The Malta Football Association has appointed Italian Marco Casarsa as the new national beach soccer team coach ahead of their participation in the Euro Beach Soccer League that will be played in Moldova this summer.
Casarsa brings with him bags of experience as he is a former Italy national team player who represented his country 63 times and he is excited to embark on this venture of building a competitive national team for Malta.
“I am really honoured to have been given this opportunity,” Casarsa told a news conference.
“I know that this is big challenge for me but I am really motivated to give a huge contribution to the growth of beach soccer in Malta. I am sure that working with passionate persons like Mark Marlow we can help the national team reach a high level of performances.
“With the national championship starting next month, I will have the opportunity to look at many players and hopefully we can attract them to our national team set up and help them nurture their talent.
“Added to that, we are also planning to organise a number of training camps abroad as that would help to improve the level of our players.
“Our long-term goal is to see the national team be able to compete with some of the top teams in Europe. It’s an ambitious objective but with patience and hard work we can achieve that.”
On his part, Mark Marlow, the head of Beach Soccer at the Malta FA, said that setting up a national team has been a key objective to put the sport on solid foundations.
“After the success we had in the National Championships last year, we are looking to further develop the sport with the formation of a national team that will compete at international level,” Marlow said.
“We believe that there is a lot of work to be done but we are confident that Malta can be successful in this sport. This summer we will be working hard promote the sport among youngsters and in fact we will be organising youth competitions to try and attract more players to the sport.
“Part of our plans is to try and bring over foreign teams to play in Malta as that would surely help our national team’s preparations ahead of their commitments in Moldova.”
On his part, Pio Vassallo, the president of the Malta Beach Soccer Association, said that he is looking forward to the start of the national championships in June which will then be followed by the youth competitions between July 1 and August 7.
“Beach soccer has a lot of potential in Malta and I hope that the authorities realise the importance of investing into this sport,” Vassallo said.
“Our dream is to have our own facilities where our players and teams can play during the winter months. Added to that, having our own facilities would also be a perfect opportunity to attract foreign teams to Malta which would no doubt further strengthen the country’s Sports Toursim sector.”