokk were due to be played at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
On the other hand, the First Division matches between Naxxar Lions and St. Andrews, Senglea Athletic and San Gwann were due to be held at the Hibernians Ground.
These matches will now be played as follows at the Centenary Stadium:
Tuesday, 17th January, 2006
BOV Premier League
18:00 Mosta v Hamrun Spartans
20:00 Floriana v Marsaxlokk
Wednesday, 18th January, 2006
BOV First Division League
18:00 Naxxar Lions v St. Andrews
20:00 Sengea Athletic v San Gwann
Meanwhile matches from the Onvol First Division in Gozo were also postponed.
- Under 17 International Friendly Malta vs Scotland 1-5
The Malta Under-17 national team suffered a 1-5 defeat to Scotland in a friendly match at the MFA Training Grounds, Ta' Qali.
At the end of the first half, the score was 0-1 for Scotland. The visitors doubled the score before Malta pulled one back thanks to Hibernians striker Leighton Grech.
Malta will be playing another friendly match against Scotland on Monday 16th at 18:00 and against Wales on Friday 20 at 18:00.
For these friendly matches, Malta coach Joe Grech short-listed 29 players:
goalkeepers Matthew Camilleri (PietÓ), Paul Camilleri (Tarxien), Michael Incorvaja (Sliema) and Nicholas Vella (San Gwann);
defnders Steve Bonnici (Melita), Owen Bugeja (Floriana), Tyrone Farrugia (Msida), Timothy Fleri Soler (Hibernians), George Gribbon (Melita), Christopher Mackay (PietÓ), Beppe Muscat (Sliema), Matthew Schembri (PietÓ), Julian Tonna (Mellieha), Jonathan Xerri (Hibernians);
midfielders Miguel Ciantar (Sliema), Paul Kane Farrugia (Sliema), Daniel Gatt (PietÓ), Sheldon Grech (PietÓ), Dylon Grima (PietÓ), Kane Micallef (Melita), Karl Pulo (PietÓ), Mark Scerri (Sliema), Clint Zammit (Birkirkara);
forwards Nathan Busuttil (PietÓ), Glanville Goodlip (PietÓ), Osbert Ellul (Hibernians), Leighton Grech (Hibernians), Dylan Kovakessis (PietÓ) and Melchior Vella (PietÓ).
- Premier League Msida SJ vs Sliema W. 1-4, Birkirkara vs Hibernians 2-0
- Second Division Mellieha vs Gzira U. 1-1, Zebbug R. vs Vittoriosa S. 0-1
- Gozo - Second Division Victoria H. vs St. Lawrence S. 0-0
- Gozo - Second Division Knock-Out Qala SJ vs Gharb R. 3-1
- Hibernians signed 30-year old Irish midielder David Williamson. HE will be the club's third foreigner along Nigerians Essien Mbong and Haruna Doda.
During his career, Williamson, who plays as a right-wing, turned out for a number of clubs in Ireland and Northern Ireland including Bray Wanderers, Bohemians, Crusaders, Coleraine and Sligo Rovers, Walsall in England and TP-47 in Finland. He also played in Hong Kong and the USA.
- Third Division Birzebbuga SP vs Ta' Xbiex 14-0, Ghaxaq vs Siggiewi 2-1
- The Malta Football Association injected the sum of Lm 77,000 in the youth sector thanks to the UEFA solidarity programme towards the development of football in the member associations. Money which was generated from the profit made from last season's UEFA Champions League.
The Youth Football Association and the forty-three Football Nurseries which operate within the YFA were presented the sum of Lm 45,000 during a reception which was held at the Centenary Hall on Wednesday. MFA president Dr. J. Mifsud, MFA Vice-President and Chairman of the Youth, Amateur & Grassroots Committee Ludovigo Micallef and Youth F.A. President Fr. Hilary Tagliaferro delivered speeches on various aspects of youth football on the same occasion.
Eight Football Nurseries which took part in the UEFA Summer Football Grassroots 2005 were presented with t-shirts and footballs while the Hamrun Spartans Youth Nursery was presented with a certificate for the best nursery in the UEFA Summer Football Grassroots 2005.
Member Clubs, which took part in Youth Competitions organised by the MFA during season 2004/2005, and the Gozo Youth Football Association also benefit from this grant.
This grant is meant to encourage Member Clubs and Football Nurseries in Malta and Gozo to keep working hard towards this sector which is essential in the development of the game in the Maltese islands.
- The transfer of former Malta international midfielder Chucks Nwoko from Birkirkara to Marsaxlokk on loan until the end of the season fell through as the Stripes have now decided to retain the player.
Nwoko was on the verge of joining the Southseasiders and had already started training with Marsaxlokk. However following a request by coach Stephen Azzopardi, Birkirkara decided not to transfer the player.
Floriana were the first club to express their interest in signing the player. However the Greens' offer did not match the Stripes' request.
Chucks Nwoko arrived in Malta in summer 1995 to join Birkirkara. He played regularly for the Stripes before joining CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria mid-way through season 2000/2001 for a six-month loan spell. He returned to Malta the following season.
Following the expiry of his contract with Birkirkara at the end of last season, the player refused to sign a new contract and it was only in September that Nwoko agreed to sign a new one-year contract with an option for another season.
- Over the past week, the Malta Football Association signed the contracts with each of the first eight beneficiaries of MFA project regarding the UEFA Jubilee Mini-Pitches.
As part of UEFA's celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary since its foundation, the European body had decided to launch a scheme to help associations construct mini-pitches with artificial turf. A project which was meant to provide children more opportunity to play football.
Last year the MFA worked hard to put implement this project. This work involved the selection process of beneficiaries (which include member clubs, member associations, football nurseries, clubs from member associations, schools and local councils) and the selection of the company which will be installing these mini-pitches.
The MFA then submitted its project for the approval of UEFA. Following its approval, the MFA reached an agreement with Finnish firm Aaba for the provision of 35 high-quality mini-pitches of various sizes.
The first eight have already been ordered and are expected to arrive towards the end of February. These will be installed in Valletta, Pembroke, Rabat and Mgarr in Malta and Xewkija, Gharb, Qala and San Lawrenz in Gozo.
The signing of the contracts were held at the MFA Headquarters in Valletta and the Gozo FA Headquarters in Xewkija respectively.
Present for the signing of the contracts in Gozo were MFA President Dr. Joe Mifsud, Vice-President Ludovico Micallef who is in charge of the technical aspect of the project, GFA President Mr Joe Cordina, GFA Secretary Mr Alvin Grech, GFA Treasurer Mr Anthony Camilleri and the Minister for Gozo Giovanna Debono. The MFA President and the Minister for Gozo delivered short speeches with the latter thanking the MFA for its initiative for the benefit of Gozo.
The size of these mini-pitches will be either 21m by 12m or 30m by 15m while another one will be 35m by 17m. These will all have artificial turf and can be used for various sports, not only football.
The association will continue to work hard in order to install most of the pitches by the end of the year.
- The Birkirkara F.C. Youth Nursery will be organising a 7-a-side football festival for children born in 1996 during the month of February on the new artificial pitches at the Infetti Ground.
The Festival will be held on Friday 10 and Saturday 11. Each team will be presented with a gift and each player will be receiving a medal. Nurseries may take part with a maximum of two teams (of ten players each).
The participation fee is Lm15 for one team and Lm 25 for two teams.
Those interested should contact Henry Bray on 99468248 or Franco Agius on 79438515.
- The Malta Football Association appointed Czech coach Dusan Fitzel as the national team coach. This was revealed by an AFP report quoting comments given to the press in the Czech Republic.
The report quoted Dusan Fitzel, who was the coach of the Czech Under-19 side, as saying that he agreed to become the new Malta national team coach and technical director of the Malta Football Association.
Fitzel has been working with the FA of the Czech Republic for the past few years, having coached the Under-21, Under-20 and Under-18 sides as well. He led the Czech Under-20 side during the
Dusan Fitzel replaces Horst Heese whose contract as national coach and MFA Technical Director expired in December.
- Floriana FC defender Keith Fabri was handed a two-match ban by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner following the game against his former club, Hamrun Spartans. Fabri is therefore ruled out of the games against Marsaxlokk on Sunday 15 and Mosta on Sunday 22.
Another Floriana player, Trevor Cilia was suspended for one match and will therefore miss the game against Marsaxlokk.
Floriana kit-manager Chris Attard was suspended for two games as well.
Meanwhile another four players were handed a one-match ban after collecting a fourth yellow card.
Marsaxlokk defender Nuno Miguel Dos Santos Gomes is ruled out of Sunday's game against Floriana while Edmond Agius of Hibernians will be missing the direct clash against Birkirkara on Saturday.
Msida defender Josef Mifsud will be missing the game against Sliema on Saturday while Andrew Spiteri of PietÓ is ruled out of the Saturday 21 clash against Valletta.
In Division 1, Ludvic Bartolo (St. Patrick) was suspended for one match while St. Patrick masseur Manuel Gauci was banned for two matches.
Matthew Borg (Melita) was suspended for two matches while Glen Buhagiar and Carmel Formosa (Qormi), Duncan Burke (Vittoriosa), Melvin Farrugia and Keith Farrugia (Zebbug) were handed a one-match ban in Division 2.
Alfred Bugeja (Kalkara) and Jean Paul Abela (Zejtun) were uspended for one match in Division 3 while Marco Micallef (Dingli), Ryan Vella (Ghaxaq) and Malcolm Caruana (Marsaxlokk) were handed a one-match ban in the Youth League.
- Former Sliema Wanderers and Malta international player, Richard Aquilina, passed peacefully away on Monday at the age of fifty-two.
Aquilina played eight times for Malta scoring one goal.
Mass praesente cadavere will be said on Tuesday, 10th January, 2006 at the Jesus of Nazareth Parish Church, Sliema at 2.30pm
May God grant him eternal rest.
- The Malta Under-17 team will be playing three friendly matches between Saturday 14 and Friday 20th January at the MFA Training Grounds, Ta' Qali.
The Maltese will be meeting Scotland Under-17 twice and then their counterparts from Wales.
The programme of matches is as follows:
Saturday 14th - Malta v Scotland (11:00)
Monday 16th - Malta v Scotland (18:00)
Friday 20 - Malta v Wales (18:00)
Meanwhile Wales U-17 and Scotland U-17 will be facing each other in a friendly match at the MFA Training Grounds on Wednesday 18 at 14:30.
- Premier League Marsaxlokk vs Msida SJ 1-0, Hibernians vs Mosta 3-2
- First Division Tarxien R. vs St. Patrick 1-1, Marsa vs St. George's 1-0
- Second Division Gharghur vs Balzan Y. 1-3, Attard vs Gudja U. 0-4, Gozo vs Qormi 1-3
- Third Division Fgura U. vs Xghajra T. 1-3, Luqa SA vs Zurrieq 0-2
- Women's League Qormi vs Rabat A. 0-1, Raiders vs Hibernians 0-6
- Gozo - First Division Kercem A. vs Xaghra U. 1-0
- Premier League Hamrun S. vs Floriana 2-4, PietÓ H. vs Birkirkara 0-2
- Second Division Zebbug R. vs Mellieha 1-1, Vittoriosa S. vs Melita 4-2
- Gozo - Second Division Knock-Out Zebbug R. vs Victoria H. 1-0, Oratory Y. vs Qala SJ 0-0 aet (6-7 pen)
- Third Division Kalkara vs Pembroke A. 1-1, Zejtun C. vs Sta. Venera L. 0-5
- Malta international striker Michael Mifsud resumed training this week after recovering from a long term injury which ruled him out for five months.
Mifsud was playing regularly for Lillestrom last season, scoring six goals in 15 matches. However an injury sustained during a training session ruled him out for the rest of the season. He also missed the last four international matches for Malta - the friendly match against Northern Ireland and the last three World Cup qualifiers against Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria.
Speaking to Norwegian online magazine Romerikes Blad, Mifsud said: "It has been hard to be off the game for so long. Sitting on the bench, watching the team and being unable to help them, is hard. I have never been injured for so long."
According to the report, the Maltese international player seemed to be fully recovered.
Mifsud added, "I feel in good shape and have been waiting to get back for a long time. For the couple of months, I have been practicing daily in the gymnasium."
Meanwhile the Malta international striker's future could not necessarily be with Lillestrom. His contract expires at the end of this season and there were no discussions yet on renewing it.
"I always considered LSK as a stepping stone to a bigger club or league. I still see it that way. However that does not mean that I will move elsewhere. Many things can happen in football and it's hard to say what the future will bring."
"But for the time being, the most important thing for me is to play well for Lillestrom. We have a strong team now, and our objective is to win," concludes Mifsud.
Lillestrom are currently on a one-week training camp in Germany. The team is also playing in 5-a-side indoor tournaments against teams from Eastern Germany like Carl Zeiss Jena, Hallescher, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Armina Bielefeld, Sachsen Leipzig, Chemnitzer FC, Union Berlin and Rot Weiss Erfurt. In a game against Chemnitzer FC on Friday, Mifsud managed to score one of the goals.
- Msida St. Joseph secured the services of 21-year old midfielder Ousseni Zongo. He will be the club's third foreigner along Nigerians Daniel Nwoke and Ibrahim Babatunde.
Maltese-Australian Shane Tagliaferro was previously considered as the third foreigner but he has now obtained Maltese citizenship.
Zongo played for Anderlecht's youth side before moving to Austria where he played for FC Wacker Tirol and SV W÷rgl.
He was part of the Burkina Faso side for the 1999 World U/17 Championships. He then led the team to qualify for the 2001 edition of the same tournament after they reached the final of the 2001 African U/17 Championships.
Zongo will be filling the void left by Roderick Bajada whose transfer to Sliema Wanderers is nearing conclusion.
As part of the deal, which involves players and cash, Stefano Grima's loan with Msida is converted into a permanent transfer while former Under-21 international defender Lee Lombardi will join the club on loan till the end of the season.
- Hamrun Spartans secured the services of young Valletta defender Jonathan Francica on loan till the end of the season.
Francica only made a few appearances as a substitute so far for Valletta.
The Spartans hope to strengthen further the squad, possibly with the arrival of a new foreigner.
On the other hand, two Hamrun players joined other clubs on loan till the end of the season. Gareth Bartolo joined St Andrews in Division 1 while Neville Galea moved to Sirens in Division 3.
Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday January 13 at 19:00 at the club premises.
Members will have the opportunity to air their views regarding the team's position in the Premier League and regarding other issues concerning the club.
- Three Premier League players were handed a one-match ban by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner.
Birkirkara striker Michael Galea will be missing the game against PietÓ on Saturday after collecting a fourth yellow card.
After receiving a fourth yellow card as well, Sliema Wanderers midfielder Joe Brincat was also suspended for one match and will skip the game against Msida on Saturday 14.
On the other hand, Ian Zammit, who was sent off in Valletta's 0-4 defeat to Marsaxlokk, is ruled out of the Citizens' nex game against PietÓ Hotspurs on Saturday 21.
- Former Malta international midfielder Miguel Mifsud joined First Division leaders St. George's on loan for the rest of the season.
A product of Hibernians, Mifsud played for Xghajra Tornadoes before making his Premier League debut with Hibernians in season 2000/2001.
After four years with the Paolites, Mifsud was transferred to Sliema Wanderers in summer 2004. However he only made just nine league appearances last season.
Mifsud will be making his debut for the Saints in the clash against Marsa on Sunday.
Meanwhile Sliema Wanderers are close to finalising the deal which will see Roderick Bajada joining them from Msida St. Joseph.
The two clubs reached an agreement over the transfer of the player. In return, Msida are expected to receive former Under-21 international defender Lee Lombardi on loan till the end of the season and Stefano Grima's loan with Msida is converted into a permanent transfer. Msida will be receiving cash as well as part of the deal.
- The last two months of 2005 proved to be two eventful months for Premier School of Football. Apart from the regular training sessions, the school also organized three social activities for all the boys and their parents.
The first activity, organized on 21st November 2005, was the second of a series of educational seminars, and treated the subject of Sports Nutrition. Mr Geoffrey Axiak, a qualified nutritionist, was invited to deliver a presentation and answer questions about the subject. The school also took the occasion to hand its students the most improved player awards for the month of October. Given the encouraging attendance and overall participation, the event, which was organized at the Qawra Palace Hotel, turned out to be a success.
On Sunday 11th December, the administrators organized also the first cultural activity, a visit to the Mediterranean Conference Centre to assist to "The Malta Experience" show. As stated in its objectives, the school believes in giving also, as much as possible, a cultural background to the boys. Better general knowledge; especially about our country's cultural history and the ability to converse socially with confidence about several subjects, helps to give our boys better self-esteem. Again, this second activity was well attended and greatly appreciated by the boys and their parents.
A children's Christmas Party was the latest activity organized. The event took place at the Empire Cinema, where all the boys watched a film and had a party after. For the occasion the school invited national team player Andre Schembri to hand the most improved players awards for the month of November.
Andre, who at his young age, is considered one of Malta's brightest prospects, also delivered a small speech, where he told the boys to listen to their coach and to believe that nothing is impossible and that dreams can come true. The boys were all given a gift and several football items among which featured also a national team shirt signed by Andre himself.
Boys showing an interest to attend the school for the term commencing in February are presently being invited to attend a training session free of charge. Parents wishing to register their child are kindly requested to call on mobile numbers 99470423 or 99459607 for further details.
- Premier League Valletta vs Marsaxlokk 0-4, Birkirkara vs Sliema W. 2-1
- Young Marsaxlokk forward Cleaven Frendo has been named BOV Player of the Month for November/December, the second time since the start of the 2005-2006 season that the player has landed this honour.
Consistently good performances for his team backed by extraordinary scoring ability have been the hallmarks of this ebullient striker throughout these last months.
He is currently topping the goalscorers' list, having netted ten goals so far this season. More goals from him in December have helped his team bounce back into the limelight as Marsaxlokk managed to cut down the points' deficit from the top three teams in the BOV Premier League.
A product of PietÓ Hotspurs, Frendo had the opportunity of playing for Torino while he was still a thirteen-year old. On his return to Malta, he made his Premier League debut with the Hotspurs during season 2000/01. He was loaned to Lija Athletic in Division 1 for a six month-spell during season 2002/03. Back with PietÓ, he established himself as a key player in the team. He was transferred to Marsaxlokk in January 2005.
Frendo played for the national teams at all levels - Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and senior side.
- Fr Anton Dalli OP, MFA Chaplain for more than three decades, passed peacefully away at St. Luke's Hospital on Saturday, 31st December, 2005 at the age of seventy-five.
A mass praesente cadavere will be said tomorrow Monday, 2nd January, 2006, at Our Lady of Fatima Sanctuary, Guardamangia, at 10.00am.
May God grant him eternal rest.