e-Newsletter Issue 2 – September 2014



 (Picture above – Luka Sekulic – this years’ foreign player from Montenegro – cap 14 – photo by Adrian Farrugia )

Issue 2 – September 2014

This is a follow up to our Issue-1 e-Newsletter published in June 2014; we would have liked to keep this e-Newsletter more regular during the season; however, we shall strive to do so through the winter period and next summer.

We encourage you to visit our website: http://www.exiles.com.mt

In this issue – September 2014:

–          The Waterpolo First Team

–          The Swimming School is now called Aqua Academy

–          Under-15’s in Andorra

–          The Jellyfish Net

–          Getting ready for a new season


The Waterpolo First Team;

The waterpolo season has just ended and the Exiles first Team are now in their rest period; a deserved period before embarking on a new season which actually starts in October!  Yes, this October 2014.  The team will commence with Gym and Weights from October; but this will be described in a following e-newsletter….we shall concentrate on describing the Team’s performance last season and give a brief of any successes and disappointments.

The First Team won its’ preliminary round games against Otters and Marsaxlokk to qualify for the Premier Division. Here we played 14 games, losing 9 drawing 4 and winning 1. We drew twice with Sirens, once with Sliema and Valletta, and won our match against Valletta in the last match of the season.  Exiles then easily won the play out matches versus Marsascala, the winners of the First Division winning the first two of the three match playoffs to secure our Premier Division status next year.

Our Goal-getters this season were primarily our foreign players; Luka Sekulic (Montenegrin) with 29 goals and Gergo Katonas (Hungarian) with 37 goals.  Our Maltese players topping the score were Peter Borg with 25 goals, David Pace Lupi with 21 goals, Kurt Griscti with 18, Julian Rizzo Naudi with 14, Simon Vassallo with 11 goals, James Spiteri Staines with 9 goals, Kain Lanzon with 5 goals, Benjie Lanzon with 2 and Diego Borg with 1 goal.

The Foreign players have now left for their respective countries and to their own respective waterpolo Leagues, since it is about now that the Leagues in Montenegro and Hungary commence.  The players left on 7th and 8th of September.

This year also saw a change in the Coaching staff; the Senior Coach of the First team, Aurelien Cousin (French) resigned after the first round and was replaced by Maurizio Mirarchi (Italian).

We thank Aurelien, who has since joined our Balluta rivals, San Giljan, for his contribution, this year and in the past three years that he has been with the Exiles Club.

We also thank Maurizio, this year, whose efforts and dedication has brought in some results and great improvement in the Team and some particular players.  This augurs well for next season.

First Signing – A first signing for the forthcoming season is Maurizio Mirarchi, the First Team Coach; Exiles Sports Club has again confirmed his services for next season.

Maurizio will be with the Team starting in January 2015, throughout the Winter League and through the 2015 Summer Waterpolo season.  Negotiations were tough but through the efforts of all concerned we managed to persuade Maurizio to offer his services once again.

Player of the Year – This year’s Club Player of the year was awarded to Peter Borg; Peter has also been chosen to train with the Malta Squad under the National Waterpolo Team Coach Karl Izzo.

The Club also awarded Kurt Griscti with a trophy for the Most Improved Player of the season.

Both nominations were the choice of the Club Committee supported by the First Team Coach, Marurizio Mirarchi.


Aqua Academy

Towards the end of August this year we converted our Swimming and SwimaPolo School to a self-sufficient and autonomous Academy under the direction of Gordon Zammit and his wife Michelle.

The Academy is being run in a far more professional manner and will offer a holistic swimming and waterpolo programme.  It will be run autonomously with the presence of Exiles and the direct input of Gordon and Michelle to give it more focus and direction. It is hoped that this formula will be instrumental in increasing the quantity and quality of athletes in both sporting disciplines and be run in a self-sufficient manner.

Gordon Zammit will be handling the under-15 and under-17 teams and we are pleased to advise that we have engaged Matthew Pisani (ex-Neptunes and Sirens player) to handle the under-13 and under-11 teams. We have also engaged Tim from the UK to handle the swimming, both of the waterpolo teams and of new recruits who are joining.

Anyone who wish to send their children to Aqua Academy kindly contact Gordon or Michelle on (Mob: 99237115); search Aqua Academy on Facebook or contact anyone of the Club Committee Members.


The Andorra Experience

The Under-15 team flew back from Andorra in the early hours of Monday the 8th September after participating in the second edition of the Be Water My Friend waterpolo tournament held between the 3rd and 6th. Nine teams from Spain, three from Italy and one each from England, Scotland, Germany, Croatia together with Exiles completed the list of the participants. There was also Girls’ Tournament being held concurrently and which attracted eight teams.

The Format – In this year’s edition, seventeen teams were split into three groups of four and another one of five in which our team was pitted against three Spanish teams, Barcelona, Helios and Rubi and a Scottish Selection. The top two teams in each group qualified for the Knock-Out phase to determine the 1st to the 8th position whilst the nine remaining teams were split in three groups of three and each team played a round robin league to determine the placing in each group. The first placed teams in each group played each other to determine the 9th to the 11th position, the second placed teams played for the 12th to the 14th whilst the last placed teams also played two matches each to determine the final places 15th to the 17th.

Tough Group – There was no doubt that meeting a team of the caliber of Barcelona and Rubi was going to be an uphill task for the youngsters. In fact the first match of the tournament the Barca team piled 16 goals against a solitary one being scored by our boys. On Thursday three matches in a day proved to be gruesome but which started with a fine win against the Scottish Selection (8-0) before a narrow defeat against CN Helios (6-10) and showing their best performance in the tournament against CN Rubi but still ending empty-handed (3-9). This Spanish team had beaten Barca by four goals in their direct encounter to finish top of the Group.

On Friday 12th September the team played another Spanish side the CN Donostia and lost 2-6 but the effects of the previous day’s efforts were evident as the team played below its normal level. A (9-1) win over Leosardi Cagliari boosted the team’s chances for an honorable placing between the 12th and 14th place the following day. On Saturday, a low scoring match (2-3) against CN Catalunyna pushed the team one place down whilst a draw (7-7) against SSD Avezzano in the last encounter placed the team in the number 14 berth.

The tournament was eventually won by the strongest and talented side of Mladost from Croatia who in the final hammered the German side LSN 8-1. There were novelties which our team had to get accustomed to like playing without the electronic equipment, no time outs and one referee. The matches were played over two periods of 17 minutes actual time.

Overall the trip was a pleasant experience which all the players must have savored and will no doubt remember.

Coach Gordon Zammit made use of all the 19 players who made the trip and had to cope with the usual factors that condition the performance of every team participating in these sporting manifestations.

Photo shows the team wearing their medals in a relaxed mood in the center of Andorra after the final presentation at the Pool where the tournament was organized

Contribution by Karol Farrugia (KaFa) the Andorra Chef de Mission; (This extract can be found on the Exiles Website)


The Jellyfish Net

All of you are now accustomed to the large Jelly Fish Net which has been deployed for the second year with great success, if I may add.

The jelly Fish Net was the brainchild of the Committee who since the time when the new premises were opened had made it a point to eradicate the scourge of the jelly fish visiting our area and not allowing the bathers to swim at ease for fear of being stung.  The Committee had long been planning such a solution, and in 2012 deployed a Fisherman’s-made-net with only partial success.  The net then, for whoever can remember, did its job for a short time, but through bad weather ended up all tangled and ruined and had to be brought up.  That exercise had cost the Club some €2,000.

Late in 2012 the Committee planned a bigger enterprise; that of acquiring a larger jellyfish net; this time from a reputed Italian company.  We initiated this exercise by contracting our neighbors, the Dive Systems to come up with a plan of the area where the net would be placed and map the depths of the perimeter of a Jellyfish net 30 meters x 50 meters.  The Dive Systems divers made us a plan of depths at intervals of 1 meter for all the three sides – this we communicated to the Italian company who sent us costings and drawings of such a Jellyfish net.

The cost was a staggering €9,000 to have it cut to the shape to the area depths; adding to that we had to transport it to Malta and lay it in place.

The Divers here again were contracted to lay the net in June of 2013 and secure it to well over 35 ‘mazzri’ which were built to our specifications and lowered with a crane into the sea by our contractors and Lessees Schembri Contractors.

The net itself is a one meter blue plastic tight mesh with a Jablo boom at the surface.  At the other extremity, under the water, this one meter plastic mesh is joined with resistant netting which dangles to the sea floor.  Since this was cut to the specifications of the sea depth, the net just rests on the sea bed.

The Net itself is secured at vantage points to the ‘mazzri’ via elasticated rope securing it at the edge of the blue plastic one meter mesh where the net joins; hence the net itself is not tied or weighted; with its own weight it just dangled to the sea floor.

Divers move the ‘mazzri’ into place using air-bag lifters and secured the ropes.

Last year, when the Jellyfish net was raised from the sea in late summer, it was taken to a compound where it was power-hosed; all this operation cost the club some €2000.

Jellyfish Net deployed this year – This years’ deployment was done in early June 2014; the divers had to intervene in its initial laying and had to intervene a couple of other times during this year to secure ropes and fix the damage some freak summer storms had caused. Costs for this year, of Diver interventions, top some €800.

One thing to note is that both last year and this year the Jellyfish net was raised from the sea with the help of Committee members and volunteers; we thank these volunteers and committee for their dedication and commitment to the club; as the word implies this is done against no payment but with great sacrifice.  This year the Jellyfish net was raised from the waters between the 14th and 16th of September….the net is now in storage and will be power-washed and repaired, ready for deployment next year.

The Committee takes the decision to take the net out of the water before any great storms start to threaten.  Unfortunately or fortunately (unfortunately that there was no net, and fortunately that the summer weather was that good in the last two weeks of September); the net was not in place for these weeks and we noticed days where bathers did not venture into the water because of the presence of Jellyfish!  Something that the JellyFish Net was able to protect all against, through this summer; making bathing that more pleasant for Club members and guests.


Getting ready for a new season but looking first at this season

We are always striving to make your stay at the Club Lido and on premises that more enjoyable and pleasant; we are striving year in year out to augment this experience;

I am listing herein some initiative that the Club has taken in this season, 2014; some were successful, others remained unfortunately on plan and on paper!

Cleaning of Toilets and Showers – We introduced a mechanism of having the Cleaners on premises sign whenever they clean the toilets and showers; this responsibilised them and had an initial and immediate success. This is something we intend to keep in place and improve on in the forthcoming year. We managed this with the full cooperation of the Lessee and his team of cleaners and helpers.  There could have been improvements, particularly at the latter part of the summer, in September; however, the initiative was a good one which we intend improving on, in the forthcoming year, with the cooperation of all members and guests.

Manning of the premises – As in previous years, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holiday were manned by our dear friends Steve and Chantelle; they do a sterling job in assisting members and accepting guests onto our premises.  They are very courteous and offer a welcome smile to all who visit our Club.

We have this year introduced another assistant, Ameer; he too was very courteous and helpful, and we receive many positive comments to his introduction to ‘man’ the premises during weekdays.

As you all are aware our premises is open in all directions, and manning the place and controlling entrants is no easy feat; we encourage, for the coming year, that all Members give these Club Assistants all your cooperation and help make the premises a place where paid Members can make avail of the amenities of our Club; that Day-members who come over as our guests also make avail of all our amenities, at a daily charge, and that Paid Guests also share in our Club experience.

These three categories are the only three types of guests we encourage and foster in our Club; paid members, paying day-members and paid member’s-guests.

We understand that some persons wander onto our premises to make avail of the Restaurants and Bar areas (Our Restaurant upstairs and the Lido Restaurant); however, anyone who is in swimming wear and makes avail of our areas, showers, enclosed swimming-area (jellyfish net enclosure) needs to be aware the they need to be one of the three categories mentioned above, and paying-guests.

It is only with these moneys that we can improve the experience in our Club, so kindly assist us in this.

Wall built in front of the outer showers – We have this year built a short wall in front of the outer showers; this was done by the Lessee under our instructions.  This wall made the place look better and did away with the overspill of shower water in the area in front of the showers; allowing the area to be left dry and accessible; removing any danger.

Deployed Salva Uomo – As you may have noticed we have affixed a ‘Salva Uomo Type’ onto the outer wall of the Showers; this is available to all and may be used in an emergency situation where the Tyre with rope can be used to be thrown to a swimmer in difficulty.

The ‘Salva Uomo Type’ and its rope were graciously donated to the Club by Gordon Mifsud. Gordon also donated two First Aid Kits which were on the Club premises and a special medical mouth piece used in mouth-to-mouth resuscitations; we thank Gordon for these.

Awnings – This year the Committee purchased and erected two new Awnings in the lower deck.  This has improved the shading there and was a welcome change for those who normally sit in the lower deck area.  It also helped in the shading part of the main lido area.  These came at an expense of some €2500, however moneys well spent. We thank Frances Pace Lupi who was the instigator and driving force of this initiative.

Club Activities – The Committee has successfully organised several events and meals this summer season, starting with;

The 1st of May 4-day activities where we had the Early-Bird membership collection, the Fenkata for the oldie-members, the chill-out night and a Breakfast

A BBQ was organised on 12th of July followed by two very successful ‘Majjalata’s’ on the 26th July and 30th August.

The End-of-Season Dinner was held on the 13th September.  This too garnered the largest crowd of our events.

Apart from these activities the Lessee organised this year the SUNSET WEDNESDAYS where our patrons had special local music stars at our premises entertaining all; Ira Losco, Tribali, RedEleckric, Gianni and others.

Fridays were also made special where on the Fridays the club was transformed to a Chill-out evening place with music, which attracted more people to our premises.

Kiddies Area –
The Committee had planned a Kiddies Area to be erected and enclosed so that parents with small kids can use this controlled area keeping their kids in an enclosed space away from any dangers, and in sight.

This initiative unfortunately did not materialise due to costs and timings; it is a challenge for the new Committee to take this forth for the coming year.  This surely will attract new families, families with kids and new-borns to our club.

Looking at next season – The coming season is looking very encouraging in building on what we already have and adding to these, to our Club experience for all to benefit from.  This is the next challenge facing the new Committee to be elected at the forthcoming Annual General.



Mark Vassallo
Hon Secretary
Exiles Sports Club,
Tower Road, Sliema, Malta
P.O. Box 100, Sliema
Email: info@exiles.com.mt


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