After leaving her native Ethiopia at a very young age, GEORGIANA MIFSUD has settled into a new life in Malta where she is enhancing her legacy with the Mediterranean island through the Beautiful Game. Gianluca Lia spoke to her after representing Malta at the UEFA Youth Girls Development Tournament on home soil…
Football can be the platform that helps people release themselves from their daily problems.
The Beautiful Game has the power to transcend disappointment and lead to joy, making this sport the most popular across the globe. It serves as a bridge to connect cultures and society, and helps people to express themselves through a ball.
Georgiana Mifsud’s relationship with Malta has crossed paths with football, as the sport gave her the opportunity to settle into a new chapter for her life, away from her Ethiopian roots.
At a very young age, together with her brother, she was brought to Gozo, in 2004 by the late Fr George Grima, founder of the Missionary Movement “Jesus in Thy Neighbour” which has laid foundations to several initiatives in Brazil, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Mifsud, 15, started to play football immediately once she settled in Gozo and is currently part of the Nadur Youngsters U-15’s boys team while also featuring for the Gozitan selection in the MFA Women’s U-19 league as well.
In 2018-19, Mifsud has played for Gozo FC 11 times, scoring twice in the process as the team are currently fifth on 15 points, with five wins and six defeats.
Her pinnacle in her short football career has been when she received the call-up by coach Dorianne Theuma to take part in the U-15’s Development Tournament organised by UEFA, held in Thailand last December.
Mifsud put in some commanding showings as the Maltese side collected two wins against Singapore and Mongolia before falling at the hands of the hosts Thailand.
The Gozo U-19 player was again part of the Maltese national team set-up last month as she formed part of the 20-player squad that hosted the Development Tournament.
Playing as a fullback, Mifsud played a starring role for Malta in the tournament as they registered victories against Gibraltar, Andorra and Albania.
Speaking to the Times of Malta, Mifsud expressed her happiness in forming part of a team that has welcomed her from day one.
“The Development Tournament in Malta was a memorable one for me because it is always an honour to represent Malta and to do so on home soil was something special,” Mifsud said.
“Obviously, we took part in this tournament knowing that it will serve as a preparation for the upcoming European qualifiers that will start in September, where will be sharing the field with some tough opponents.
“I am very proud of my team-mates because they helped me to settle with the team quickly, therefore I could perform in a comfortable manner in this tournament. We are a group of committed players that give everything on matchday.”
UEFA organises such tournaments to provide extra international window to the national teams so they can rope in more young players who will gain much-needed international exposure.
Mifsud feels that she has benefitted from playing in such games, especially when it comes to her football skills.
“With the help of my coaches, I continued to improve my way of playing, in particular the importance of positioning on the field but also the approach to the games,” Mifsud explained.
“Such features will be useful for me as the challenges will become trickier for us, so I need to be prepared for anything that comes my way.”
Coach Theuma heaped praise on Mifsud’s attitude, in particular inside the dressing room as she deems her as a very genuine person that reflects the harmony inside the team she coaches.
“(Georgiana) Mifsud is a cheerful girl, who integrates quickly with the team-mates and that helps because it enhances the environment,” Theuma said.
“This team is very young and I focus a lot on educating them, because representing Malta is a huge responsibility but I am very grateful to be coaching such a group of players
Mifsud will be representing Malta in the Global Goals World Cup Europe that will be held in Copenhagen on Sunday, May 14.
Twenty-four teams will feature in this alternative football tournament that has the objective of creating community, inspiring and engaging women from across the globe.
In this one-day football celebration, a group of Maltese girls and women, including Mifsud, will be the ambassadors of Malta with a chance to win the tournament and clinch a finals berth, an additional event that will be held in New York.
This is certainly another opportunity for Mifsud to embrace the Maltese colours through the Beautiful Game.
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