University of Malta Students' Futsal Team

The University of Malta Students' Futsal Team, known as the University Futsal Team for short, is a futsal team that competes in the Maltese Futsal League. The team previously bore the name of its parent club, Mdina Knights F.C. In 2018, the team won its first silverware in the Maltese Futsal Knockout Cup.

UM Futsal
Full nameUniversity of Malta Students' Futsal Team
Nickname(s)Knights, Universitarians, Students
FoundedJune 12, 2014
GroundSt. Martin's College,
Msida, Malta
ManagerClayton Felice
LeagueMaltese Futsal League
2017–18Maltese Futsal League, 6th and Division One Semi Finalists

History edit

Season 2014–15 edit

In 2014, after a multi-year hiatus, the futsal section of the Mdina Knights began to play again. The move was prompted by officials from Kunsill Studenti Universitarji and Malta University Sports Club officials, who suggested the football club recruit University of Malta students to play on the team.[1][2][3] On September 15, 2014, the team played their first match against Mqabba, a match which ended in a three-to-three tie.[4][5] The team ultimately finished their first season mid-table, surpassing the team's own expectations. Their wins included a victory over Luqa, a ten-to-zero shutout of Birzebbuga,[6][7] and an upset against the then league leader, Mellieha. The team was the last opponent of Lija Futsal, who won the division title.[8] In their match against Birzebbuga, vice-captain Cleaven Portelli registered the fastest goal of the season, scoring 13 seconds after the match's start.[6]

Season 2015–16 edit

After a positive inaugural season, the team sought a number of corporate partners. The team added Gaetano Gesualdi and other new players to their roster.[9] The team strengthened its structures together with a healthy financial position, including charity for academic research towards Motor neuron diseases as part of its social responsibility,[10] but found it difficult to adapt to the format change in the Maltese Futsal League.[11] Although the team started positively,[12][13] it finished in the eleventh place out of 14 teams.[14] The Students were defeated by Swieqi United Futsal,[15][16] Hamrun Futsal, and Luxol St Andrews Futsal Club, and were narrowly defeated by Sirens,[17] Mqabba,[18][19] and Zebbug.[20] The team recovered toward the end of the season and won against Marsascala, Gozo, and Qrendi.[21][22]

Season 2016–17 edit

The team grew and because Futsal Malta Association regulations allowed teams to compete independently from any club within the Maltese football league system, Mdina Knights F.C. and the Student section ceased collaboration in 2016. The University of Malta Students' Futsal Team became an independent organisation and was recognised as an official student organisation by the senate of the University of Malta.[23]

The team crowd funded its away kit, which would include the names of all those who contributed, in 2016.[24]

In 2016–17, the team saw unprecedented successful performances[25][26][27][28][29][excessive citations] (except for the match against Hamrun),[30] and won important matches, for example, against Msida Futsal.[31] The team entered the race for the Elite Group of the Gatorade Futsal League.[32][33] With a draw against Sliema Futsal, the team achieved Elite status for the first time.[34][35][36][37]

Season 2017–18 edit

In the 2017–18 season, the team aimed to enter the Elite Round once again and was considered on par with the strongest clubs.[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][excessive citations] However the club did not make it to the top round of Maltese futsal.[47][48][49] The club also failed to win the Division One play-offs. Having finished first in the Division One pool, the team played a semi-final against Tarxien JMI and exited on penalties after a draw.[50][51] In the Maltese Futsal Knockout Cup, the club managed to defeat Valletta FC Futsal Club in the quarter finals to arrive at the finals.[52] The club defeated Luxol St Andrews Futsal Club with a five-to-two score and claimed its first trophy in Maltese domestic futsal.[53][54] The team later presented the trophy to the rector of the University of Malta.[55]

Season 2018–19 edit

The team saw major changes in the squad—the departure of several key players, including Shawn Deguara to Valletta FC Futsal Club,[56] and the departure of Kyle Sultana as coach. Former player Djordje Maksimović was appointed as the new coach.

The University Futsal Team confirmed its participation in the 2018–19 Maltese Futsal League.[57][58]

Having won the Knockout Cup in the previous season, the club became eligible to contest the Maltese Futsal Super Cup.[59] The University Team was defeated by Valletta FC Futsal by thirteen-to-one which made them the runners-up of the Super Cup.[60][61][62][63][excessive citations]

The club appointed Clayton Felice as new coach. The team opened its league commitments on October 5 against UM Futsal Academy, its own academy team, and won nine-to-one.[64] Three days later, on October 8, Luxol won against the senior University side eight-to-one.[65] Birkirkara gained their first three points against University on October 17, winning seven-to-four.[66]

New player Lee Grech proved a revelation and was called up to the Malta national futsal team.[67] Grech scored the only goal for Malta on his debut on October 25, 2018, but the team lost two-to-one to the Northern Ireland national futsal team.[68]

Kit evolution edit

2014–2015 first (Mdina Knights)
2014–2015 second (Mdina Knights)
2014–2015 third (MUSC)
2014–2015 goalkeeper
2015–2016 home
2015–2016 alternate
2015–2016 away
2015–2016 goalkeeper
2015–2016 goalkeeper
2016–2017, 2017–2018 home
2016–2017, 2017–2018 away (Crowdfunded)
2016–2017, 2017–2018 goalkeeper
2018–2019 home
2018–2019 (Crowdfunded)
2018–2019 goalkeeper home
2018–2019 goalkeeper away

Current squad 2019–20 edit

Number Player Pos. Nat.
1 Ivan Jovanović Pivot  
4 Neil Cauchi Winger  
5 Dani Borg Sweeper  
7 Karl Sciortino Winger  
8 Melvin Borg Sweeper  
9 Cleaven Portelli Winger  
10 Aidan Caruana Winger  
11 Dylan Musù Winger  
13 Jonathan Martinelli Goalkeeper  
14 Ervin Rigo Winger  
15 Cedric Sciberras Winger  
19 Neil Cuschieri Goalkeeper  
20 Dylan Cacciattolo Winger  
23 Christian Wismayer Winger  
29 Denis Di Maio Pivot  
70 Gabriel Buckson Winger  
91 Luke Galea Winger  

Captaincy edit

  1. Neil Cauchi
  2. Melvin Borg

Technical staff edit

  • Head Coach:   MLT Clayton Felice
  • Goalkeeping coach:   ESP Alejandro García Melero
  • Physical coach:   David Spiteri
  • Team manager:   Jurgen D'Amato

Committee edit

  • Chief executive officer: Nicholas Martinelli
  • Chief in external and internal affairs: Jasmine Agius
  • Chief operations officer: Kurt Rizzo
  • Chief of administration: Nicole Agius
  • Chief financial officer: Ylenia Bugeja
  • Chief of events, planning and logistics: Calvin Scicluna
  • Chief of public relations and media: Kurt Aquilina
  • Chief of business development and marketing: Steph Dalli

Honorary titles edit

Honorary presidents:

  • Gilli Amato Gauci
  • Warren Sammut
  • Stefan Cutajar

Club ambassador:

  • Kyle Sultana

Former players edit

  •   Vazha Gvaramia
  •   Djordje Maksimović
  •   Alejandro Rubia
  •   Mamadou Diaby
  •   Nermin Hasanbegović
  •   José María Aguilera Castellano
  •   Dušan Rakić
  •   Daniele Degennaro
  •   Davide Iannacco
  •   Vanderlei Reis Augusto
  •   Ervin Rigo
  •   Ivan Jovanović
  •   Dalziel Bugeja
  •   Rodney Debono
  •   John Micallef
  •   Roberto Sarcia
  •   Jean Carl Cuschieri
  •   Shawn Deguara
  •   Andrew Camilleri
  •   Daniel Camilleri
  •   Matthew Gatt
  •   Kurt Drakard
  •   Ryan Micallef
  •   Nathanael Borg
  •   Ranald Portelli
  •   Jonathan Falzon
  •   Randall Vella
  •   Gaetano Gesualdi
  •   Paul Scerri
  •   Martin Attard

Academy edit

In the 2017–18 season, the club set up a second team called Junior College Futsal which referred to the sixth form operated by the University of Malta.[clarification needed]

Junior College Futsal was renamed University of Malta Students' Futsal Academy in the 2018–19 season; their name was stylised as UM Futsal Academy. The team signed an agreement with the mother team that the academy will operate in line with the club's global vision.

Honours edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Mdina Knights University Futsal Team launched - .FMA". 6 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  2. ^ Zammit, Matthew Charles (August 4, 2014). "The UoM Mdina Knights Futsal Team: Interview with Gilli Amato Gauci". The Insiter.
  3. ^ "Next year's Futsal League format launched". 23 July 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Filipov hits hat-trick for debutants Mellieħa". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Let's start with Mdina and Mqabba - .FMA". 15 September 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "The Knights conquer and have fun, Mellieha makes 8 wins in a row - .FMA". 19 November 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Futsal: Festa kbira għall-Imdina u Mellieħa jibqgħu jirbħu - TVM". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Lija secure top spot, Msida reach promotion play-offs". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  9. ^ "A Closer Look at…Gaetano Gesualdi (Mdina Knights) - .FMA". 13 April 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Futsal & Research: A Match That Works | Research Trust Malta". Archived from the original on 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  11. ^ "Mdina Knights Futsal tniedi t-tkomplija ta' suċċess". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  12. ^ "Valletta crush Sirens in league opener". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Day 2:Rebħiet kbar u interessanti fil-Gatorade Futsal League".
  14. ^ "Viżjoni ċara u b'saħħitha riflessa fl-AGM tat-Team tal-Futsal tal-Universita". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  15. ^ "Top-notch Luxol, Swieqi continue to step up - .FMA". 17 January 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Unbeaten Luxol crush Msida 11-1 in league match". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Another disappointment for Mdina Knights - .FMA". December 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Bidu interessanti tat-tieni rawnd tal-Gatorade Futsal League". iNews Malta, Aħbarijiet bil-Malti.
  19. ^ "Brave performance by the Knights, Mqabba still on the winning side - .FMA". 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Lija, Swieqi share spoils in tense match, Novoa Perez hits three for Rangers - .FMA". 19 February 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Knights comeback in a very tight and entertaining match - .FMA". 12 February 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Mqabba book play-off spot, Mdina end commitments on a high - .FMA". 12 April 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  23. ^ Cutajar, Michela (September 28, 2017). "Newly independent University of Malta Futsal team launch 17/18 season". The Insiter.
  24. ^ "University of Malta Futsal Away Kit 2016/17 - ZAAR".
  25. ^ "University clinch fifth successive win". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Universitarians grab the fifth place, which is still undecided - .FMA". 18 March 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Four teams through to second round - .FMA". 19 November 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Safi break duck with 11-1 win". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  29. ^ "Rain stops UOM but Luxol, Swieqi and Qrendi keep on shining - .FMA". 10 December 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Easy wins for Luxol, Valletta". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  31. ^ "Swieqi FC back in the fray after resounding win - .FMA". 31 January 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  32. ^ ""We want to be part of Malta's best" - UoM Futsal go for the Elite - The Yuppie".
  33. ^ "Race on for final slot in Elite group".
  34. ^ "University of Malta through to the Elite Round - .FMA". 23 March 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Msida win to go top". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  36. ^ "Mrieħel start second phase on a high". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  37. ^ "Konfronti interessanti fl-Elite u fl-Ewwel Diviżjoni". 17 April 2017.
  38. ^ "Futsal: Il-Beltin u l-Universitarji jibqgħu jirbħu - TVM".
  39. ^ "Swieqi United waħedhom fit-tielet post".
  40. ^ "Il-Beltin u l-Universitarji jibqgħu jirbħu fil-kampjonat tal-Futsal". 14 October 2017.
  41. ^ "University of Malta remain on top".
  42. ^ "Rebħa faċli għall-Università ta' Malta".
  43. ^ "A tie between UOM and Swieqi United for the third place".
  44. ^ "Ħafna gowls u punt kull wieħed bejn Ħamrun u t-tim tal-Università".
  45. ^ "Rebħa minima ta' Luxol fuq Ħamrun u l-Beltin jibqgħu jirbħu".
  46. ^ "A spectacular tigh between Hamrun and University".
  47. ^ "Mriehel ESS ascertained their place in the Elite - .FMA". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  48. ^ "Closure of the First Round of Futsal".
  49. ^ "Jingħalaq l-ewwel rawnd tal-istaġun tal-futsal".
  50. ^ "Most important game in Club's history". University of Malta.
  51. ^ "Futsal: Valletta jibdew il-playoff finals b'rebħa kontra Luxol - TVM".
  52. ^ "Valletta's first defeat puts Universitarians in the semis - .FMA". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  53. ^ "UOM confirmed as winners of the Knock Out Cup against all odds - .FMA". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  54. ^ "Futsal: UOM confirmed as winners of the Knock Out Cup against all odds - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  55. ^ "UM Futsal team meets UM Rector". University of Malta. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  56. ^ "Shawn Deguara jiffimra ma' Valletta FC Futsal". 27 May 2018.
  57. ^ "Malta FA launches 2018-19 futsal season". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  58. ^ "Malta FA launches 2018-19 futsal season". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  59. ^ "L-MFA b'ħidma intensiva biex ittejjeb il-livell tal-futsal f'pajjiżna". iNews Malta, Aħbarijiet bil-Malti.
  60. ^ "Futsal Super Cup - Malta Football Association". MFA.
  61. ^ "Dominant Valletta FC Futsal win the Super Cup - The Malta Independent".
  62. ^ "Dominant Valletta FC Futsal won the Super Cup".
  63. ^ "Valletta jiddominaw u jirbħu s-Super Cup tal-futsal". 15 September 2018.
  64. ^ "Positive opening for the new futsal season - The Malta Independent".
  65. ^ "Valletta's first win back in the domestic league".
  66. ^ "Futsal: Massive wins for Luxol and Valletta - The Malta Independent".
  67. ^ "The Malta National Futsal Team back for double home friendly against Northern Ireland".
  68. ^ "Grech's debut goal not enough for Malta futsal team". MFA.