A Year of National Sport
Year after year Rugby has become the sport in which Malta's national team provides the biggest thrill and the most honourable results. Probably smitten by this sudden drift of attention, the national football team under the able guidance of Horst Heese performed admirably in the last two matches of the year - 1-1 draws with such able opponents as World Cup Qualifiers Croatia and the promising youth of Bulgaria. These last two results have allowed the team to move to a more reasonable placing in the FIFA world rankings. In fact we are still behind Cyprus (but getting closer) while we have leapfrogged the Far Oer (Faroe Islands) and left Luxembourg 20 places below us. Great.
It leaves us some hope for the new year under a new coach. Something in the back of my mind tells me not to be too enthusiastic and just consider anything positive that comes along as a pleasant surprise.
Meanwhile Malta's Rugby team is due for a crucial qualifier in Belgium in April 2006. I expect all expats in the area to converge on the stadium and give their vocal contribution to the lads in black, white and red.