The future of football seems a little brighter in Malta. The MFA has announced the launch of an enhanced Youth Players Grant Scheme to encourage young players to improve their footballing development by pursuing a career abroad.
One major criticism of Maltese football is the lack of moral support young players receive to pursue the sport at the highest level.
However, the enhanced Youth Scheme aims to change that and with it, football might just be an actual possible career for Maltese athletes.
The Youth Players Grant Scheme will assist young Maltese footballers abroad in four crucial areas. Tuition (academics, etc.), player subsistence allowance (accommodation), travel expenses and professional fees (nutritionists, psychologists, and strength & conditioning coaches).
“This scheme is aimed at supporting the transition for young players moving overseas and increasing the chances of success when it comes to living and playing football abroad,” said Dr. Angelo Chetcuti, the MFA General Secretary.
“The recent adjustments are intended to ensure a fair evaluation of applications and to maximise the benefits from the funds available. Although within obvious limits, we hope this initiative provides an extra push for our young promising players to seek new challenges and opportunities to further raise their standards.”
With the recent adjustments being made, the MFA hopes to achieve three main objectives as a result of this new scheme:
- To encourage youth players in pursuing a professional football career abroad;
- To provide support for youth players during migratory transitions;
- To support promising youth players in further developing their quality of football.
The scheme is currently open for players aged between 16 and 19 who have been part of the national youth team set-up at some point during their development, or spent a minimum of four seasons with a Maltese football nursery.
Encouraging footballers to pursue their career abroad will hopefully elevate the level of competitive football locally with those who partake in the scheme bringing back the discipline, skills and mentality to navigate Maltese football into more competitive waters.