Last month during my time in Malta I spent time training with Santa Lucia Falcons. You can read more about that here.
I was regularly in contact with the club’s founding member, Robert Teuma in the lead up to my trip to Malta.
The Maltese football fan/ club owner was very enthusiastic about getting myself down to the club in order to get a taste of Maltese football.
I have been lucky enough to speak to Teuma about entering the big world of being a football club chairman and founder.
Why did you choose to set up a football club?
To start with, I wasn’t always a football fan but when you start working in a new job, you have to try to adapt to what your workmates enjoy talking about.
After a couple of months, I over enjoyed myself speaking about the subject. A friend of mine then came up with a plan to begin a football club that would go into an Amateur League. I loved the idea and decided to help. I was appointed Secretary of this club and I was extremely proud of this achievement.
Five months after, I noticed that when we were still searching for the players, a lot of these players coming in lacked discipline, and training was never happening.
We were going down for matches and losing every single one of them, I knew that if there wasn’t going to be any discipline in the team, I wasn’t going to let myself be a laughing stock of the opposing teams.
That’s when I picked a player out of the team, one who was very disciplined and one who followed all orders given by the coach. I asked him to help me out in constructing this team of ours.
Today he is the Santa Lucia Faclons club’s Captain. His name is Chris Fardell a former MFA 2nd and 3rd division player who is an inspiration to all the players in the team.
What inspired the name and team colours?
I used to play Rugby for 15 years. I used to play for several clubs, which included Valletta Lions RFC, Birkirkara Alligators RFC and I finished my rugby career with Qormi Falcons RFC.
Finishing my career with Qormi Falcons was a great feeling, we were always happy together, and there was a great team spirit. The name “Falcons” came from there and Santa Lucia came from the town that I lived in for 25 years before I got married and I had to move.
This is when I decided to add it all up and I came up with Santa Lucia Falcons FC. The colours, we decided to stick with the gold as the Santa Lucia local council flag, you find an all black flag with the Golden Sun inside .
The Purple shirt, I got because we have used GIVOVA as our kit provider and when we had to choose our home and away kit, we went with the home kit as the gold with black line on the side and for the away shirt we went with Purple because it had the touch of gold which we wanted to use as a main team colour.
How good of an appointment is Etienne Grech Sillato as coach?
Before Etienne came to the team we weren’t as united as we are now, his arrival inspired a lot of top players in to the team.
His primary job with the team was that of a team doctor, I didn’t know that he was licensed to coach.
After losing a second consecutive match under my hands, I spoke to the committee saying that we needed to find a coach that knows what he’s doing unlike me as I never had the experience of coaching.
That’s when he spoke out and said, “I have experience, I can give it a shot if you would give me a chance.” It was perfect having a medic and a coach in one. I didn’t have any problem and gave him the job.
Today I keep saying to myself that it was worth giving him the chance and I have a good feeling that he will lead this team to the top if not in our first season then maybe the second for sure. The team has become united because of his skills. The players love him and he loves them equally back. There is a sense of discipline and this is all thanks to him.
What are your aims as founder of the club?
My aim is to have one of the strongest amateur teams on the island, it isn’t an easy aim but it is one that I am definitely aiming to have.
As founder I hope that I make my family’s name proud if not in Malta, at least in my local town. I hope that this team continues to exist even when I’m not here, I want the people to remember that I have initiated this team for the Santa Lucia people to come together and support the team that is representing them in the MAFA league.
We already have a team representing us in the Malta Football Association but unfortunately the results never came to what the people expect of them. I hope that my team will get positive results and do what the other team can’t do.
Where do you see the club in 10 years time?
I hope to see my club still in the race for the MAFA league title. This team means a lot to both me and the rest of the players. I know that a lot of the players would have either retired or found themselves a new challenge with another club but I also hope that those who retire because of age will remain as veterans of the club and help our young players with their knowledge of the game which they acquired during their time playing for the Falcons.
What are the club’s ultimate goals?
My ultimate goal for Santa Lucia Falcons FC is that of overcoming all our obstacles in the present and in the future and for the time being, winning all of the trophies that we compete for so that we can be able to donate them to the town that we are currently representing.
I also wish to say a special thanks to my father, Alfred Teuma who supports us a lot, he is the current treasurer of the team but he has supported my project from the start and helped me financially to purchase all the necessities that the club needed.
We are in a lot of need of financial help in order to keep our team running and I hope that the future brings bright things for us all.
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