When Iceland makes its World Cup debut later this month, Maltese football fans will watch on from home with a sense of curiosity; Iceland has a smaller population than Malta, so if they can make it to football’s biggest stage, then why are we still struggling?
Malta captain André Schembri believes the tiny island has the potential to emulate Iceland and has come up with a detailed plan on how it can get there.
He will unveil his plan in an autobiography which Lovin Malta has got a preview of and which will be launched later this month.
- The Malta Football Association must set up a training academy for children complete with fully-qualified coaches, so as to streamline their training methodology.
- Once the kids turn 13, the cream of the crop will graduate to a football boarding school, which will blood them for careers overseas. They will go to school in the morning, return to the boarding school and train there in the afternoon and return to their parents in the weekend. This is intended to foster a sense of independence amongst them that will mentally brace them for moving abroad.
- An entirely new football association must be set up to administer a fully professional league, complete with full-time players. The clubs in this league with professionals.
- Coaches must not only have a coaching license, but must be qualified in sport science so as to ensure they are training children adequately.
“I truly believe in my country and in its potential and there’s a lot we can do to see it progress in the sporting world,” André Schembri says. “I believe that Maltese children are just as capable as anyone else to reach the heights in football.”