Challenge League side Fgura United announced the technical partnership with Italian Serie C club Calcio Foggia.
Speaking at a press conference at the Fgura United complex, representatives of both clubs put into motion what will be an initial three-year agreement that will feature the exchange of ideas between coaches and players at youth level.
Fgura president Larkin Bonnici, who has already spearheaded a number of social responsibility projects as regards the youth system within his club, said that despite this social aspect that revolves around Fgura, the club is primarily a football club and so their obligation towards the players is to “teach football in the best possible way”.
“To do this, we have to invest in the technical aspect both for our boys and our coaches,” Bonnici told the press conference.
“The purpose of this collaboration with Foggia is to facilitate the exchange of ideas, principles, and methodology between our coaches and also in the near future to facilitate the opportunity for our boys to gain experience in Italian football with Foggia – this here is a technical agreement.”
For Foggia, this will be one of numerous outreach projects but technical director for the club’s youth sector Gianfranco Mancini affirmed that this will not be a commercial partnership.
“I am very happy we have made this choice, to affiliate with this club,” Mancini said.
“I saw there is a desire to grow and it is the same thing that we look for every day in our club – to compare and improve. Our affiliation project is a technical project, it is not a commercial project, we did not come to Malta to do anything with any other club, but only to share our football experience. This is why we are here in Malta, with this club.
“We have about 20 affiliated clubs in our project, in Italy and outside, to share our working method even beyond the national borders. With training, why shouldn’t a Maltese player ever play for Foggia?”
Footballers of the future
Mancini discussed the club’s vision and that this project aims to create footballers of the future.
“For us, the project means training the footballers of the future. Even if they have not trained for Foggia, our intention is at least to train the players for Maltese football as well,” he explained.
“Maybe our method is different, but it is not like discovering football. We have our method, we push it and we carry it with strength. Our method is to define the thinking footballer – football of the future needs people who think fast and be able to find the solution on the pitch.”
Asked about the club’s current level, Mancini believes that numerically, it is below the European standard but puts blame on the restrictive nature of Malta being a small country.
“We are already starting a working relationship and we have started a course of study. The level numerically is a little lower than European football, but if we work within these limits, and we are very determined, we can achieve our targets,” he said.
Bonnici was joined by technical director Claude Chetcuti who expressed his enthusiasm towards the project at hand.
“I am very excited about this adventure because we have spoken with Mr Mancini and he expressed their idea of how they work with the youth sector which is very similar to ours but they have a way of doing things that we are not yet very confident in doing,” he said.
“I am very excited to learn as are also the other coaches so that we can develop players who may be used in the first team. I can’t wait to start.”