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Watch: ‘Maltese football cannot afford to lose talented players’

Devis Mangia has made it clear that the Malta FA technical centre have a huge responsibility on their shoulders when overseeing the development of young players as overlooking one potential player could be a huge loss for the national team.

Since Mangia’s appointment as national teams’ head coach, the Malta FA has embarked on a huge overhaul at the technical centre with a view of building a strong national team for the future.

Today, the coaching staff in Ta’ Qali have adopted a player-centred approach which see them working and following closely the development of every player that forms part of one of the youth national teams.

“When we started this project, we declared that we are on a player-centred approach,” Mangia said during an interview with the MFA’s Communications Department.

“If we are focused on the growth of the player, it means that we are focused on every single player and talent. Before it was like this, for example when the U-17 finish their season, we forget them for a year-and-a-half and then we call them back when we select them for the U-19s.

“But if we are focused on a player-centre approach how can we work with them for three years or more and then we forget them for a year-and-a-half and then we pretend to restart with them, it is impossible.

“That is why we decided to work with every age-group.”

Mangia made it clear that the developmental process of every player is different from another and that is why it was very important to be very patient with youngsters.

“For every single player there is a chronological age and a physiological age. Why do I have to lose a player that today is not ready from a physical point of view but maybe with the right work he can grow. Maybe one of these players can grow.

“I mentioned this in a meeting the MFA scouts. There are some countries that if they make a mistake on 20 or 30 evaluations of players they would have seen 100 players. In Malta we make a mistake on one of five players, the percentage is far higher and we cannot lose one potential player.

“So I believe that every player deserves that we invest in him for some time to give him the chance to maximise his potential.”

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