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The UoM Mdina Knights Futsal Team: Interview with Gilli Amato Gauci

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Have you ever wondered what would be like for the University of Malta to have its own, officially recognized sports team? Seems like something out of a cheesy, Hollywood college movie right? Recently however, the Malta University Sports Club (MUSC) and the KSU managed to establish an official UoM Futsal team, in collaboration with the Mdina Knights Football club. This is not a dream, I repeat, this is not a dream.

I decided to have a chat with Gilli Amato Gauci, the Director of Events at the MUSC who, along with current KSU President Gayle Lynn Callus, was co-founder of this project. “This had been a project in the making for quite some time now; it was first mentioned in the SDM manifesto last year, and now I’m glad that it has come to fruition,” Amato Gauci said.

When I asked why the collaboration was with Mdina Knights, Amato Gauci said that the reasons were two-fold:

“Mdina Knights were looking into the prospect of establishing a futsal team; we were too. Apart from that, we were only interested in doing it our way, that is a completely student-oriented futsal team, which is what we achieved.” By which the question obviously asks itself: “student-oriented?”

“Basically, we are only aiming to involve students from Junior College, the Univeristy or post-graduates who have graduated two years ago or less,” Amato Gauci said.  ”It is not our interest to go out and take random players from other clubs, as we would rather prefer having a close-knit team from the University representing the University.”

Doesn’t this limitation make for the possibility of an understaffed team? I was actually surprised to learn that the numbers who signed up have already exceeded their expectations. More than 40 persons have already signed up for either the squad or the staff around the team, and the recruitment is still ongoing for the next three weeks.

“We were aiming to have around 25 players and staff forming part of the team, but I never expected such a large interest in the first few days. They will all be under a committee enacted to ensure the smooth it inning of the whole operation, of which I am President.”

Gilli Amato Gauci

Gilli Amato Gauci, MUSC’s Director of Events

 

It seems all too good to be true, but eventually we turned our heads to the problems that undertaking such a task can bring: “I am not able to divulge too much financial information since we’re still at the initial stages, but I can tell you that the registration fee for the FMA First Division is €1,200. (Ouch) Add the money spent on renting the training pitches at the trial pitch, which we are using twice weekly, which both organizations forked out of their own pockets, and you can see that it is a big financial bill… yet doable.”

And yet, the future looks bright for this newly-born futsal club: far from being a one time event, Amato Gauci aims to make this a yearly project. “It is a win-win situation for all parties involved: promoting health is one of MUSC’s & KSU’s foremost priorities, and such an opportunity does exactly that. At the same time, we are using this as an exposure of what the University, and students in general, can contribute in the local sports area.”

Their recent BBQ at Golden Bay, and their first friendly against Mosta Futsal Club have been first steps to this exciting sports club: for all those interested, there are still trials and tryouts being organised. For more information, be sure to check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/unversityfutsalmdinaknights

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