A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Malta Football Association and the Premier League and Challenge League with a focus on developing youth players.
One key feature of the agreement is the implementation of a ‘Development Pot’ which encourages local clubs to feature young players in their senior team through increased payment incentives.
Moreover, for the first time, clubs will be receiving a nominal grant for each player called up to the men’s senior national team and will be able to release such players early so that the national team may better prepare itself for international fixtures.
The agreement also includes development programs for youth team players, including training sessions alongside the MFA’s Elite Player Development Project, which provides an individual training programme to 30 players who are part of the youth national teams.
The Malta Football Association Executive Committee also approved plans to increase the number of foreign players allowed on a club’s squad list.
As of next season, match sheets will be extended from 18 to 20 players in the Premier League, with nine overseas players allowed – up from seven.
However, the maximum number of foreign players allowed on the pitch will remain at seven.
Earlier this year, the MFA announced its first-ever four-year strategic plan to train young, promising footballers into elite players.
The strategy serves as the basis for the association’s commitment to raise the game across all levels.
The strategic plan, covering the period 2020-2024, sets out eight goals associated with four areas of key importance:
- Further technical and infrastructural development
- Growth and sustainability of football clubs, strengthening protection through a legal framework
- Broadening the exposure and commercial value of the Association and domestic competitions
- Improving good governance by strengthening the compliance and integrity aspects.
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