Month: July 2014

Next year’s Futsal League format launched

23 teams will be taking part in next season’s futsal leagues organized by the Futsal Malta Association (FMA) after the clubs met at the Corradino Pavillion last week.

Four new clubs Lija Athletics, Mellieha FC, Attard FC and Mdina Knights are returning in the Futsal competitions and will participate in the First Division.

The Premier Division will be made up of ten teams; Balzan FC, Luxol St Andrews, Hamrun Spartans, Qormi FC, Mosta FC, Swieqi FC, Valletta FC, Gzira Utd, Zebbug Rangers and Zurrieq.

The bottom two teams will be relegated to the First Division while the third team from the bottom will participate in a play-off with First Division teams who placed third, fourth and fifth respectively for a promotion spot.

The First Division will be composed of thirteen teams; Luqa St Andrews, Mdina Knights,  Lija Athletics, Fgura Utd, Mellieha FC, Msida St Joseph, Siggiewi FC, Mqabba FC, Qrendi FC, Sirens, Attard, Naxxar Lions and B’Bugia FC.

In this division the first two teams will be promoted to Premier Division status the following year.


Valletta FC more and more active on the transfer market

Valletta FC line up for what is probably going to be most impressive transfer campaign of the summer.

After securing two futsal stalwarts, Xavier Saliba and Cedric Sciberras, they signed four more players to reinforce their team who were promoted to Premier Division as champions.

Goalkeeper Matthew Mifsud and Denis di Maio, both ex-San Gwann alongside Kurt Bartolo and Melvin Borg continued to bolster their already revolutionized team.

As committee member Dassier Borg said, the Citizens are aiming for the final play-offs next season.

This website talked to former San Gwann  inspirational keeper, Matthew Mifsud, who seemed elated by this transfer move.

“I chose Valletta FC because I know the players very well, ” said Mifsud.

“The committee immediately trusted me in their new project for next season and I have a lot of motivation.”

“Moreover I am really proud of being given the opportunity to don the Valletta shirt next season,” concluded the former San Gwann keeper.

Meanwhile Premier Division champions,  Balzan secured the services of two former Hibs players, Mark Zammit and youngster Matthew Attard.





Qormi FC, who placed eighth in the table last season, signed the ex-Hibernians defender Jesmond Micallef.

Naxxar Lions continued to strengthen their squad for the coming season as  two players, Daniel Brincat and Kurt Azzopardi joined the first division side.










Both players played for Todos FC and Floriana in the past seasons and formed part of the futsal national team.

Moreover they confirmed Kurt Bartolo as their coach for next season while Keith Borg, who lead the team in the past,  will have the role of team manager.









Zebbug Rangers, who were promoted to the Premier Division after placing second in the table, have ex-Sta Lucia keeper, Shaun Attard on trial.

Valletta sign Hibs duo

Newly promoted Premier Division side, Valletta FC continued to strengthen their squad with the signing of Xavier Saliba and Cedric Sciberras from Hibernians.

Both players, who form part of the National Futsal squad,  had been donning the Paolites’ shirt for a number of years.

After securing their promotion in the Premier Division as a coach, Saliba took the decision of playing with the Citizens after continuous support by the Valletta committee.

When contacted by this website, Saliba expressed gratitude towards his former team as he defines the time spent with them as “the best five years of his futsal career” He wished to thank all those involved in the Hibernians setup as he learned a lot and made new acquaintances during this successful experience.

He succeeded to win the first national league organized by the FMA and gave his contribution in many of the league and knock-out matches.

Cedric Sciberras is known for his determination that characterized his four successful seasons with Hibernians.

Meanwhile Clayton Felice, who helped Valletta gain promotion to the Premier Division status as a player, has been appointed as their new coach.

Felice’s coaching career started four years ago when he joined Taz-Zwejt Boys. Last year he was in charge of Premier Division side San Gwann.

Dassier Borg, who formed part of the Valletta squad last year, will be part of the Citizens’ futsal committee.

Photo: Facebook

New FMA committee in two important meetings

The new FMA committee led by President Mark Borg had two important meetings earlier this with Parliamentary Sec for Sport, Hon. Chris Agius and Hon. Robert Cutajar, opposition representative on Sports.

During a very cordial meeting held at the Ministry, Mark Borg thanked Hon. Agius for promptly accepting their invitation. Hon. Agius congratulated Borg for being elected as the new FMA President saying that he was always aware of how keen and passionate he is for the sport of futsal.

Both parts spoke about various options of how FMA can collaborate with the Parliamentary Secretariat for Sport, including the possibility of acquiring forms of assistance through ETC and KMS.

Mark Borg spoke about FMA’s intention to promote futsal with youngsters and it was identified that FMA will be collaborating with the Education Division and Sports Promotion Unit in the near future in order to assist in the setting up of inter-school futsal competitions/festivals. The Parliamentary Secretary shared FMA’s vision to introduce a variety of sporting activities in the Education programme and futsal would be one of them.

FMA’s president also spoke about how futsal increased popularity in Malta to become one of the leading indoor sport in terms of number of clubs/participants. For this reason FMA needs to improve its administrative set up. In order to make the sport sustainable, the long term vision of FMA is to have its own premises and venue. The Parliamentary Secretary promised to discuss a current project which has been identified by FMA with his counterparts in order to set the ball rolling in this direction.

In another meeting, with Hon Robert Cutajar, Borg congratulated him for taking the initiative to organise a National Conference for Sports recently and expressed his wish to retain a forum between local sport associations whereby common challenges and opportunities are discussed. Hon Robert Cutajar wished the best of luck to the new FMA team and offered his assistance to the association.

Nicola del Re new Lija A coach

New futsal club Lija Athletics have appointed Nicola del Re as their new coach for next season.
This is Del Re’s first experience as a coach. He began his futsal career six years ago as a player with Tal-Werqa Futsal Club. He also played with Pentagon Futsal,  Naxxar Motors Futsal, ZC Excess Lazio and Qormi Futsal. He currently plays with Maltese champions Balzan FC.
Del Re always dreamed of managing a futsal team. Some coaches approached him to learn more about certain tactics and management skills.
When Balzan appointed Gabriel Dobre as their player/coach at the beginning of the season, Del Re was given a lot of mentoring by the Romanian international and this gave him a lot of experience.
As a player he won two championships, two KO competitions and two Super Cups mostly with Balzan.
Nicola del Re has already met some potential players that could form part of the Lija squad.
His main objectives are to have a good squad and challenge for promotion to an upper division.
Moreover he would like to improve his players’ futsal skills.
Lija Athletics officially applied to be one of the new futsal clubs for the coming season.

Tough draw for Balzan

Balzan must overcome the challenge of Danish club Copenhagen Futsal and Croatian side Zagreb Futsal if they are to advance to the main round of the UEFA Futsal Cup for the first time in their history after the draws held at the house of European football in Nyon.

Balzan,  who captured their league title after beating arch-rivals Hibernians, were among the unseeded teams for this afternoon’s draw and were put into pot 3.

“It’s a very tough draw, ” Mario Vella, Balzan’s president told this website.

“The Croatians are a great squad and the majority of the players play with the national team. Despite all this, Balzan will work hard to produce a great performance in this competition.”

Club official, Nathan Jones expressed the same opinion when he said that  Balzan were pitted in a difficult group.

“It will be very hard, but not impossible,” said the team’s player/coach Gabriel Dobre.

“We have our chance but we need to show enough courage to play well.”

On the other hand, Balzan’s talisman player, Emil Raducu claimed that his team was not very lucky in the draws.

“We need to prepare very well during this time, we will work hard and hope in a good result even though we are considered as outsiders.”

Balzan will play both matches of the preliminary group in Croatia between the 26th and the 31st August 2014.

Preliminary round (26–31 August)
Group A: Hovocubo (Netherlands), Eden Futsal (Ireland), Istanbul Üniversitesi SK (Turkey), Wrexham Futsal Club (Wales)

Group B: Baku United FC (England), MNK Centar Sarajevo (Bosnia), Malmö City FC (Sweden), Gibraltar Scorpions FC (Gibraltar)

Group C: FS Ilves Tampere (Finland), Record Bielsko-Byala (Poland), Perth Saltires (Scotland), FK Lokomotyvas Radviliškis (Lithuania)

Group D: APOEL FC (Cyprus), NAFI Stuttgart (Germany), FC Anzhi Tallin (Estonia), KF Flamurtari Vlorë (Albania)

Group E: MFC Stolitsa Minsk (Belgium), FC Encamp (Andorra), FSC Schwaz (Austria), FC Talgrig Yerevan (ARM)

Group F: MNK Alumnus Zagreb (Croatia), København Futsal (Denmark), Balzan FC (Malta)

Group G: KMF Zelezarec Skopje (Macedonia), Asa Ben Gurion (Israel) , FC Agama Podgorica (Montenegro)

Group H: FC Grand Pro Varna (Bulgaria), Uni Futsal Bulle (Switzerland), FC Progress Chisinau (Moldova)

Main round (30 September–5 October)
Group 1: FK EP Chrudim (Czech Republic), Sporting Club de Paris (France), Winner preliminary round Group E, Winner preliminary round Group G

Group 2: Iberia Star Tbilisi (Georgia), FK Nikars Riga (Latvia), Winner preliminary round Group H, Winner preliminary round Group C

Group 3: ISK Dina Moskva (Russia), FC Lokomotiv Kharkiv (Ukrania), FC Deva (Romania), Winner preliminary round Group F

Group 4: Inter FS (Spain), Futsal Team Charleroi (Belgium), KMN Kobarid (Slovenia), Winner preliminary round Group A 

Group 5: KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (Serbia), Luparense C/5 (Italy), Athina ’90 (Greece), Winner preliminary round Group B

Group 6: Slov-Matic Bratislava (Slovakia), MVFC Berettjóújfalu (Hungary), Vegakameratene (Norway), Winner preliminary round Group D

Bye to elite round: FC Barcelona (Spain, holders), Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan), Araz Naxçivan (Azerbaijan), Sporting Clube de Portugal (Portugal)






UEFA Futsal Cup draws today in Nyon

The 2014/15 UEFA Futsal Cup will be launched by the preliminary and main round draws today at the House of European Football in Nyon.

The pairings for these two rounds will take place today at 14.00 CET.

A total of 29 teams beginning in the preliminary round, which will be played from 26 to 31 August, will be drawn into five groups of four and three of three. Every group will contain one side each from the four seeding pots, ranked by coefficient, other than the three-team sections which will have one apiece from the top two tiers and one from either the third or fourth tier.

Maltese champions Balzan were put into pot 3 and will participate in the preliminary round of this competition.

Holders Barcelona are among the teams participating and were excused from the draw as they were put into November’s elite round along Kairat Almaty, Araz Naxcivan and Sporting Club de Portugal.

In total 29 clubs ranked from 21 to 49 will compete in the preliminary round with 16 more, ranked from 5 to 20 entering for the main round.

Preliminary round
Pot 1 – hosts

MNK Alumnus Zagreb (CRO, seeding position 1)
FC Grand Pro Varna (BUL)
MNK Centar Sarajevo (BIH)
Record Bielsko-Byala (POL)
Eden Futsal (IRL)
FSC Schwaz (AUT)
FC Agama Podgorica (MNE)

Pot 2 – seeding position 4
FC Talgrig Yerevan (ARM)
KF Flamurtari Vlorë (ALB)
FK Lokomotyvas Radviliškis (LTU)
Wrexham Futsal Club (WAL)
Gibraltar Scorpions FC (GIB)

Pot 3 – seeding position 3
FC Anzhi Tallin (EST)
Istanbul Üniversitesi SK (TUR)
FC Progress Chisinau (MDA)
Malmö City FC (SWE)
Perth Saltires (SCO)
Balzan FC (MLT)

Pot 4 – seeding position 2
Asa Ben Gurion (ISR)
København Futsal (DEN)
Uni Futsal Bulle (SUI)
FC Encamp (AND)
NAFI Stuttgart (GER)

Pot 5 – seeding position 1
Baku United FC (ENG)
MFC Stolitsa Minsk (BLR)
KMF Zelezarec Skopje (MKD)
FS Ilves Tampere (FIN)
Hovocubo (NED)

Main round
Pot 6 – hosts

KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB)
ISK Dina Moskva (RUS)
FK EP Chrudim (CZE)
FK Nikars Riga (LVA)
MVFC Berettjóújfalu (HUN)
KMN Kobarid (SVN)

Pot 7 – seeding position 4
Preliminary round winners Groups A to H

The last two of the eight to be drawn will be placed in seeding position 3 of first available groups

Pot 8 – seeding position 3
Vegakameratene (NOR)
Athina’90 (GRE)
FC Deva (ROU)

Pot 9 – seeding position 2
Luparense C/5 (ITA)
FC Lokomotiv Kharkiv (UKR)
Futsal Team Charleroi (BEL)
Sporting Club de Paris (FRA)

Pot 10 – seeding position 1
Inter FS (ESP)
Iberia Star Tbilisi (GEO)
Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK)

Bye to elite round
FC Barcelona (ESP, holders)
Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
Araz Naxçivan (AZE)
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR)