Fr Hilary happy Youth FA moving to ‘promised land’
The Youth Football Association will be moving to new headquarters as from next week after it was announced yesterday that the official unveiling of the more modern premises within the confines of the Centenary Stadium will be made on Thursday.
Fr Hilary Tagliaferro, president and founder of the organisation, told journalists that the Youth FA has now been established for almost 30 years and since its inception giant strides were made, promoting the ‘beautiful game’ among youngsters.
“The new headquarters is a dream come true for us. The Youth Football Assocation has been established since 1982 but in reality we started promoting football among young people many years before when we opened the first football centre at the Marsa Sports Ground,” Fr Tagliaferro said.
“That was 1972. The road ahead was difficult and long but since then we have made huge progress.
“At first, we had 10 nurseries in our fold but we now have 49 affiliated. For many years, the Youth FA had catered for its members from modest offices in Floriana but we always felt that we needed to move closer to the football family as we also required wider space to function more efficiently.”
Fr Hilary heaped praise on MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo who pledged his assistance in helping the Youth FA find an alternative base to the one which had become too small for their demands.
“MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo was true to his word and kept his promise,” Fr Hilary added.
“Last Christmas, he vowed to help us with this issue and now we are really excited at the prospect of working in a true football environment. Indeed, we couldn’t have asked for more... Ta’ Qali is the most ideal place to be.”
The inauguration of the new Youth FA headquarters will be held on Thursday and will be attended by all high-ranking MFA executive committee officials and Clyde Puli, the Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport.
During the ceremony, nursery delegates will be receiving a grant, allocated annually by UEFA to the Malta FA.
Fr Hilary said in the next few months the Youth FA will be organising a series of activities intended to introduce the game to newcomers while making sure that those already practising football keep doing so in a safe and enjoyable setting.
“We having a whole list prepared, including a seminar in conjunction with Kunsill Malti għall-Isport.
“But, first we are planning to hold a tournament for those young footballers who for some reason or another find it difficult to figure regularly for their teams along the season,” he said.
“In this tournament, we shall be urging nurseries to consider fringe players, those who are usually restricted to the bench for long spells. The message is clear... we want all youngsters to get integrated and feel they belong to this game. We want our youngsters to enjoy themselves practising their favourite sport.”