Month: December 2014

Marlow names provisional squad for UEFA qualifiers

Futsal National Coach Mark Marlow named a provisional 18-man squad ahead of the forthcoming UEFA qualifiers to be played in Malta between the 13th and 18th January 2015.

The squad features new faces from the last international friendly tournament including Luxol keeper Adrian Attard, Andy Mangion, Darren Rapa, Giancarlo Sammut and Jason Gauci while Xavier Saliba is back in the national team formation.

The players selected by Marlow are:

Valletta: Matthew Mifsud; Melvin Borg; Xavier Saliba
Naxxar: Daniel Brincat; Andrea Farrugia
Luxol: Dale Camilleri; Matteo Desira Buttigieg; Adrian Attard
Hamrun: Jovica Milijic; Darren Rapa; Chris Cardona; Andy Mangion
Balzan: Nickol Del Re, Mark Zammit, Nicholas Farrugia, Giancarlo Sammut
Gzira: Luke Stivala
Lija: Jason Gauci.

Malta were paired in Group E of the UEFA Futsal EURO Preliminary Round alongside Latvia, England and Andorra.

 

 

2014 Round Up: Balzan Cap Dominant Year with a treble

As we approach the end of 2014, this website looks back at the main events which characterized this year. It was another successful year for the FMA who is striving so hard to improve the level of Futsal in Malta.

It was a year which saw Balzan the main protagonists as they conquered in three competitions; Super Cup, League and KO competition.

2014 was the year which saw a change in the FMA administration as Mark Borg was elected as the new president after succeeding outgoing president Donald Spiteri.

In a council meeting held in July it was decided that the league would be divided into two divisions: Premier (9 teams) and First Division (12 teams).

On the other hand, Mark Marlow was appointed as the new futsal national team coach.

The main events that marked 2014 were as follows

13th January 2014 – Malta turn tables on Gibraltar.

Malta obtained a deserved 4-2 victory over Gibraltar with Giancarlo Sammut scoring a brace and Rennie Tanti and Jovica Milijic getting one each in an international friendly match  played at the Tercentary Hall in Gibraltar.

FMA president Donald Spiteri, the head of the Maltese delegation, also expressed his delight at the character shown by the team to make up for the 4-3 defeat to Gibraltar three days before.

 

 

 

 

 

2nd May 2014 – Balzan see off Vittoriosa to retain the KO competition

Balzan overcame Vittoriosa Stars 9-2 in the KO final to retain the title they had already won last year.

As the scoreline clearly indicates, Balzan produced a commanding performance to impose themselves on court and land their second honour of the season following the Super Cup.

Glenn Bonello and Boycho Marev were the inspiration for Balzan as they netted a hat-trick while Giancarlo Sammut, Emil Raducu and Carlo Scicluna were also on the mark.

Sean Vella’s brace restored a temporary parity for Vittoriosa.

At the end of the match, Futsal Malta Association president Donald Spiteri presented the trophy to captain Carlo Scicluna as proud club president Mario Vella also joined the players for the celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th May 2014 –  Gzira United promoted to Premier Division

Gzira United beat Naxxar Lions 7-4 to gain the necessary points for a Premier Division berth next season. It was a deserved reward for Gzira’s impressive run in this division after winning fifteen matches, getting four draws and losing only four times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th May 2014 –  Zebbug and Valletta seal promotion issue

Valletta and Zebbug Rangers won their respective matches to join the already promoted Gzira United to Premier Division status next year.

Zebbug defeated Kalkara 10-3 to assure themselves of a Premier Division spot after producing a successful season.

Valletta emulated their promotion rivals and saw off Santa Lucia 6-1 to keep the unbeaten record in 2014.

For Xavier Saliba this was another special season as he succeeded to obtain his third personal promotion as coach having also helped San Gwann ascend from Second Division to Premier.

1st June 2014 – Mark Borg is FMA’s new president

Mark Borg was elected as new president of the Futsal Malta Association by Council members and club delegates at the annual general meeting of the association held at the Corradino Pavillion.

He has succeeded Donald Spiteri, who had been president of the association for the past two years and who has been nominated as the association’s honorary president.

Alfred Camilleri was elected as vice-president after overcoming  the other contestant Saviour Darmanin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th June 2014 –  Balzan triumph and win the Championship

Balzan  overcame the stiff resistance of Hibernians to win the Premier Division Championship 9-8 on penalties and clinch their third success of the season after having already won the Super Cup and the Knock-Out competition.

The match, played in front of one of the biggest crowd  at the Corradino Pavillion, was a vibrant one with both teams producing a good level of futsal.

Two goals by Glenn Bonello and Emil Raducu gave Balzan the temporary advantage.

Hibernians reacted with goals coming from a brace by Celino Alves and Mark Zammit.

The match once again had to go to a penalty shoot-out to determine the final winner.

Balzan scored all their penalties through Raducu, Dan, Dobre, Milijic and Scicluna.

Hibernians scored four goals through Alves, Kobaidze, Lopez and Cohen. Xavier Saliba’s shot was saved by Balzan goalie Nicholas Farrugia.

At the end of the contest, FMA future president Mark Borg presented the trophy and medals to Balzan’s captain Carlo Scicluna amongst the joy of players, staff and supporters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6th June 2014 – Valletta celebrate title after easy win

Valletta were officially declared First Division Champions after finding no difficulty in disposing of tenth placed Msida 9-1.

Furthermore they maintained their impressive performance in 2014 as they produced a great run of sixteen positive results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5th August 2014 – FMA unveils brand new logo

Futsal Malta Association (FMA) unveiled its brand new logo, as its ambitious process of progress and development continued under the leadership of FMA President Mark Borg.

The logo – made up of a futsal pitch at the centre with a ball at the right hand side and the name of the association underneath reflects the love for the game of futsal and the dynamism of the association.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28th August 2014 – Balzan place second in the UEFA Futsal Cup Preliminary Round

After losing 7-2 to hosts MNK Alumnus Zagreb in the first game from Group F of the UEFA Futsal Cup Preliminary Round, Balzan bounced back with a 5-3 win over Danish champions København in the second game at the Sports Hall Dom Sportova in Zagreb.

It was a great performance by Romanian internationals Tony Safar, Andrea Dan and Adrian Panzaru who paved the way for Balzan’s first win in the competition and guarantee the runner-up spot in the group.

In the first game, Alumnus proved stronger than Balzan to take the first three points of the tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

16th September 2014 – Mark Marlow appointed national futsal coach

Mark Marlow was appointed as Malta national Futsal coach. The post has been vacant for a number of weeks after the departure of Kevin Mifsud.

Marlow had already served as assistant coach to Michal Striz – Malta’s first ever national team coach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4th October – Balzan win Super Cup over Luxol

Balzan won the Super Cup after having the better of  Luxol 3-1 to clinch the first honour of the season.

This was their third consecutive success as they had already won this cup in the past two years.

Balzan surged ahead through Nicola del Re with Boycho Marev adding another one.

Luxol reduced the deficit from Celino Alves but Boycho Marev produced the final show as he scored the final goal make it 3-1 for Balzan.

At the end of the contest, FMA president Mark Borg presented the Super Cup to Balzan’s captain Carlo Scicluna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st  December 2014Malta brimming with pride after Gibraltar win

Youngster Matteo Desira Buttigieg’s solitary goal, early in the second half, paved the way for Malta’s first victory against Gibraltar in the 4th International Tournament held at the Corradino Pavillion.

This win helped Mark Marlow’s boys to finish second in the standings ahead of the same Gibraltar and behind tournament winners Serbia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8th December 2014 – A Big Futsal Family in aid of Puttinu Cares

The Futsal Malta Association proudly organised a three day marathon in aid of Puttinu Cares at the Corradino Sport Pavilion. This was the first time event which brought together all local futsal lovers.

This sum collected in aid of Puttinu Cares, amounts to €2500.

 

 

Hamrun Spartans qualify, Mellieha bow out with pride

Hamrun Spartans qualified for the second round of the Knock-Out competition after edging out First Division side Mellieha 7-5 at the Corradino Pavillion.

The Northerners, although bowing out of the Knock-Out competition, departed with heads held high.

The Spartans dominated possession with duo Elamari and Rogerio a continuous menace to the Mellieha rearguard.

Michael Spiteri put Hamrun ahead after hitting the target from close range.  Nine minutes later Mohammed Elamari doubled the score.

Michael Spiteri breaking the deadlock for the Spartans

Mellieha reacted and reduced the arrears through Nikolay Filipov who fired a firm grounder after a solo run.

On 16 minutes, Hamrun were awarded a penalty which was converted by Rogerio to make it 3-1.

Hamrun could have increased the score had Rogerio not missed a free shot one minute before the break.

The Northerners’ response came immediately as Radoslav Kovachev pounced on some hesitant defending and rifled the ball home.

In the early stages of the second half, Michael Spiteri completed a brace as he received the ball from Mohammed Elamari and score Hamrun’s fifth goal.

Mellieha continued to instill pressure on the  Hamrun defence as Nikolay Filipov revived his team’s hopes by steering his shot beyond the keeper’s reach following a rebound.

The latter kept believing in their potential and added another one from Craig Pickard’s freekick to put them just one goal behind Hamrun.

With two minutes left, Mellieha put everything on the offensive but Brazilian nippy striker Rogerio had other plans as he netted a brace to kill all hopes for his opponents.

Eight seconds from the end Nikolay Filipov hit the target to reduce the result for his team.

Nikolay Filipov scoring one of Mellieha’s goals

 

Lija Athletic reach Mellieha on top

Lija Athletic managed to reach again Mellieha at the top of the table, by winning against Naxxar 5-1.

Lija found the net through Florin Manea, Redeemer Borg, Ryan Bugeja and Aleksander Ribic’s brace.

Naxxar’s only goal was scored at the end of the first half by Adrian Fenech.

A narrow win consolidates Msida in the sixth place and makes it the fourth win a row.

Ryan Xuereb, Aleksander Eustonyevic and Aleksander Meliac kept Msida on top against a very resistant Mqabba with Thomas Consoli’s brace.

Attard came back to the winning ways and joined Luqa in the forth place after beating them 5-2. Attard’s win was marked with Gerry Christopher Fabbro’s hat-trick and goals from Byron Fenech and Antonio Camilleri.

Edward Falzon and Andrew Scerri scored for Luqa St. Andrew’s.

Hamrun move second after good win

Hamrun Spartans moved into the second place of the Premier Division standings after seeing off Swieqi United 7-3 in their last league match of 2014.

This was the sixth success for the Spartans who are snapping at Luxol’s heels just one point behind them and three more than third placed Balzan.

Brazilian Rogerio dos Santos Filho marshalled  Hamrun’s style of play as he was involved in many actions and created lots of occasions for his team mates. He found the time to score one of his team’s goals.

On the other hand, Andy Mangion switched on his goal-scoring spree as he netted four goals to put the Spartans in the driving seat.

Swieqi broke the deadlock from Swedish Fredrik Johansson but Roger levelled the score for Hamrun before the break.

In the  second half, Hamrun dominated the proceedings scoring six more goals to gain the precious three points.

Swieqi managed to reduce the score through Fabio Grech and an own goal by Robert Fenech.

Valletta registered their second consecutive victory after dominating Zebbug Rangers 11-3.

Cedric Sciberras scored a poker for the winners with Denis di Maio, Bryan Deguara, Melvin Borg, Xavier Saliba and Alan Borg completing the score for the Citizens.

Qormi edged past Mosta 7-5 in another thrilling encounter played on Thursday.

This win helped  Qormi climb sixth in the standings opening a four point advantage from the relegation zone.

Endrit Kaca hit a hat-trick for Qormi while Basil Onuta, Blendi Gockay and David Smith added more goals.

Gabor Balan (3), Genti Haxhia and Ryan Buhagiar were the goal-getters for Mosta.

 

Luxol move first as they inflict first defeat on Balzan

Luxol regained sole leadership in the Premier Division when, thanks to a magnificent performance, they defeated champions Balzan 11-5 in the much-awaited top of the table clash thanks to a great second half comeback.

It was a fixture between Malta’s top futsal teams. This was Luxol’s sixth victory of the season with Balzan suffering their first defeat of the campaign.

Luxol took an early lead in the first six minutes thanks to Florin Anton and William Barbosa.

Balzan soon reacted and managed to restore equilibrium through Glenn Bonello and Marco Conti.

The last two minutes before the break were moments of unrelenting drama as Florin Anton put Luxol back in front but two quickfire goals by Croatian Frane Despotovic gave Balzan a 4-3 advantage.

Bolstered by some tactical switches, Luxol stormed into their opponents to level the scores on 24 minutes. Seven more followed in quick succession as the fired-up Luxol outfit rattled the fading Balzan who wilted under the pressure.

Brazilian Celino Alves and Peter Pullicino hit a brace, Florin Anton completed a hat-trick while Karl Saliba and an own goal by Giancarlo Sammut turned the tables for Luxol.

Glenn Bonello found the time to score Balzan’s consolation goal on 40 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Premier’s top of the table challenge

Few hours left from the top of the table challenge, this site contacted Balzan’s player coach Frane Despotovic and Luxol’s player coach Florin Anton.

Despotovic told us that for sure that it will be an interesting game between two great teams. Balzan’s objective is to win each and every game and tonight will put all their effort to keep this track record.

Balzan will be missing Mark Zammit who was injured during the last knock out encounter against Lija and captain Carlo Scicluna.

His personal expectation is to give his 100% of his mental and physical performance.

From the other side, Florin Anton said that Balzan are favourites as they beat them in the Super Cup Final and also have 2 good quality foreign players.

This fact will not keep them back to be prepared to give a good game to their opponents. Luxol’s team also has good quality players that can make the difference.

Luxol will be missing Reuben Grech who is injured.

Surely this game is important for both teams who want to win today, to reach again the top of the premiership.

Finally both Despotovic and Anton invited all the futsal followers, to watch this game, which kicks off around 9:30pm at the Corradino Sport Pavillion.

 

Carlo Scicluna appointed Naxxar coach

Carlo Scicluna has been appointed coach of Naxxar Lions after the First Division club was informed by coaching tandem Melvin Borg and Kurt Bartolo that they couldn’t resume their commitments for the following year.

In fact Bartolo and Borg will lead Naxxar for the last time in the match against Lija Athletics next Saturday at the Corradino Pavillion.

In their official Facebook page, Naxxar Futsal thanked both coaches for their dedication and commitment towards the club.

Carlo Scicluna requires no introduction in the local futsal scene being a key player for local champions Balzan and having several caps as a national team player.

He had been coached by trainers who have a great deal of experience in this game such as Kevin Mifsud, Gabriel Dobre and Vic Hermans.

He has been coaching in the Malta Futsal School for the past five years and had a short spell as a coach with Vittoriosa Stars.

When contacted by this website, Scicluna was overwhelmed by the trust given to him by the Naxxar committee.

“I am honoured to lead a great team like Naxxar. I was contacted by the committee as their present coaches were quitting at the end of this month.”

” I made up my mind to consider this decision but after some time I decided to accept this offer.”

Asked about his objective for the second part of this season, Scicluna was clear.

“Our main objective is to gain promotion to the Premier Division. It will not be easy as both Mellieha and Lija are quite strong teams but we believe that everything is possible.”

Scicluna’s first match as Naxxar coach will be on the 24th January against Luqa St Andrews.

 

 

 

 

 

Swieqi and Gzira advance in KO

Swieqi and Gzira progressed into another round of the Knock-Out competition after having the better of Qrendi and Siggiewi respectively.

They joined Luxol, Valletta, Qormi and Balzan who have already qualified for the next phase of this competition.

Two hat-tricks by Paul Hyzler and Fredrick Johansson, a brace by Andrew Sammut Alessi and goals by Sebastian Delsinger, Kenneth Bonanno and an own goal  helped Swieqi see off Qrendi 11-3.

Gzira recorded an important win, 4-2, over First Division side Siggiewi to make it to another  round of this competition

Luke Stivala, Alessio Restuccia, Josh Parry and Sean Vella were the goal-getters for Gzira.

James Borg and Andrew Briffa reduced the arrears for Siggiewi.

 

Mellieha and Lija continue marching on

Mellieha and Lija maintained their good form of late in the First Division after seeing off Attard and Mdina respectively to consolidate their top position in the standings.

A goal after three minutes paved the way for Mellieha’s victory over fifth-placed Attard who offered stiff resistance in the first half even finding the time to level the matters.

But in the second half, the Northerners increased their pressure and managed to score the winning goals that gave them the three precious points.

Mellieha’s goals came from Nikolai Filipov, Daniel Saliba, Radoslav Kovachev, Craig Pickard and Robert Magro.

Gianni Aquilina momentarily levelled the matters for Attard.

Nikolay Filipov scores a penalty for Mellieha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lija Athletics emulated their nearest rivals by chalking their ninth win of the season after beating Mdina Knights 6-1.

After finding themselves a goal down, the Athletics reacted swiftly and managed to restore parity twenty seconds later.

This goal revived Lija’s intentions to bag the three points and keep up with Mellieha in the promotion hunt having also a game in hand.

Florin Manea and Aleksandar Ribic netted twice for Lija with Jason Gauci and Mark Mizzi getting the other goals.

Neil Cauchi gave the Knights the momentary advantage.

Floren Manea scored a brace for Lija