The Lynx Youth Academy returns in full throttle recruiting boys and girls ranging from ages 5 – 14 years with one simple message: “All skill levels are welcome”.
This month we get to meet Joaquin Buhagiar, well known to his friends as “Jeky”. Jeky commenced his coaching career in the late ’80s whilst playing for a reserve team. Most Youth coaches pushed their youth players to the limit in search of a victory, but Jeky felt it was of great importance for the kids to have fun and enjoy the game. This mindset allowed the players to rediscover themselves and grow a passion for the game in a healthy environment. The kids had also learnt the importance of socializing with others and treating their teammates as equal members. Training every day, learning the basics of passing the ball, holding possession, shooting at goal, giving the kids the required tools to enjoy football, saw a significant improvement in the kids.
Later that year, success came naturally to the players, who won the cup by 2-1 in the final. Jeky treasures that moment, as the team had a child with a physical disability and no belief in himself, but not only did Jeky give him the opportunity of being part of the team, he also gave him a taste for victory having made clear that everyone would play in every match. He remembers that moment as if it were yesterday, even though today’s first-team players weren’t even born in those days. Jeky had substituted one of his players and before going in, he told the player to stay beside the opposing keeper so that he couldn’t go out to get the ball. They got a corner and the ball hit him on the head and went into the goal, leading his team to victory and crowned champions of the tournament. From this day on, the kids were like a band of brothers and started to win everything under the sun.
Jeky took his youth team to a Liverpool tournament consisting of under 14s and even though they lost in the final 2-1, they brought back an unbelievable experience. They were invited to play the following day at the school of excellence of Liverpool FC, and the kids were all nervous in the changing room, but Jeky calmed them with this message: “Guys we came here to play in a football tournament. We missed out on winning the final but who cares, we have been invited to play against Liverpool FC, so let’s go out there and play football as you know, and don’t forget to have fun.”
This speech was to make history, as the team went out to win the game by an incredible 12 – 0. After the under 15 season Jeky decided to give it a rest, after consecutive top place finishes and a memorable 4 – 1 victory in the Pepe Reyes Cup Final. Jeky was to become a hot prospect within the coaching ranks, boasting a wealth of knowledge bringing out the best in his players throughout his coaching career. Jeky is now Head of the Youth Academy of Lynx F.C., a position previously held by Raymond Gomez. Jeky is very proud to be part of the Academy along with his Youth Coaches Tracey Baglietto, David Costa, Craig Fortunato, Andrew Martinez, Colin Finlayson, Paco Hernández and senior members Albert Parody and Raymond Gomez.
Raymond is now placing his full efforts as a Youth Coach of the Lynx Youth Academy and he will always be best remembered for his successful term as Head of the Youth Academy from 2014 – 2018. His presence was instrumental to the Youth’s growth and took on the mantle of adapting to the major changes implemented from becoming a UEFA member. Raymond had set the foundations for many years to come and we have been very fortunate to have such a strong team.
We are forever grateful to know that our children’s futures are in safe hands and we cannot wait to see you join the mighty yellows, by calling us on 200 69695 or 57712000, now.