Malta Football Association
Determination key to Luxol’s success says Dobre – Review
Apr 15, 2019
Posted in:
Futsal - Elite

The 2018-19 futsal season came to a conclusion last Thursday with Luxol completing a league and Knock-Out double after seeing off the challenge of rivals and worthy contenders Valletta Futsal.

It has been a season to remember for Luxol who found their best form when it mattered most, securing the league title after winning the first three games of the best-of-five play-off series and then beating Valletta 6-2 in the cup final.


Gabriel Dobre, who replaced Frane Despotovic as Luxol Futsal coach at the start of the season, played a key role in their success.


“It was an honour for me to join Luxol and start working with this group of people,” Dobre told


“At the start of the season, together with the players we worked to change our playing system. The objective was to stay with the leading pack and strive all the way to challenge for the main futsal honours.”


Dobre is not new to Maltese futsal followers as in the past he played for Balzan, then led by current Luxol Futsal president Mario Vella.


“Mario (Vella) and Luxol chairman Joe (Aquilina) played a key role in my decision to return to Malta and start this new experience as Luxol futsal coach,” Dobre said.


Dobre said confidence and resilience were the main qualities that helped Luxol overcome Valletta’s stern challenge in the race for the major honours.


“It was a really tight duel this season but we had the edge in the decisive matches,” the Romanian said.


“Confidence was very important in the three play-off games which defined the league title… we were determined and showed resilience to win.”


The Luxol futsal coach also spoke positively about the experience gained by his players when representing Malta in the FIFA Futsal World Cup preliminary round tournament in Sweden back in January.


“Having several players forming part of the national squad for the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifiers was positive for us,” Dobre said.


“Our players did well and came back stronger after such an experience, enhancing their skills and raising their standards against stronger opponents.”




Luxol's attention has now turned to the UEFA Futsal Champions League as they will be representing Malta in this prestigious competition.


“I’m aware that this group of players did well when Luxol last competed in the UEFA Futsal Champions League two seasons ago,” Dobre said.


“They won their Preliminary Group in Linz, Austria, and then managed to avoid bottom place in a very strong Main Round group, played in Deva, Romania.


“It’s our goal to emulate and possibly improve our 2017 performances in Europe.


“However, we must first sit down and discuss our future plans and what is needed to keep improving this already strong squad.”


Dobre believes that the level of futsal in Malta has improved.


“I believe there are people who are working to keep raising the standards of Maltese futsal,” the Luxol coach said.


“I know the Malta Football Association is striving to attract more youngsters to futsal.


“I think futsal is more professional today with Maltese clubs also engaging good-quality foreign players.


“Nevertheless I believe that football clubs can do more to encourage more promising players to take up futsal as this is a win-win situation for both disciplines.”

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