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The importance of football development

After every success there is unseen work.

We often criticise because we do not know the work that is being done or because otherwise a result does not come immediately.

I am one of those who does not sit back so much to address a disagreement but in this circumstance, I have nothing but praise for all stakeholders in Maltese football who are encouraging change.

Definitely the Malta Football Association is at the forefront leading others to follow.

Recently I had the opportunity to travel with the national football team contingent for the away match against Slovenia. I was looking forward because I wanted to understand closely the secret behind the positive outcomes and performances the team has achieved recently.

I had not experienced anything like this for a long time and so the idea I had before I went was quite different from what I actually experienced during those four days.

The first thing that was felt from the very first minute, was the sense of belonging. Everyone present was on a determined mission to compete and win.

It took me time to think of one adjective that defines the approach taken to the game but the one that stands out is professionalism.

I was immediately able to acknowledge that the investment MFA made in the technical staff led by Devis Mangia was undoubtedly with thoughtful intent.

But not only that, the competence in all the organisational work, the decision-making and the long-term targeted strategy, are in my opinion already leaving a mark. Chapeau to Malta Football Association.

Keep up the good work and best of luck for the upcoming qualifiers.

Grassroots investment

Football is constantly growing and the standard of the game across the globe is always evolving.

The gaps between the national football teams from different continents are narrowing.

Being competitive in all aspects is becoming more the rule of the game, and the result of the narrowing gaps is due to the development work carried by various sport organisations worldwide.

Over the years, millions have been pumped into football development and many more will be invested into the game on regular basis.

Football development will always remain an important aspect of the game and therefore has to be the primary priority for every organisation, be it a national association or a club.

We have to keep in mind that grassroots and football development are the most important domains of the development process where football is considered a source of entertainment, fun, creativity, socially inspiring and fulfilling activity for millions of children.

Investing in grassroots football helps in attaining educational, social, health and sporting benefits. Football has been commercialised to a great extent along the years and many times organisations tend to forget that investing in grassroot levels automatically means investing in future.

To the contrary, many clubs, especially in Malta, tend to lose focus on football development and put all the energy in attaining results at senior levels.

This is one of the reasons that local football clubs are choosing to engage more foreign players because there was merely any investment in the grassroots during the past decade.

Positively, it seems that now this trend is slowly shifting and we are believing more that football development deservers the right investment and every bit of attention.

Yet again, the Malta Football Association has already identified grassroots football as a significant component in it’s strategic plan by committing to focus on development and growth as one of the main pillars.

It is needless to say that grassroots football is the source of all kinds of football developments and if it is done efficiently and better, then the elite level of professional football will inevitably become stronger and grow bigger.

The versatile work with football development determines the quality of the overall football well-being, which is destined to keep on booming.

The main objective is to create a better foundation so that the football game continues to flourish at all levels.

Leaders are the game changers in every aspect of humankind and equally, in football too, leadership plays a vital role in transforming and developing young talent into elite football players.

I firmly believe that developing young talent should be the goal of every football academy.

Winning is important but the focus on the football development at a young age will lead to more elite professional football players.

Therefore, if we would start embracing a culture of football development will eventually achieve the desired results collectively.

Note: Visit www.avanza.com. mt for more information on sport and education training programmes

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