The first attempts to establish the Mqabba F.C. Youth Nursery date back to 1993, when the never forgotten Mr Joe Bugeja (known as id-Demsey), gathered children from the village and gave them the opportunity to acquire basic football training. For some reason or another, the Nursery soon came to an end.
In the year 2000 Mr Joe Farrugia shared his thoughts with Mr. Mark Bondin about establishing a football nursery. A group of 20 trainees all aged under 12 attended training with Mr Bondin, who is the current Nursery’s Head Coach. This season coincided with the promotion of the Mqabba F.C. senior team to the 1st Dvision.
The following season (2001/2002), the number of children doubled and the U/10 section was introduced, with training being held twice a week. The U/12’s had an impressive year, having good runs in YFA Tournaments and finishing Runners Up in another two tournaments organized at Zebbug and Zurrieq.
The 2002/2003 saw the Nursery growing considerably with the increase of both, children and coaches. The trainees attending for regular training rose up to 70. The coaches were Omar Caruana and Joe Borg (U/8), Alan Friggieri (U/10), Paul Calleja (U/12) and Mark Bondin (U/14), under voluntary basis. Tracksuits and kits were also introduced for training sessions and matches. During the following year (2003/2004), the situation remained practically the same, with a slight rise in trainees. However, during this season, the Nursery started investing in the coaching staff with coaches beginning to attend courses organized by MFA, so as to have better quality training.
A new 5-a-side synthetic football ground adjacent to the renovated sandy pitch enabled the Nursery to improve the quality of the training. Apart from these, new premises were erected for the Nursery to have its own facilities. During this season, the squads were divided in U/6, U/8, U/10, U/12, U/14, U/16 and U/19. The number of trainees attending training rose to 160 with 15 coaches organizing 16 training sessions per week. Training sessions were coordinated by two Head Coaches with UEFA “B” License, Mr. Mark Bondin and Mag. Darren Micallef.
The 2008-2009 season saw the installation of synthetic turf on the Nurseries main ground together with the building of adjacent dressing rooms, equipment room and an administration office. These added and renovated facilities gave more opportunities for better improvement of both the technical and personal aspects of the trainees. For the 2009-2010 seasons, given that the facilities were in place, the Nursery invested in experienced and qualified coaching team with the aim to improve on the continuous personal development of the trainees.
In 2010, Mqabba FC Youth Nursery has celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The logo chosen for this celebration was "FOR THE GOOD OF THE YOUNG". Several activities were organized with the main event being a reception organized at the nursery premises in the presence of Onor. Clyde Puli, Parliamentary Secretary for Youths and Sports. As from 2011-2012 season Mr Jimmy Briffa, ex-Maltese national player, was appointed as Technical Director. This was an important season when Mqabba FC Youth Nursery signed a new sponsorship contract with Eurosport and changed its kits’ brand from Legea to Adidas.
Since the foundation of Mqabba FC Youth Nursery, both Brandon Debono and Omar Farrugia made their debut and are still regularly selected as part of the parent team. Brandon Debono, from the Under 17 team made his debut with Mqabba FC on the 3rd May 2010 in the match against Balzan Youths which match was won by Mqabba FC 1-0. Brandon made his debut at the age of 15 years. Omar Farrugia, another player within the Under 17 who made his first debut with parent team Mqabba FC on Sunday 1st May 2011 against Dingli. Omar was instrumental for the third goal scored by Jean Paul Muscat from penalty in a game which Mqabba won 3-1. Omar was also selected to join the U17 Malta National Team and made his debut for Malta on Monday 24th October 2011 during the UEFA U17 Championship against the team of Montenegro. During the season 2012/2013 we saw the debut of more players. On Sunday 14th April 2013, it was the time for our Under 19 regular player Kurt Falzon. Kurt made his debut with Mqabba FC at the age of 17 years in the match against Naxxar which match ended 3-0 for Naxxar. On Saturday 20th April 2013, Ryan Vella (17 years) from the Under 17 squad and Adrian Abdilla (18 years) from our Under 19 team made their debut for Mqabba FC against Gudja United during the pre-last First Division League match held at Luxol Ground. Match ended 4-1 for Gudja. It is to note also that during this match Mqabba FC had five players from the Nursery on the pitch with Curtis Callus, Under 17 goalkeeper selected on the bench. During the last First Division league match against B'Bugia held on Saturday 27th April 2013 at the Centenary Stadium, Curtis Callus made his debut on the 82 minute at the age of 15 years. Match ended 5-1 for B'Bugia. Moreover both Ryan Vella and Curtis Callus were regularly selected for trials with the U17 National team. On Saturday 20th December it was the turn for our U17 player Jake Callus who made his debut against Vittoriosa. Jake played for the last 17 minutes while the match ended in favour of Vittoriosa. Jake made his debut at the age of 16 yrs and 11 days. On Monday 5th January 2015, both Luke Vella and Gianluca Galea from our U19 squad made their debut in the First Division match against Gzira. Match was held at the Centenary Stadium and ended 5-0 for Gzira FC.
The main objective of our Nursery is to contribute to the continuous personal development of children from Mqabba and villages in the vicinities by luring them to the beautiful game of Football, for the ultimate benefit of the community.
The accomplishment of this objective is testified by the ever increasing number of trainees attending training sessions. The positive contribution of the Nursery was also acknowledged by the Mqabba Local Council when in 2009 Mr. Mark Bondin, the Nursery founder and current Head Coach, was awarded with the Gieh L-Imqabba award in appreciation for his continuous contribution to the Nursery and the community of Mqabba.
Mqabba FC Youth Nursery is looking forward for innovative ways in which it can continue with its positive contribution. In fact, as from the 2009–2010 season, apart from the technical and administrative aspect in the Nursery's operations, the nursery committee has set up a Parents’ and Community sub-committee in order to encourage more parents participation in the Nursery.
The Nursery believes that parent’s involvement is crucial for the Nursery to continue pursuing its mission and the Nursery acknowledges the obligations that it has towards the community it forms part of. This sub-committee is responsible for the organization of activities which are earmarked to enhance the Nursery's presence in the community. This sub-committee widens the operational structure of the nursery which structure now caters for three aspects, that is Technical, Administration and Community.
The season 2013/2014 marked the first promotion for Mqabba FC Youth Nursery with the Under 15 squad under the guidance of Coach Clifford Vassallo. Mqabba FC finished runners up in Section C1 gaining the right to play the playoffs. After the playoffs Mqabba FC ended overall Champion of Section C. This was the first promotion for Mqabba FC Youth Nursery after finishing runners up in season 2010/2011 with the Under 17 team and runners up in the season 2012/2013 with the Under 15. This season marked also the end of Mark Bondin era as Head Coach of the Nursery who was appointed Head Coach with Birkirkara FC Youth Nursery. Following this move, Nicholas Baldacchino, UEFA B was appointed Head Coach of Mqabba FC Youth Nursery on the 10th April 2014 effective as from 9th June 2014.
For further details everyone is invited to visit the official website www.mqabbafcyn.org or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/mqabbafcyn. Publications by the Mqabba FC Youth Nursery can be accessed on www.issuu.com/mqabbafcyn.
Antoinette Camilleri & Joseph Pace
Gilbert Camilleri & Antoine Sciberras
Leonard 'Nardu' Farrugia
Foundation of Mqabba FC Youth Nursery by Head Coach Mark Bondin
Head Coach Mark Bondin awarded with Gieh l-Imqabba Award by the Mqabba Local Council
Runners-up APS Bank Under 17 League Section C2 Season
2010/2011 - Coach Anton Agius
Runners-up APS Bank Under 15 League Section C2 Season 2012/2013 - Coach William (Billy) Hendy.
Runners-up APS Bank Under 15 League Section C1 Season 2013/2014 - Coach Clifford Vassallo. Mqabba played the playoffs to determine the overall winners and who will be promoted to Section B.
2013/2014 Overall Champions of the APS Bank Under 15 League Section C Season 2013/2014 - Promoted to Section B (Coach Clifford Vassallo)
Joseph Fenech - Debut with Mqabba FC on . Then played for other clubs in the 3rd Division and returned with Mqabba FC for the Season 2013/2014.
Brandon Debono - 03/05/2010 at the age of 15 years (Goalkeeper)
Omar Farruiga - 01/05/2011 at the age of 17 years and played for Malta U17 National Team on 24/10/2011
Kurt Falzon - 14/04/2013 at the age of 17 years
Ryan Vella - 20/04/2013 at the age of 17 years
Adrian Abdilla - 20/04/2013 at the age of 18 years
Curtis Callus - 27/04/2013 at the age of 15 years (Goalkeeper)
Jake Callus - 20/12/2014 at the age of 16 years 11 days
Luke Vella - 05/01/2015 at the age of 18 years
Gianluca Galea - 05/01/2015 at the age of 17 years