Month: January 2015

Latvia secure their first win

Latvia …….. 3

Andorra ….. 2

In the opening match Latvia obtained their first 3 points, beating Andorra 3-2.

Latvia was the most offensive and Andorra was there to keep back the Latvians as much as possible. After 17 minutes play, Latvia found the net through Oskars Ikstens. Around 6 seconds form the end of the first half, Igor Avanesov doubled the score.

As the second half started, the Latvians continued with the scoring way, Maksims Sens make them 3-0.

Andorra reacted lately and pushed all their players on the attack. In fact Jonathan Perez took the role of the flying keeper, keeping continuosly in touch with Diogenes Lino.

In the last 2 minutes, Andorra reduced the score by Diogenes Lino and Ignacio Llamas from a freeshot.

Latvia: 1 Algars Bondars (GK), 12 Antons Astrahancevs (GK), 4 Maksims Sens, 13 Igor Avanesovs, 14 Germans Matjusenko, 7 Oskars Ikstens, 11 Jurijis Arhipovs-Prokofjevs, 8 Igors Dacko, 3 Andrejs Sustrovs, Arturs Sustrovs, 2 Arturs Jerofejevs, 6 Sergejs Nagibinis, 9 Artjoms Kolesnikovs, 5 Igor Lapkovskis

Head Coach: Arturs Sketovs

Andorra: 1 Aitor Rubio (GK), 2 Jordi Ferreiro, 3 Oscar Neira, 4 Joaquin Salvat, 6 Ignacio Llamas, Jonathan Perez, 8 Marcal Raventos, 9 Jorge Manuel Dias, 10 Carlos Manuel Barbosa, 11 Diogenes Lino, 13 Andre Ferreira (GK), 14 Omar Debboun, 15 Eric Mesquita, 18 Arnau Rodruguez

Coach Xavier De La Rosa

A Closer Look at….Andorra National Futsal Team

Andorra national futsal team is affiliated within the Andorran Football Federation.
Their biggest win was recorded 15 years ago, when on home ground they defeated Latvia 5-1.
Moreover their biggest defeat came in the year 2008 when they were hammered by Italy 9-0.
 They have participated eight times in the UEFA Futsal Euro while they have been in the FIFA Futsal World Cup four times.
Oriol Anglora had the most appearances for the Andorran team while the nation’s biggest scorer is Miguel Blazquez Cerdeira.
The team is led by Xavier La Rosa who chose this squad for this week’s EURO Futsal Qualifers:

Aitor Rubio (GK)

Jordi Ferreiro

Oscar Neira

Joaquin Salvat

Ignacio Llamas

Jonathan Perez

Marcal Raventos

Jorge Manuel Dias (Captain)

Carlos Manuel Barbosa

Diogenes Lino

Andre Ferreira (GK)

Omar Debboun

Eric Mesquita

Arnau Rodriguez


A Closer Look at…England National Futsal Team

The England national futsal team is affiliated with the English Football Association and represents its country during international futsal competitions.

England’s Football Association was late to adopt futsal. In fact, the national team was first formed in 2003, after futsal started to gain popularity in 2002.

Despite all this, the national team has improved a lot in these last few years and has seen this game as crucial to developing the next generation.

They are now taking strides to catch up with the continent’s best with the English FA hoping this will also help their 11-a-side teams.

The English Futsal league is run by the same Football Association and began in 2008 featuring 24 teams in three regions: North, Midlands and South.

The top four clubs of the three regional leagues qualify for the FA Futsal Super League phase.

Baku United FC are the current champions of the league having won the title last season.

The team is led by Pete Sturgess who besides coaching the national futsal team, works with the English FA in the youth development for the 5 to 11 age group.

England may have climbed 23 places in the World Futsal Rankings during 2014, the biggest rise of any nation, but they still lie seven places behind Latvia, arguably their main rivals for superiority in Group E in Malta.

As well as Latvia, England will also face Andorra and Malta, with only the top team guaranteed to progress to the next round.

Sturgess has chosen his final list for the EURO qualifiers to be played in Malta this week:

The squad

1. James Dalton (Baku United Futsal Club)
2. Ben Mortlock (Sheffield Futsal Club)
3. Agon Rexha (Baku United Futsal Club)
4. Richard Ward (Sheffield Futsal Club)
5. George Nash (Bristol City Futsal Club)
6. Ian Parkes (Bristol City Futsal Club)
7. David Jennings (West London Futsal Club)
8. Luke Ballinger (Bristol City Futsal Club)
9. Will Rooke (Loughborough Students Futsal)
10. James Webb (Loughborough Students Futsal)
11. Toluwa Sotonye (Reading Futsal Club)
12. Stuart Cook  (Manchester Futsal Club)
13. Jordan Parker (Manchester Futsal Club)
14. Guillermo Wallace (Real Betis FS Nazareno)

A Closer Look at….Latvia Futsal National Team

The Latvian national futsal team is affiliated with the Latvian Football Federation.
Eight teams participate in the Latvian Futsal Premier League with the city team FK Nikars Riga leading the table with maximum points from eight matches.
Their biggest win came almost four years ago when they defeated San Marino 9-1.
On the other hand they suffered their greatest defeat, nearly 15 years ago when they were hammered by Ukraine 10-1.
Latvia have participated 4 times in the FIFA Futsal World Cup and 8 times in the UEFA Futsal Euro.
The team is led by Arturs Sketovs, a former midfielder with well-known Latvian champions Skonto Riga.
Meanwhile, in a friendly played yesterday at the Olympic Hall in Riga, Latvia drew 2-2 against Belarus in an entertaining match.
After finding themselves two goals down through an own goal by Igor Lapkovskis and Ruzlan Laziuk, Latvia made a fierce reaction in the second half as they levelled the matters through Igors Dacko and Andrejs Sustrovs.
Latvia played with this formation, which most probably will travel to Malta in the next couple of days.
Aigars Bondars (GK)
Maksims Seņs
Igors Avanesovs
Igors Dacko
Andrejs Šustrovs
Antons Astrahancevs (GK)
Germans Matjušenko
Oskars Ikstens
Jurijs Arhipovs
Andrejs Aleksejevs (C)
Artūrs Jerofejevs
Sergejs Nagibins
Artjoms Koļesņikovs
Igors Lapkovski

Marlow names final squad for EURO qualifiers

National coach Mark Marlow named a fourteen man final squad for the EURO Group E qualifiers  in programme next week at the Corradino Pavillion.

The four players to be dropped were  Daniel Brincat, Adrian Attard, Darren Rapa and Andy  Mangion.

Malta will play three matches in this group against England, Andorra and Latvia.

The squad is made up of:





Matthew Mifsud Valletta Futsal


Jason Gauci Lija Futsal


Andrea Farugia Naxxar Futsal


Dale Camilleri Luxol Futsal


Jovica Milijic Hamrun Futsal


Giancarlo Sammut Balzan Futsal


Nicola Del Re Balzan Futsal


Melvin Borg Valletta Futsal


Mark Zammit Balzan Futsal


Chris Cardona Hamrun Futsal


Matteo Desira Buttigieg Luxol Futsal


Nicholas Farrugia Balzan Futsal


Luke Stivala Gzira Futsal


Xavier Saliba Valletta Futsal

Four-goal Shead enjoys dream debut as Qrendi sweep B’Bugia aside

Steve Shead enjoyed an imperious debut for Qrendi as he scored a poker to help his new team gain the three points after seeing off B’Bugia 10-4.

The former Zebbug player capped a dynamic performance with four goals as his team crushed Birzebbuga St Peters to climb up two  positions in the table, in the process cranking up the pressure on strugglers Mqabba and Mdina

At times, Qrendi were irresistible as they pushed forward inevitably boosted by the presence of new signings Steve Shead, Alan Zammit and Sam Vella.

If Qrendi’s win brought them a certain degree of optimism for the second part of the season,  Birzebbugia’s defeat kept them bottom of the table  with only one point and still searching for their first victory.

After leading 4-1 before half-time, Qrendi continued to administer the proceedings.

A poker by Steve Shead, Maxime Landais, Sam Vella, Alan Zammit were on the mark for Qrendi.

Birzebbugia reduced the score through a hat-trick by Noel Tabone and a goal by Aaron Dalli.







Meanwhile Sirens recorded their second consecutive success as they defeated Siggiewi 3-1 to leapfrog the same opponents in the table.

A brace from Pierre Spiteri and a goal from Etienne Bonnici were the goal-getters for Sirens.

Siggiewi’s only goal came from Mark Camilleri.

Girls just want to play Futsal – Maria Coppola

Following four years of  success, the Malta Futsal School has announced that former national team player Maria Coppola will be forming part of the school’s coaching staff.

Coppola will be helping the Malta Futsal School to accomplish a future objective, that of promoting Futsal among girls.

Maria Coppola, 39, has been involved in football for over 25 years.  She played with various female football teams such as Lija, Hamrun, Melita, Mġarr and abroad in France and USA.

She is now focusing on coaching and works as a TV sports presenter.

Maria Coppola’s aim to help promote Futsal with girls has also caught the eye of the Futsal Malta Association. In fact she has been approached to help the association in creating a female futsal league. Maria has launched a 5-a-side event last Saturday at the Pieta’ Hotspurs club house during which the girls were briefed with the basics of the game.

This website has contacted Maria Coppola who willingly wished to share with us her idea regarding this initiative.

How did your idea of girls playing Futsal flourish?

Futsal in Malta is growing and becoming more popular. I came up with this idea as women are capable of playing futsal just like men. I think that a 5 v 5 match with unlimited substitutions is an ideal setting for female players.
It is a proven fact that futsal can help players to develop their skills and quick thinking.
Talk about the event that you organized a few days ago.
I think that the event was a complete success. There was a good response from the girls and the association was impressed with their interest during the meeting. We managed to divide the girls into four teams and created a mini tournament.
The fact that I’ve seen the girls happy and satisfied after this event has encouraged me to push forward this idea.
Maria Coppola (left) with FMA President Mark Borg and Vice-President Alfred Camilleri during last Saturday’s event.
Talk about the cooperation you have found from the FMA.
Futsal Malta Association President Mark Borg and Vice president Alfred Camilleri gave me a warm welcome to be part of the futsal family. In fact they have approached me to encourage girls to play this beautiful game. Now we are working together to make this dream come true.
What are you planning to organize in the coming weeks?
 We are planning to set up a friendly tournament to keep them in contact with the game. The FMA president Mark Borg has  proposed me to organize an exhibition match before the Knock Out final in April.
What were the comments made by girls during this event?
Well they just want to play futsal and participate in their own futsal league.
What is your main objective now?
My main objective is to set up a local futsal league for women as from September 2015. With the continuous cooperation that I’m finding from the FMA, I think that we are on the right track.
The girls participating in the mini-tournament.

A Closer Look at…Rogerio dos Santos Filho (Hamrun Spartans FC)

Name: Rogério dos Santos Filho
Known as Rogerinho
Position: Flank/Defender (left-footed)
Height: 1.76
Weight: 70 kg
Born: 16th November 1991 (23 years 0ld) – Santos (SP) Brazil
Nationality: Brazilian
Personal motto is “Go and Win, Always”
How did you begin to play futsal?
I started to play futsal when I was 6 years old. My parents started to take me to the futsal academy of Esporte Clube Beira-Mar, in the city of  São Vicente. At that time, I started my first footsteps in this beautiful game.
This is your first experience in Malta. What do you think about our island?
During these few months that I’ve been in Malta, I can say that it’s a wonderful country. The temperature is nice and the places are beautiful.You seem to have fitted quite well with Hamrun Spartans…
Yes it’s true! I have been welcomed by all the players and coaching staff and this has facilitated my few days here. I think we are on the right track,obviously there is always room for improvement. I am happy to help the team and happier that we are playing good games.

I know the road is long to the final play-offs  and I intend to continue with the same focus, giving better in every game.The level of futsal in Malta.
Compared to Brazil the level is a little lower, but the league is new here and one has to give time until it continues to grow. The top teams possess some good foreign players and that’s good because it helps other players to gain new experiences.

Your main objectives for this season.
Like any athlete my goal is to be a champion. I don’t look for individual awards, I prefer to talk collectively.  I think that as a team we can do great things together.

How do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I have no long predictions, I want to seize the moment. Today, I am at Hamrun Spartans, this is my moment, I want to do my best. God is giving me the opportunity now, after this only He can answer.

Girls can play futsal

FMA officially had the first meeting with ladies interested in joining the futsal family. President Mark Borg, Vice President Alfred Camilleri and Maria Coppola lead this introductory meeting at the Pieta Hotspurs’ club house.

This new futsal experience is not intended to disrupt the current ladies football activities. Girls were briefed with the basic and fundamentals of the game of futsal.

The tentative is to get started playing on Saturdays afternoon, organizing a one day tournament and playing an exhibition match before the Knock Out Final.

FMA’s President invited all those present, to join and watch the Futsal Euro Qualifiers between the 13th and 18th January.
Finally Futsal Referees Coordinator Gjergji Bitri, also gave a small presentation about the futsal rules. He also said that the introduction of ladies competition in futsal will consolidate Futsal development in Malta