Month: October 2014

Lija and Luxol remain on the right track

Lija managed to keep their positive track in the Futsal First Division ahead of their direct clash against  Mellieha when they hammered Msida 9-0 to register their fifth win on the trot.

Aleksandar Ribic was exceptional for the winners as he scored a hat-trick to pave the way for his side’s  victory.
After installing a 3-0 advantage before half-time, Lija scored six more goals to make certain of the three  precious points.
A brace by Jeremy Cutajar, Mark Mizzi, Jonathan Sammut, Ryan Bugeja and Zeljko Anicic added more  goals for the leaders.

Luxol didn’t find any difficulty to impose themselves on Zebbug Rangers 13-4 to gain the sole leadership  of the table although playing a match more.

Brazilian duo Celino Alves and William Barbosa were a continuous menace for the Zebbug defence who  found it hard to control their continuous attacks. Barbosa scored a poker for Luxol while Celino Alves, Karl Saliba and youngster Matteo Desira Buttigieg  hit a hat-trick.

Zebbug reduced the arrears through a brace by Jason Mifsud, Ricky Zammit and an own goal by Luxol  keeper Adrian Attard.

Mellieha keeps going, Mdina still can’t make it

From Tuesday’s First Division matches, Mellieha keeps on winning and gives Naxxar the first defeat.  Attard moves forward and Mdina still can’t get their first win of the season.

Mellieha who already had a four goal advantage in the first half, sealed a 6-2 victory against Naxxar. In the second half, Naxxar took the risk and started playing with the flying keeper and managed to score two goals through Daniel Brincat and Kurt Azzopardi. Daniel Brincat was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

Nickolay Filipov’s hat-trick, together with goals from Radoslav Kovachev, Graig Pickard and Robert Magro made them five out of five for Mellieha.

Even though Mdina played the best futsal, creating loads of chances, much more than Attard, still they couldn’t get their first win.

In the 13th minute, Dalziel Bugeja broke the deadlock and put Mdina in advantage. Two minutes from the end of the first half, Attard’s captain Matthew Buttigieg levelled the matters.

In the last gasp Buttigieg scored the decisive goal for Attard.

Mdina had to suffer two red cards, one for Tyrone Grech and one for Coach Kyle Sultana.

Futsal resumes tonight with two more interesting encounters. In the first match Lija will be looking to keep setting the pace with Mellieha, whilst Msida will be looking to bounce back after their last outing.
In the second match Luxol will be looking to continue to set the pace at the top of the Premier Division.

In tomorrow’s encounter, Hamrun will try to comeback after last week’s defeat against Luxol while Gzira will try to get the first win of the season.

A Closer Look at … Mark Marlow (National Team’s Coach)

Recently the Malta Football Association appointed Mark Marlow as the Maltese Futsal National Team’s Coach. Mark Marlow is currently in his third year as Mosta Nursery Head Coach, following a vast coaching experience.

Qualified with UEFA’s A License coached U11’s Paola Hibs Nursery (2002-03), Player/Coach with Kercem Ajax FC (2003-04), MFA Regional coach & U14 Selection (2006 / 2009) and Assistant Coach with Maltese Futsal National Team for 3 years between 2006 and 2009. He also coached Msida St. Joseph FC and Sliema Wanderers FC, both in the Premier Division for 2 years between 2009 and 2011.

Marlow is very pleased of being appointed for this role in the local futsal environment and he’s willing to give all his best to improve the current situation. Marlow will use a positive approach to work both individually and as a group technically and tactically. He also believes that the squad is made up of experienced and young players, which can offer an encouraging future in futsal. These players are intelligent enough to take good decisions on the pitch, passionate and always ready to sacrifice themselves for the good of the team.

For this year Marlow will have available called players, ten days before the start of the match. He also will be relying on the respective clubs to have the players always physically prepared, in order to prepare the national squad both tactically and mentally.

Mark Marlow’s vision is in having a holistic program spread on all football nurseries, to teach children playing futsal as from a very young age. Youth need to learn ball control, body positioning, keeping possession in limited spaces, continuously thinking and moving. Marlow’s vision is the same FMA’s vision for a better future in futsal.

Mark Marlow appreciates all the hard working from all coaches and technical staff from all clubs to keep on improving the level of game. He is always there for all those who are involved in futsal to have a national positive mentality in the local futsal.

Finally Mark Marlow would like to thank MFA for trusting him to lead the national futsal team and Mosta Nursery in giving him chance for this new adventure.


A Closer Look at….Thomas Consoli (Mqabba FC)

Name: Thomas Consoli

Born on the 8th August 1987 (27 years)

Works as an Engineer

Hobbies: Gaming, Football.

Personal Motto: Respect All, Fear None

How did you start playing futsal?

About a year and a half ago, two friends of mine, Aaron Calafato and Jonathan Brincat, approached me to go for a trial with Msida Futsal Club. At that time I only used to play 5-aside matches with friends however I decided to go for the trial and it went well.

What does this sport mean to you?

This sport gave me the opportunity to start playing again competitively after having stopped playing football. It is an important part of my life because it allows me to get rid of work-related stress and  focus on something that I love doing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of this sport…

The smaller pitch requires players to have quick thinking and very good ball control. It allows players to touch the ball much more frequently than in 11-aside football and can therefore be more entertaining.

For certain aspects it is much more difficult because it requires constant concentration and you can’t switch off for a second.

Talk about the teams you have played with…

I used to play 11-aside football with Pieta Hotspurs and stopped at the age of 19. Last season I started playing futsal with Msida – where I started learning about the game and met many good friends.

This season I have joined Mqabba and I hope that as a team we will be able to give a tough match to every opponent and continue improving our level of futsal game after game.

Your best moment so far…

I am relatively new to futsal and I am sure that my best moments are yet to come. However, the best moment so far was when last year we managed to defeat Qrendi who at the time were leading the Division 1 league table. It was a very good personal and collective performance.

Objectives you wish to accomplish…

I hope to continue getting used to the tactical aspects of the game and manage to express my technical abilities. Most of all, I hope to continue enjoying playing this sport and to improve game after game together with my team mates.

Thomas Consoli (standing third from left) with Mqabba FC












Emphatic win for Luqa

Luqa notched their fourth consecutive win in the First Division after dominating Qrendi 5-0. This win helped them climb third in the table.

Isaac Delmar and Andrew Scerri hit a brace while captain Luke Buhagiar added another one for the Luqa side.

Sirens returned to winning ways as they defeated Birzebbuga 4-1 to install themselves sixth in the table.

Lawrence Vella (2 goals), Etienne Bonnici and Jeffrey Fenech were on the mark for the St Paul’s Bay side.

In a keenly contested match, Mqabba overcome Siggiewi 8-5 to grab their second consecutive victory of the season

Karl Carabott marked his official debut with Mqabba by scoring a goal for his side. Even keeper Victorio Ciantar was on the mark while Andrea Ciancio, Justin Psaila, Owen Fiteni, Etienne Rodo and Wayne Mizzi were the other goal-getters for Mqabba. An own goal added more goals for the victorious side.

Siggiewi reduced the arrears through a brace by Philip Caruana Turner, Andrew Briffa and James Borg.



Plucky Mosta give hard time to Champions

Balzan joined Luxol on top of the standings in the Premier Division after sweating hard to beat a determined Mosta side 4-3.

On paper, the Champions were favourites to win the three points without any difficulty but found Mosta, who had several players missing, determined to give a hard time to their opponents.

Glenn Bonello surged Balzan ahead after a good pass by Marco Conti.

But in the space of three minutes, Mosta managed to turn the tables by hitting the target three times through Ryan Buhagiar, James Mangion and Timothy Gingell.

Balzan reacted immediately and equalized from a free kick by Boycho Marev and a wonder lob by Marco Conti to make it 3-3 before half-time.

In the second half, Boycho Marev’s boys tried to impose their superiority but Mosta were organized in defence and operated some lethal counter attacks.

Glenn Bonello succeeded to score the winning goal on 30 minutes to secure the three important points for his team.







An improved Luxol side maintained their winning streak in the league as they saw off Hamrun Spartans 6-2.

As the clock struck the 6th minute Celino Alves was unlucky to hit the post.

Luck was on the Brazilian 20 seconds afterwards as he scored Luxol’s first goal after a one-two with Barbosa.

On 10 minutes Hamrun levelled the score as Michael Spiteri hit the target with a powerful shot.

Luxol produced a swift reaction and managed to strike ahead thanks to a Florin Anton grounder after a good assist by Alves.

Hamrun furiously surged into attack but found Luxol disciplined and organized as they defended boldly to install a 2-1 advantage before the break.

In the second half, Alves tried his luck on 25 minutes but his powerful drive was wide.

Hamrun keeper Brian Baldacchino had to show his best to block consecutive shots by Alves, Barbosa, Camilleri and Anton to keep his team in the match.

But the Hamrun custodian could do nothing in the following ten minutes as Luxol scored three more goals from William Barbosa, Celino Alves and Ibrahim Tarik.

The Spartans managed to reduce the arrears through Brazilian Rogerio Filho to make it 6-2 five minutes from the end.

James Ciangura, the Hamrun mentor, opted for the flying keeper to keep the pressure on Luxol but in one of their attacks, Luxol’s player/coach Florin Anton took advantage and scored his side’s sixth goal as he deposited the ball into the empty net.







Valletta registered their first win of the season after a resounding 13-2 success over Gzira United.

The Citizens were superior to their opponents, scoring three goals inside the first half to secure the three points and a significant morale-booster ahead of their next arduous matches.

Gzira United produced a reaction pulling two goals before the break. But in the second half, the Citizens dominated the match and managed to score eight more goals.

Italian striker Denis di Maio grabbed the limelight as he scored six goals for his side with Brian Deguara, Dexter O’Brien, Cedric Sciberras, Daniel Mifsud, an own goal and a brace by Xavier Saliba completed the rout for Valletta.










Surprise package Swieqi United made it two wins in a row as they defeated Qormi 6-4 to climb fourth in the table.

Serbian striker Zvezdan Vukovic continued to score vital goals for his team as he hit a hat-trick. Andrew Zammit Alessi, Fredrick Johsson and Paul Hyzler completed the mission for their side.

Juan Carlos Veira Peixoto and Blendi Gockaj were among the scorers for Qormi.



Lija joins Mellieha on top, chased by Naxxar

Lija recorded their four out of four win, with a 5-1 result of fellow newcomers Attard. Aleksander Ribic’s brace was significant to make him as the current top scorer, scoring twelve goals so far. Ryan Bugeja, Redeemer Borg and Jason Gauci also put their names in the scorers’ list for Lija. Attard’s only goal came through Kevin Loughborough.








Qrendi and Naxxar returned to winning ways in their matches against Mdina and Msida respectively.

Qrendi had the most ball possession and scored two goals in a short period of time. In fact, Antonello Brincat broke the deadlock in the 10th minute, followed two minutes later by Luke Zammit.

Mdina reacted well and managed to score just one minute before the end of the first half, through Shaun Deguara’s brace.

Antonello Brincat sealed the end result 4-2 for Qrendi, by scoring two more goals in the 27th and 29th minute.








Naxxar and Msida St. Joseph had one of the most spectacular matches so far, where Naxxar showed up to the best.

Msida opened the score through Gary Zerafa and few minutes later Bernard Sciberras levelled the matters for Naxxar

The same Bernard Sciberras had many more chances to score and also hit the post.

Naxxar increased the pace and managed to score again with Roderick Attard’s brace, Lydon Baldacchino and Andrea Farrugia.

Msida were back in the game with two more goals scored by Salem Ben Halim and Ryan Xuereb.

When the game was coming to the end, Naxxar had a freeshot after they have been awarded the 6th free kick in the second half.

Daniel Brincat’s freeshot was partially saved from the goalkeeper and from the rebound Ryan Mifsud found again the net, making the final score 6-3 for Naxxar Lions.

On Saturday we’ll have three more matches:

14:00 Mqabba vs Siggiewi

15:30 B’Bugia vs Sirens

17:00 Luqa vs Qrendi

A Closer Look At … Cleaven Portelli (Mdina Knights)

Date of Birth: 26/2/94 (20year old)

Place of Birth: Malta

Studies BSc.Podiatry at the University of Malta


How did you begin to play futsal?


At around April, the University Council issued a call for applications for the Futsal Team to represent the University in the national futsal league. I have friends who play futsal and their experience regarding futsal was always a positive one, and when this opportunity arouse, I decided to join the trials where then the current squad was chosen, and today we play for Mdina Knights, or as we call it, UoM Knights (University of Malta Knights)


In your opinion what is the difference between football and futsal?


I have been playing football since the age of 6 years, where I started with Paola Hibernians. During my teen years I joined Gudja United FC, the team I still play for till the current day.

The most thing that I love about futsal is that you get to touch the ball continously. About futsal I really like the fact that the clock is stopped whenever the ball is not in play, contrasting to football where sometimes there is a lot of time wasted. Tactics and the way you move without the ball are also different. Controlling, touching and shooting the ball also varies. Then obviously there are certain rules that are completely different.


Talk about the teams you’ve played with so far.


A previously said, I started my football career with Paola Hibernians, then joined Gudja United FC.

As for futsal, I have only played for Mdina. I enjoyed every minute playing with every team I played for, as I always found coaches and team mates that are worth playing with.

The most important thing in a team is teamwork, and seeking team glory rather than personal glory. These attributes are what makes a team a winning one.


The most memorable moment in your career


I think I have two moments. One of them occured when I was 8 years old when with Hibernians Nursery we went for an international tournament in Sardegna and manged to win the tournament whilst reminaing unbeaten. Another memorable moment occured last year were I played my first full match in the First Division with Gudja United, where we managed to beat leaders Zebbug Rangers 3-0, and I can say that it was a very good debut and the coaches, comitee and supporters’ praises really gave me satisfaction


Your personal objective


My objective is to play well in each game, helping Mdina reach their objectives, and to continue to deiscover this new world of futsal, since I never imagined I would enjoy this sport as much as this!


How are you feeling with Mdina Futsal?


I am really enjoying my futsal experience with this team. We bonded with each other very well, and are enjoying every second on the pitch.


Your personal appreciations…


I would like to thank all the caoches that have coached throughout my football life, especially Coach Leslie Noel Burke, and current football coach Alan Mifsud for believing in me and introdced me in the Seniors Team. I would also like to thank all the stakeholders that joined forces to start the University Futsal Team, in collaboration with Mdina Knights, a project that involved a lot of work. A big thank you to the current hardworking comitee and coach Kyle Sultana for believing in the current squad, and continously working hard to see this team improving and successing.

Last gasp goal gives Luxol narrow win, Balzan sweat hard for victory

A dramatic goal scored 4.1 seconds from the end by Karl Saliba gave Luxol a dramatic 4-3 win against Valletta to register their second consecutive success of the season.

It was not an easy game for the St Andrews outfit who were mostly erratic in front of goal and had to sweat hard against a mighty Valletta side who gave their all against the most quoted opponents.

After finding themselves a goal down, Luxol tried to produce a reaction but expert goalkeeper Matthew Mifsud denied his opponents with consecutive saves on Barbosa and Celino Alves.

Valletta, despite their second consecutive defeat, can ensure themselves of a bright future ahead as they produced a great fighting spirit which will give them a further boost for their forthcoming matches. They were unlucky in front of goal as well as finding Luxol’s keeper Adrian Attard in fine form.

Luxol’s goals came from a brace by Karl Saliba,  William Barbosa and Celino Alves.

Denis di Maio, Melvin Borg, Cedric Sciberras put their names on the score sheet for Valletta.







Before this match, champions Balzan had to sweat hard to placate a great Qormi side 6-4 to maintain their winning streak.

After finding themselves a goal down, Balzan reacted swiftly but found the Qormi defence in fine form as they neutralized their opponents incursions.

Albanian player Blendi Gockaj was exceptional for Qormi as he maneuvered most of his team’s counter attacks with the Balzan rearguard kept busy in the first minutes of the match.

But after Bonello’s equalizer, Balzan grew in confidence and succeeded to score the advantage goal before half-time.

In the second half, Balzan found the net immediately and managed to score two more goals to grab their most awaited win.

Boycho Marev and Nicola del Re hit the target twice while Glenn Bonello and Mark Zammit added more goals for Balzan.

Qormi replied through a brace by Blendi Gockaj, Diones Paulo Mendes da Silva and Darren Agius.







Swieqi returned to winning ways as they saw off Gzira United 7-3.

A hat-trick by Fredrick Johansson, Zvezdan Vukovic, Martin Sammut, Dario Zampa and Andrew Camilleri Kamsky were the goal-getters for Swieqi.

Italian duo Alessio Restuccia (2 goals) and Aurelio Burgio replied  for Gzira.



A Closer Look at…..Denis di Maio (Valletta FC)

Name: Denis di Maio

Date of Birth: 29/9/1989 (25 years)

Place of Birth: Termini Imerese (Italy)

Works as a Demi-Chef with a local hotel in St Julians.

He loves his job and aims to learn and improve more in the food industry.

He admits of being in love with Malta and the Maltese.








How did you begin to play futsal?

I started playing 11-a-side football since I was a child, but at the age of 16, I was called up by the local futsal coach to substitute a player who was disqualified. I remember that I played well and the coach wanted me even for the following season to be part of his squad

In your opinion what is the difference between football and futsal?

Well, both sports are completely different from each other. In football you have a larger area and one can show more his athletic skills.

On the other hand, futsal is mostly based on speed and  techniques . You’re involved in a lot of actions in a short span of time.

Talk about the teams you’ve played with so far.

In football I have played with two amateur clubs,  Club Italia and Termitana Cascino.

In futsal, I started in 2012 with Virtus Termini in Serie C1 where I finished as the league top scorer with 58 goals. The following year I resumed my career with Serie B club San Isidoro where I had the chance to play as a semi professional.

Last season I had the chance to play in Malta with San Gwann  and now I am a Valletta player.

The most memorable moment in your career.

My most memorable moment happened at the end of the year 2013 when I came to Malta as San Gwann wanted me in their squad and I continued my goal scoring abilities as I hit the target 13 times in 10 matches. I mostly remember the play-off semifinal we’ve played against Hibernians where we almost made it to the final.

Your  personal objective.

My personal objective is to win this year’s Premier Division. Eventually I would like to participate in the UEFA Futsal League with Valletta. Who knows, maybe I could play for the Maltese national team (Malta is in my heart, even though I was born in Italy).

How are you feeling with Valletta FC?

The experience with Valletta FC so far has been great. I feel part of their futsal family. The committee works so hard so that every player feels part of the club. I consider my team mates as my personal friends. I feel proud of donning the Valletta shirt.

Your personal appreciations…

I would like to thank my manager Fabrizio Aglieri Rinella, that is always by my side as well as Clayton Felice that has put a lot of trust in me.

I don’t want to forget my former Italian coach Gaetano Contiguglia from whom I’ve learnt a lot.