- Valletta midfielder Jonathan Bondin received his first national team call as he was included in the 19-man squad which will be travelling to Sweden and then Iceland for the two World Cup qualifiers.
Malta meets Sweden at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg on Saturday 4 (kick-off at 17:15). On Wednesday 8, Malta faces Iceland at the Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavik (kick-off at 18:05).
Besides Bondin, Floriana goalkeeper Reuben Gauci, also received his first national team call after Saviour Darmanin was dropped from the squad.
Floriana's Stephen Wellman and Birkirkara striker Etienne Barbara were dropped from the squad while Ian Azzopardi is ruled injured.
Roderick Briffa, Jeffrey Chetcuti and Jamie Pace are back in squad after being left out of the squad for the last game against Croatia.
Sliema midfielder Claude Mattocks will be missing the first game against Sweden as he serves a one-match ban.
The players selected by Heese and his assistant Carmel Busuttil are:
goalkeepers Reuben Gauci (Floriana), Justin Haber (Birkirkara);
defenders Roderick Briffa (Birkirkara), Jeffrey Chetcuti (Sliema), Luke Dimech (Mansfield), Adrian Pulis (Hibernians), Brian Said (Sliema);
midfielders Gilbert Agius (Valletta), Jonathan Bondin (Valletta), Stefan Giglio (Sliema), Massimo Grima (Valletta), George Mallia (Birkirkara), Claude Mattocks (Sliema), Kevin Sammut (Msida), Peter Pullicino (Hibernians), Ivan Woods (Sliema) and
forwards Andrew Cohen (Hibernians), Michael Mifsud (Lillestrom), Jamie Pace (Marsaxlokk).
- Malta Under-21 coach Mark Miller named a 20-man squad which will be travelling to Sweden and then Iceland for the two Under-21 Championship qualifiers.
The Under-21 side meets Sweden at the Örjans Vall in Halmstad on Friday 3. On Tuesday 7, Miller's boys face Iceland at the KR-Völlur in Reykjavik.
Miller left Floriana goalkeeper Reuben Gauci in squad although he is part of the senior squad as well. However there are another two goalkeepers - Floriana's David Farrugia and Mqabba's Kris Calleja.
Pietŕ's Andrew Hogg and David Camenzuli both had to be dropped as they are sick.
Andre Schembri of Marsaxlokk is ruled out injured while Hibernians striker Terence Scerri was left out as he skipped a number of training sessions.
The players selected by Miller and his assistant Silvio Vella are:
goalkeepers Kris Calleja (Mqabba), David Farrugia (Floriana), Reuben Gauci (Floriana),
defenders Josef Mifsud (Msida), Ryan Mintoff (Hibernians), Alex Muscat (Sliema), Roderick Sammut (Birkirkara), Shawn Tellus (Marsaxlokk);
midfielders Andrei Agius (Sporting Mascalucia), Roderick Bajada (Msida), Shaun Bajada (Marsaxlokk), Christian Cassar (Floriana), Clayton Failla (Hibernians), Dyson Falzon (Mosta), Paul Fenech (Msida), Cleaven Frendo (Marsaxlokk), Gareth Sciberras (Pietŕ) and
forwards Trevor Cilia (Floriana), Ian Zammit (Valletta).
- San Gwann F.C will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Sunday 19
June at 10:00 at the club's premises. An election will take place in order to elect a new Committee.
Meanwhile goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo was voted as the club's best player for season 2004/05.
- Davide Bertaccini, the goalkeeper of A.S. Cervia 1920, who took part in the first Football TV Reality show in Italy – Campioni il Sogno will be arriving in Malta on the 3rd of June, to participate at the Burger King Charity Penalty Shoot Out being held at Freedom Square, Valletta, this Saturday, 4th June. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary in Malta, Burger King in collaboration with Caritas Malta and the Valletta Local Council, is organising this charity event to raise funds for Caritas.
Davide started his football training at the age of six at the Polisportiva Romagna. He moved to San Marino and for two seasons he played with the first division team. He moved to San Marino in 1986 and for two seasons he played with the first team. After joining Civitanovese in 1991, a club in C2, he joined Fermana in 1993 and was promoted to C1. He then was transferred to Fiorenzuola and played for the club up to 2002. Last year he played with Casertana and in December moved to join Cesenatico in the “Campionato di eccellenza regionale”.
Davide will be accompanied by A.S. Cervia 1920 Goalkeeper Trainer, Claudio Bozzini.
The TV Reality Show, the first of its kind on football, transmitted on the Italian TV station Italia Uno, received over 90,000 requests from young people to participate in the auditions. The Cervia team was led by Francesco “Ciccio” Graziani, ex-striker for the Italian National Football Team and 1982 World Cup Winner. A complete transformation of Cervia Club was required to accommodate the 25 players that were selected from the all the auditions held allover Italy. 3 lucky players made it to the top, and were selected by Juventus, Milan and Inter to participate with their first team during their pre-season training session this summer.
By donating Lm1, each participant will be able to test his/her skills at the Charity Penalty Shoot Out against 11 top goalkeepers for three kicks. Three out of three will earn the participant a free Burger King meal. All participants will receive a free Powerade, until stock lasts.
The Burger King Charity Penalty Shoot Out will run throughout the day from 10.00am to 8.00pm and will be compered by various local and TV personalities.
The participating goalkeepers are namely Mario Muscat, Saviour Darmanin, Sean Sullivan, Ruben Debono, Ivan Casha, Matthew Camilleri, Daniel Dengaky, Manuel Bartolo, Simon Grech, Sandro Micallef and Jason Cordina.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to Caritas Malta to help the organisation in its mission towards working at the grass roots with persons in need.
- Second Division champions Tarxien Rainbows ended speculations that coach Jesmond Zerafa could join another club by extending his contract by another two years.
Zerafa was being linked with another Second Division club.
- Gudja Youth Nursery is currently accepting applications for qualified coaches for season 2005/06.
Interested coaches must submit their application, together with a detailed C.V., either to Pamela Schembri, Twilight triq it-Tempesta, Qrendi ZRQ 07 or by e-mail at email@example.com by not later than Wednesday 29th June 2005.
- Former Malta captain David Carabott will be launching the David Carabott Football Project in September.
The project's mission statement is: "the david carabott football project is about football, life and your child's health and education. It is about winning not one game, but the game of life, in a social, educational and sportive environment … one child, one football, one team."
Training will be held at the Infetti Training Grounds in Birkirkara and will begin in September. Boys aged between 5 and 16 years can apply at the price of Lm35 per term (3 months). The price includes the training kit that will be given in September. Applications are already being accepted and can be obtained by phoning David Carabott on 79854487.
Those who apply now can benefit from free training sessions during the summer as a preparation for the new season.
Training will be conducted by qualified coaches under the supervision of David Carabott himself.
- Malta international striker Michael Mifsud was again on target for Lillestrom SK as he notched the equaliser in the game away from home against Tromso on Sunday. This was his fourth league goal this season.
Mifsud equalized on 52 minutes after that the home side had taken the lead.
Lillestrom are joint fifth with 14 points together with Viking FK. Start lead the table with 19 points, followed by SK Brann and Valerenga IF on 16 and FC Lyn Oslo on 15.
- Second Division champions Tarxien Rainbows ended speculations that coach Jesmond Zerafa could join another club by extending his contract by another two years. Zerafa was being linked with Second Division side Qormi.
- Iceland coaches Asgeir Sigurvinsson and Logi Olafsson included Haraldur Gudmundsson and Johannes Hardarson in the squad for next week's qualifiers against Hungary and Malta.
England-based Joey Gudjonsson of Leicester City and Bjarni Gudjonsson of Plymouth were dropped while Charlton Athletic's Hermann Hreidarsson is ruled out with a knee injury.
Like Malta, Iceland lie at the bottom of the table with just one point. However they hope to climb further up the table with two positive results in these home matches.
The players selected by Sigurvinsson and Logi Olafsson are:
Arni Gautur Arason (Valerenga), Kristjan Finnbogason (KR Reykjavik), Brynjar B Gunnarsson (Watford), Heidar Helguson (Watford FC), Arnar Thor Vidarsson (KSC Lokeren), Johannes Hardarson (IK Start), Petur H Marteinsson (Hammarby), Eidur S Gudjohnsen (Chelsea FC), Tryggvi Gudmundsson (FH Hafnarfjordur), Indridi Sigurdsson (KRC Genk), Olafur Orn Bjarnason (SK Brann), Gylfi Einarsson (Leeds United), Kristjan O Sigurdsson (SK Brann), Hjalmar Jonsson (IFK Goteborg), Veigar P Gunnarsson (Stabaek IF), Stefan Gíslason (SFK Lyn), Gretar Rafn Steinsson (Young Boys), Gunnar H Thorvaldsson (Halmstad BK), Kári Arnason (Djurgardens IF), Haraldur Gudmundsson (Aalesunds FK).
- The Annual General Meeting of Gzira United FC will be held on Wednesday 8th June at the Gzira Local Council.
Nominations for persons wishing to contest this year's committee elections will be received at the club premises on Manoel Island on Thursday 2nd June and Friday 3rd June between 7.30pm and 8.15pm, as well as on the day of the AGM.
- The Annual General Meeting of Dingli Swallows will be held at the Club house on 8th June at 19:30.
The club wishes to remind members that only those who have paid up their membership dues by 1st June will be able to participate fully at the AGM.
Meanwhile Dingli Swallows F.C. handed out the end of season awards. The winners were:
Player of the year - Jason Cachia; Most Improved player - Etienne Farrugia; Most dedicated Player - Victor Fiteni; dingliswallows.com player of the Year- Jeremy Agius and Charles Azzopardi; Most promising youth player - Julian Camilleri; Most improved youth player - Roderick Sapiano.
- Third Division Play-Offs Birzebbuga SP vs Zejtun C. 2-2, Melita vs Sta. Lucia 2-0
- The Malta Football Association renewed the contract of Under-21 coach Mark Miller for another three years.
Miller, who was appointed as Under-21 coach in July 2002 when he replaced Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia, will therefore lead the team throughout the rest of this Under-21 Championship qualifiers and the 2007-2008 campaign.
Under Miller's guidance, the Under-21 side registered four wins, obtained three draws and lost 13 times.
The contracts of national coach Horst Heese and assistant coach Carmel Busuttil expire this year, in December and June respectively.
Meanwhile two new coaches will be forming part of the technical staff at the MFA Technical Centre. Winston Muscat and Edmond Lufi will be joining Stephen Grima, Charles Scerri, John Bonello, Edwin Camilleri, Joseph Grech and Silvio Vella.
- A number of amendments to various regulations proposed by the Executive Committee of the Malta Football Association were approved by the Council during a meeting on Thursday.
One of the most important amendments was the change in a clause 9 of the Competition Rules regarding "Who may play in Competitive Matches Organized by the Association".
Thanks to this change, players who were eligible to play for Malta or had the legal right to freedom of movement and the legal right to work in Malta on the 1st February 2004 can now be considered as one of the eight home-grown players on the field of play.
This means that players like Orosco Anonam is no longer considered as a "foreigner" in terms of this rule.
Another amendment regarded clause 39 of the Regulations Regarding Players Registered with Member Clubs - "Maximum number of registrations by a player during one season".
A player can now be registered for a maximum of three clubs during the period from the 1st July until the 30th June of the following year but is eligible to play in competitive matches for a maximum of two clubs.
A new clause in the Competition Rules regards the "Presentation of Trophies and Medals in Connection with Competitions Organised by the Association". These will now have to be held in accordance with directives issued by the Council and any person who fails to abide by such directives or attempts to disrupt such directives shall be suspended for one year.
A change in a clause of the MFA Doping Procedures is the permission to drink alcoholic beverages before the sample collection in a doping test.
Meanwhile changes in The Players' and Club Officials' Disciplinary Code state that if the Commissioner decides to impose a period suspension (up to 9 months) and this suspension would extend beyond the beginning of the June, the Commissioner shall increase such suspension by another two months. This decision was taken in order to avoid having players serving a suspension during the summer months when no competitive matches are taking place.
This means that for example is a player was to be suspended for three months in the beginning of May, his suspension will be extended to five months.
There was also an increase in the punishment for offences committed by players namely spitting at another player (2 matches for a first offence and 3 matches for every subsequent similar offence during the same season), uttering words or making deeds of a racist nature (3 matches for first offence and then 5 matches for every subsequent similar offence) and defaming or gravely insulting another player (1 match for first offence and then 2 matches for every subsequent similar offence).
Club officials found guilty of committing any of the offences above are suspended for six months for the first offence and one year for every subsequent similar offence.
A player exposing any private part of his body is suspended for 2 matches, if the action is deemed not to have been intended as an insult to anybody. On the other hand, if this is deemed to have been intended as an insult, the player is suspended for 5 matches in case of a first offence and then 3 months for every subsequent similar offence during the same season.
Other changes included the Rules Regarding Participation in the UEFA Club's Competitions.
Meanwhile it was announced that an updated version of the MFA Official Handbook will be published both in printed and electronic form.
- National coach Horst Heese and Under-21 coach Mark Miller named the provisional squads ahead of the double commitment away from home against Sweden and Iceland in June.
The senior side meets Sweden at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg on Saturday 4 (kick-off at 17:15). On Wednesday 8, Malta faces Iceland at the Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavik (kick-off at 18:05).
On the other hand, the Under-21 side meets Sweden at the Örjans Vall in Halmstad on Friday 3. On Tuesday 7, Miller's boys face Iceland at the KR-Völlur in Reykjavik.
The only new face in the senior squad is Floriana goalkeeper Reuben Gauci, who was promoted from the Under-21 squad. Birkirkara goalkeeper Saviour Darmanin was dropped last month as he was no longer available to train regularly with the national team.
The injured Ian Azzopardi and Rennie Forace, who were both in the squad which travelled to Croatia in March, are not part of the squad but Roderick Briffa, Jeffrey Chetcuti and Jamie Pace are back after not making the last trip.
Sliema midfielder Claude Mattocks will be missing the first game against Sweden as he serves a one-match ban.
The players selected by Heese and his assistant Carmel Busuttil are:
goalkeepers Reuben Gauci (Floriana), Justin Haber (Birkirkara);
defenders Roderick Briffa (Birkirkara), Jeffrey Chetcuti (Sliema), Luke Dimech (Mansfield), Adrian Pulis (Hibernians), Brian Said (Sliema), Steve Wellman (Floriana);
midfielders Gilbert Agius (Valletta), Stefan Giglio (Sliema), Massimo Grima (Valletta), George Mallia (Birkirkara), Claude Mattocks (Sliema), Kevin Sammut (Msida), Peter Pullicino (Hibernians), Ivan Woods (Sliema) and
forwards Etienne Barbara (Birkirkara), Andrew Cohen (Hibernians), Michael Mifsud (Lillestrom), Jamie Pace (Marsaxlokk).
Floriana goalkeeper Reuben Gauci also features in the Under-21 squad named by Mark Miller. The other two goalkeepers are Floriana's David Farrugia and Pietŕ's Andrew Hogg.
Birkirkara defender Roderick Sammut, Hibs midfielder Clayton Failla and Valletta striker Ian Zammit are also part of the provisional squad. On the other hand, Terence Scerri of Hibernians and Andre Schembri of Marsaxlokk were not included.
The players selected by Miller and his assistant Silvio Vella are:
goalkeepers David Farrugia (Floriana), Reuben Gauci (Floriana), Andrew Hogg (Pietŕ),
defenders David Camenzuli (Pietŕ), Josef Mifsud (Msida), Ryan Mintoff (Hibernians), Alex Muscat (Sliema), Roderick Sammut (Birkirkara), Shawn Tellus (Marsaxlokk);
midfielders Andrei Agius (Sporting Mascalucia), Roderick Bajada (Msida), Shaun Bajada (Marsaxlokk), Christian Cassar (Floriana), Clayton Failla (Hibernians), Dyson Falzon (Mosta), Paul Fenech (Msida), Gareth Sciberras (Pietŕ) and
forwards Trevor Cilia (Floriana), Cleaven Frendo (Marsaxlokk), Ian Zammit (Valletta).
- Thirty-two year old Romanian defender Lucian Dronca joined Woodlands Wellington in the Singapore S-League, therefore bringing to an end a four-year spell with Birkirkara.
The international clearance was issued on Wednesday, making him available to play for the Rams in the important league match against leaders Singapore Armed Forces. Dronca played the whole ninety minutes in a 2-0 win for Woodlands Wellington.
After the game, speaking about Dronca and another new recruit, Essa Basile, head-coach Karim Bencherifa said, "I am very delighted that the two new players played well. They are very good players and they will definitely bring a lot of quality into the side."
- The members are informed that the Annual General Meeting of
Marsaxlokk Football Club is going to be held on Thursday 9th June
2005 at 7.30pm at the Parish Hall. The Executive Committee of the
club will be elected during this meeting.
The Committee for season 2005/2006 will surely have new officials
as President Victor Sciriha, Secretary Carmen Carabott and
Treasurer Peter Carabott have already informed the club that they
will not be contesting.
- The Marsa F.C. Annual General Meeting is being held on Tuesday 7 June 2005 at 0930. The agenda will include the Election of the Committee for 2005/06 season.
- Gozo - BOV Super Cup Xewkija T. vs Kercem A. 2-0
- OFK Belgrade are expected to be Valletta's opponents in the first round of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. Like Valletta, OFK Belgrade qualified for the competition after placing fourth in the First Division of Serbia & Montenegro.
In the Serbia & Montenegro First Division, champions Partizan Belgrade obtained 79 points, followed by Red Star Belgrade on 71, Zeta Golubovci on 58 and OFK Belgrade on 47.
This is not the first time, OFK Belgrade are taking part in the Intertoto Cup. After being eliminated in the second round in 2003, last season, they entered the second round, eliminating Dinaburg of Latvia 5-1 on aggregate. In the third round, following a goalless draw in Finland, they defeated Tampere 1-0 at home to reach the semi-finals where they found strong Spanish side Atletico Madrid. The latter won 3-1 in Belgrade and 2-0 in Madrid.
However they failed to qualify for one of the major European competitions since 1974 although they took part regularly in the previous eleven years.
Their best performance in Europe was in the Cup Winners Cup in 1963 where they managed to eliminate Portadown and Napoli to reach the semi-finals, only to lose to Tottenham Hotspur. In 1973 they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup after eliminating Dukla Praha, Feyenoord and Beroe Stara Zagora.
OFK Belgrade never won the domestic title but won two Yugoslavian Cups in 1961/62 and 1965/66. They had earlier won another two cups under the name of BSK Beograd in 1952/53 and 1954/55. Their best league achievement was a second place in season 1962/63.
For Valletta, this will be the second appearance in the Intertoto Cup after being eliminated by KS Teuta Durres of Albania with an aggregate score of 2-1 in 2002.
The first leg will be played at the Hibernians Ground on June 18. The return leg will be played a week later at the Omladinski Stadium in Belgrade.
- The Malta Under-18 national team will be taking part in the 6th European Tournament for Under-18 Youth & Amateur being held in the region of Campania, Italy between May 31 and June 5.
Malta will be playing against Italy on Tuesday, Greece on Wednesday and NOrthern Ireland on Friday. Also taking part in the tournament are Spain, England, Romania and San Marino.
The squad is made up of:
goalkeepers Mintoff (Valletta), Micallef (Melita),
defenders Agius (Hibernians), Bezzina (Valletta), Bonnici (Valletta), Grioli (Valletta), Farrugia (Msida);
midfielders Gatt Baldacchino (Sliema), Gauci (Floriana), Debono (Sliema), Pearson (Hibernians), Camilleri (Hibernians), Pisani (Floriana), Sammut Vasquez (Birkirkara), Vella (Hibernians) and
forwards Buhagiar (Floriana), Fenech (Hamrun), Scerri (Sliema), Vassallo (Birkirkara), Zarb (Valletta).
- Gozo - BOV Super Cup Ghajnsielem vs Nadur Y. 4-3
- Barcelona striker Henrik Larsson, who recently returned to action after being sidelined for six months with a serious knee ligament injury, was not included in the 24-man squad named by Sweden coach Lars Lagerback ahead of the Group 8 World Cup qualifier at home to Malta on June 4.
"He has been away from the pitch for quite a while and is still not in shape for it," Lagerback said.
33-year-old Larsson, who has scored 32 goals in 82 appearances for Sweden, made his return to action in Barcelona's final home game at the weekend in their 3-3 draw with Villarreal.
Larsson had scored the seventh goal in the 7-0 win at Ta' Qali.
Brondby striker Johan Elmander has been brought into the squad in Larsson's absence. Elmander scored four goals in eleven games for Sweden. Twente defender Daniel Majstorovic also returned to the squad after making three appearances for the national team in February 2003.
Lagerbäck is taking nothing for granted against Malta in Gothenburg, saying: "We have to be focused, anything can happen and we have to play with our best team."
Sweden are one point behind Croatia in group eight with both sides having played five games. Malta, on the other hand, lie at the bottom of the table with one point.
But Lagerbäck is taking nothing for granted, saying: "We have to be focused, anything can happen and we have to play with our best team."
The players selected by Lagerback are:
goalkeepers Andreas Isaksson (Stade Rennes), Eddie Gustafsson (Ham-Kam Fotball);
defenders Christoffer Andersson (Lillestrom), Erik Edman (Tottenham Hotspur), Petter Hansson (Heerenveen), Teddy Lucic (BK Hacken), Daniel Majstorovic (FC Twente), Olof Mellberg (Aston Villa), Mikael Nilsson (Southampton), Alexander Ostlund (Feyenoord);
midfielders Niclas Alexandersson (IFK Gothenburg), Daniel Andersson (Malmo), Alexander Farnerud (RC Strasbourg), Kim Kallstrom (Stade Rennes), Tobias Linderoth (FC Copenhagen), Fredrik Ljungberg (Arsenal), Anders Svensson (Southampton), Christian Wilhelmsson (Anderlecht) and
forwards Marcus Allback (Hansa Rostock), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Juventus), Mattias Jonson (Norwich City), Markus Rosenberg (Malmo), Fredrik Berglund (Esbjerg), Johan Elmander (Brondby).
- The Victor Tedesco Stadium will this week be re-seeded with the Bermuda
turf, the ideal grass for summer.
The pitch will then be available as from the the first week of July 2005.
A number of clubs have already shown interest to organise pre-season friendlies.
A limited number of bookings are being accepted and the Ground Management Board is encouraging interested Clubs to place the bookings as early as this week.
- Birzebbuga St Peter's youths had another most successful season winning the double for the second year in succession.
After winning Section D, and hence promotion, last season, Birzebbuga played in Section C. The Saints won the section after placing first ahead of Lija Athletic.
Birzebbuga went on to win the Youth B Knock-Out after beating Tarxien Rainbows 1-0.
A goal in added time by Darren Spiteri gave Joseph Desira's side victory.
Meanwhile a number of players from the youth team were also involved in the senior side's struggle for promotion in the Third Division play-offs.
- The Msida St. Joseph F.C. Committee would like to invite all members and supporters to an activity which is going to be held this Sunday 29th May 2005 between 10:00 and 13:00 at the Club’s premises in Church Street in Msida.
The activity is being held to thank Msida SJ supporters for their support to the team during the historic FA Trophy Final against Birkirkara.
During this activity, the supporters will have an opportunity to take photos with the players and the FA Trophy Finalist Cup.
- Malta international striker Michael Mifsud scored four goals over the past week for Norwegian side Lillestrom SK.
On Sunday, Michael Mifsud gave Lillestrom the three points as he scored a goal on the 90th minute for a 2-1 win over Valerenga.
Mifsud notched a brace on Thursday as Lillestrom defeated Strommen 3-1 away from home in a match from the Norwegian Cup.
Three days before, Mifsud, who is now a regular choice in Uwe Rösler's side, had scored for Lillestrom in a heavy defeat to Brann as the Canaries lost 6-2 away from home.
Lillestrom are currently joint-fourth together with Brann, Fredrikstad and Viking on 13 points from eight matches, Start lead the standings with 19 points, followed by Valerenga on 16 and Lyn 15.
- Third Division Play-Offs Zejtun C. vs Sta. Lucia 1-3, Birzebbuga SP vs Melita 0-1
- Women's Super Cup Hibernians vs Birkirkara 0-0 aet (6-7 pen)
- Gozo - GFA Cup Ghajnsielem vs Xewkija T. 1-2
- Thirty-two year old Romanian defender Lucian Dronca is hoping to join a club from Singapore after playing for Birkirkara for the past four years.
Woodlands Wellington, whose head coach is Karim Bencherifa, are looking forward to strengthening their side with new foreigners. They had a number of players on trial and are hoping to sign a midfielder and a central defender.
Bencherifa believes Dronca could be the player they are looking for.
Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa had coached Floriana before moving to the Far East. He was appointed as Head Coach of Woodlands Wellington last month.
Before joining Birkirkara, Dronca had played for UTA Arad and Vointa Zimandul Nou in Romania and Segesta in Croatia.
- Valletta confirmed coach JJ Aquilina for another season. Aquilina, who had joined Valletta last summer, signed a one-year contract with the Citizens.
The former Marsaxlokk and Lija coach guided Valletta to a fourth place in the Premier League this season.
Extending his contract as well was Branko Nisevic who signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until June 2007. The Serbian defender had joined Valletta from Pietŕ in January.
Nisevic was brought to Malta by Sliema Wanderers in summer 2000 where he turned out for the Blues in the UEFA Cup ties against Partizan Belgrade.
He then joined Hibernians where he played for three years before being released in summer 2003. Nisevic then signed for Pietŕ Hotspurs where he stayed for 18 months before joining Valletta.
Meanwhile while speaking to the club's official website www.vallettafcofficial.net, Valletta FC secretary Anton Abela strongly denied rumours that captain Gilbert Agius could be leaving the Citizens to join another club.
Valletta will resume training in a few days' time as they will be taking part in the first round of the Intertoto Cup.
Valletta host a club from Serbia & Montenegro on June 18 or 19. The return leg will be played a week later.
- Gozo - Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Xaghra U. vs SK Victoria W. 1-0
- FA Trophy Final Birkirkara vs Msida SJ 2-1
- Second & Third Division Knock-Out Final Mellieha vs Qormi 0-1 aet
- The team of Net Television's reality show Net Stars made its first appearance as an 11-a-side team in a friendly against First Division champions Hamrun Spartans in a friendly match as part of the two sides' championship celebrations.
Net Stars won Section A of the Futsal League Third Division while Hamrun Spartans were promoted to the Premier League after winning Division 1.
It was an excellent debut for Net Stars as they held Hamrun in a draw.
Hamrun were almost in full strength as they included some of their best talent including Stefan Sultana, Goalkeeper Jason Cordina, Jonathan Magri Overend, Kevin Borg, Ibrahim Tarik, Aaron Attard, Keith Fabri, Diego Cucciardi, Evano Briffa and Steve Sadowski amongst others.
Hamrun coach and former Net Stars player Michael Degiorgio played the first half with Net Stars and then moved to the Hamrun bench in the second half.
- Gozo - GFA Cup Nadur Y. vs Ghajnsielem 1-2
- Gozo - GFA Cup Kercem A. vs Xewkija T. 1-2
- Roderick Briffa was handed a one-match ban after being sent off in the FA Trophy semi-final against Sliema Wanderers.
- After falling into a record low 137th place in the Coca-Cola FIFA World Ranking, Malta climbed one place despite not being in action over the past month.
Just ahead of Malta are Swaziland, Solomon Islands, Faroe Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and India while behind Malta are Tajikistan, Andorra, Fiji and Sri Lanka.
Among the other European countries, Malta is still 47th, lying behind Cyprus (109), Northern Ireland (114, down 1), Moldova (115), Azerbaijan (116), Armenia (121, down 1) and the Faroe Islands (133). Behind Malta are Andorra (138, up 1), Liechtenstein (141, up 1), Kazakhstan (149), Luxembourg (155, up 1) and San Marino (162, down 2).
Malta will be playing two World Cup qualifiers away from home in four days - in Sweden on June 4th and Iceland on the 8th. A friendly match is also scheduled for August 17.
- The secretary of Gozitan Second Division side SK Victoria Wanderers was cleared of trying to bribe a player of Qala St. Joseph before a game between the two sides.
Keith Vella Muskat was charged with bribing Aloysius Ihebulu last November. However Mr Vella Muskat was not found guilty as Magistrate Abigail Lofaro ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case.
The player's version of facts was deemed to be inconsistent and he did not even recognise in court Vella Muskat as the person who approached him.
Mr Vella Muskat had explained in court that he had only approached the player in order to help him sign a young Nigerian player.
- The Sliema Wanderers FC Nursery is accepting applications from qualified coaches who are interested in forming part of the Nursery coaching staff for season
2005/2006. Coaches who used to form part of the previous Nursery coaching staff
must also apply.
A detailed C.V. has to be sent to: Sliema Wanderers FC Nursery, Coaching Staff, National Pool Complex, Triq Tereza Spinelli, Gzira GZR 02 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- First Division Mosta vs San Gwann 6-0, Marsa vs Senglea A. 5-4
- Third Division Play-Offs Melita vs Zejtun C. 3-0, Sta. Lucia vs Birzebbuga SP 1-1
- Gozo - GFA Cup SK Victoria W. vs Xewkija T. 0-4, Qala SJ vs Nadur Y. 1-3
- FA Trophy Msida SJ vs Marsaxlokk 7-6 pen
- Youths A Knock-Out Hibernians vs St. Patrick 5-3
- First Division Balzan Y. vs Gozo FC 5-0, Naxxar L. vs Hamrun S. 1-3
- Gozo - GFA Cup Ghajnsielem vs Zebbug R. 5-2
- Second Division Sliema W. vs Birkirkara 4-5 pen
- Women's Knock-Out Birkirkara vs Raiders 8-1
Birkirkara claimed the Women's Knock-Out after beating Raiders 8-1 at the National Stadium.
Birkirkara, winners of the competition in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003, dominated from start to finish, taking a five-goal lead by the end of the first half.
Chantal Fenech put the Stripes ahead by converting a penalty on 11 minutes. Rebecca D' Agostino made it 2-0 on 17 minutes, Catherine Camilleri 3-0 on 23 minutes and Nora Agliano 4-0 on 28 minutes. Just before the end of the first half, Rebecca D' Agostino made it 5-0.
Agliano scored the sixth goal on 58 minutes, Fenech the seventh on 68 minutes and D' Agostino the eighth on 69 minutes. Claudia Borg scored a consolation goal for Raiders four mintues from time.
Birkirkara will now face champions Hibernians in the Super Cup on Sunday 22.
B'KARA: Nina Dimech, Alexia Scicluna, Chantal Fenech, Rebecca D' Agostino, Catherine Camilleri (Nadia Micallef), Melanie Zammit, Debbie Pisani, Chantelle Demanuele (Sasha Camilleri), Nora Agliano (Rosalie Cauchi), Isabelle Mazzitelli, Sandra Sammut.
RAIDERS: Sonia Farrugia, Denise Midolo, Claudia Borg, Roseanne Scerri, Kathleen Mangion, Nadine Agius, Amanda Atkins, Amanda Mifsud, Natasha Calleja, Kathy Zammit (Graziella Vella), Marcia Zammit.
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann.
- Once again Gharghur FC will be organising its annual Summer League during the months of June/July.
The tournament is played on a 7-a-side basis at the Gharghur Football Ground. The ground is also equipped with dressing rooms and showers.
Each team should be composed of a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 players. Trophies and medals will be distributed to the winners and runners up.
Should you be interested email the organisers on email@example.com or call at the club on 21 431143.
The closing date is Monday 23rd May.
- The controversy surrounding the presentation of the Premier League trophy continues.
What sparked the tension during the presentation was Sliema Wanderers president Robert Arrigo's decision who wanted to receive the trophy himself although the tradition says that the captain should receive the trophy.
MFA president Dr Joe Mifsud insisted that the trophy would only be presented to the team captain. There were a few minutes of suspense until finally Noel Turner turned up and Dr Mifsud presented the trophy to him. However the Sliema president immediately grabbed the trophy hoisting it into the air.
Although Turner is the Sliema captain, Brian Said should have received the trophy as he was the captain on Sunday since Noel Turner started the game on the bench.
During television programme 'Touchline' on TVM, Mr Arrigo argued that it would have not been the first time that someone else other than the captain was presented with a trophy. As an example, he cited the case of the presentation of the Second Division championship trophy to Tarxien on Saturday.
However Mr Arrigo was not correct in saying that the Tarxien president had received the trophy. In fact, as the photos below clearly show, the Second Division League trophy was presented by MFA vice-president John Farrugia to the Tarxien captain. Tarxien president Mr Tony Cassar was only presented with the trophy miniature which is retained by the club.
This was also confirmed in a statement issued by the MFA vice-president on Monday. Mr Farrugia denied the MFA was using two weights and two measures in the presentation of trophies and cups to winning teams, as an earlier statement by Mr Arrigo may have implied.
- Second Division Gzira U. vs Mellieha 1-1, St. Andrews vs Attard 0-2
- Premier League Hibernians vs Sliema W. 1-1
- First Division San Gwann vs Marsa 3-1, Mqabba vs St. George's 3-0
- Second Division Dingli S. vs Sta. Venera L. 5-1, Melita vs Zebbug R. 0-0
- Third Division Siggiewi vs Kalkara 1-0, Gudja U. vs Ghaxaq 4-0
- Women's Knock-out Birkirkara vs Hibernians 2-0, Sta. Venera L. vs Raiders 1-2
- Gozo - First Division Nadur Y. vs Zebbug R. 4-2, Xaghra U. vs Xewkija T. 2-4
- The Valletta FC Nursery is accepting applications from qualified coaches who are interested in forming part of the Nursery coaching staff for season 2005/2006. Coaches who used to form part of the previous Nursery coaching staff must also apply.
A detailed C.V. has to be sent to: Valletta FC Nursery, Coaching Staff, PO Box 46, Valletta.
For more information on may call on 79224674.
- Premier League St. Patrick vs Msida SJ 4-2, Birkirkara vs Valletta 3-6
- First Division Balzan Y. vs Mosta 1-2, Senglea A. vs Naxxar L. 5-2
- Second Division Tarxien R. vs Vittoriosa S. 2-0, Qormi vs Rabat A. 1-3
- Gozo - First Division Victoria H. vs Kercem A. 0-2
- Gozo - First Division SK Victoria W. vs Oratory Y. 7-1
- Premier League Lija A. vs Pietŕ H. 0-3, Floriana vs Marsaxlokk 4-3
- Third Division Luqa SA vs Ta' Xbiex 2-1, Xghajra T. vs Sirens 2-1
- Gozo - Second Division Qala SJ vs Gharb R. 3-1
- Malta was drawn in Group C of the football tournament in the 15th edition of the Mediterranean Games which will be held in Almeira, Spain between the 24th June and 3rd July. Malta will be facing Tunisia, Greece and Algeria. The tournament is reserved for Under-21 sides.
The draw for tournaments involving team sports was held at the Auditorio Maestro Padilla in Almeria on Thursday. Attending the draw were the president of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games Amar Addadi, Almeria mayor Luis Rogelio Rodríguez and the president of the organizing committee (COJMA) Juan Megino, together with several representatives of National Olympic Committees and sport federations.
Eleven teams have registered to take part in the football tournament: Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Spain, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. The three seeds were Italy, Spain and Tunisia.
There will be three groups - two of which with four teams and one with three teams.
Group A which includes Italy, Morocco and Libya will be staged at the Estadio Antonio Peroles, Roquetas de Mar. On the other hand, Spain, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lebanon will be playing in Group B which will be stages at the Estadio de El Ejido.
All Group C matches will be held at the Estadio de Vícar.
As regards Malta's opponents, Tunisia are the holders. In the last edition of the games which was held in Tunis, Tunisia claimed the gold medal after beating Italy 1-0.
Greece are currently third in Group 2 of the UEFA Under-21 Championship behind Denmark and Turkey but ahead of Ukraine, Albania, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
The group matches will be played between June 24 and 29. The semi-finals are scheduled for July 1st while the final will be played on July 3.
This will not be the first time, a Maltese football team had taken part in the Mediterranean Games. In fact, Malta took part in the fourth edition which was held in Naples in 1963.
Malta played in Group B losing the four matches against Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Spain.
Meanwhile besides football, Malta will be taking part in athletics, swimming, shooting, judo, table-tennis, wrestling and golf.
- Third Division Kirkop U. vs Zejtun C. 0-2, Zurrieq vs Mgarr U. 3-3
- Mr. Konrad G. Borg, FIFA Assistant Referee, is one of eight European Assistant Referees selected to participate in the UEFA Under 17 Final Tournament being held in Italy between May 3 and 15.
Taking part in the tournament, which is being held in in the Tuscany region, are Belarus, Croatia, England, Israel, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey and hosts Italy.
In the pre-tournament Cooper Tests, Konrad Borg ran 2840 metres in 12 minutes, while the times for the 50 metre sprint and 200 metres run were 6.05 and 27.61 seconds respectively.
- Four players will be missing the final Premier League match this weekend after being suspended by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner. The four of them collected their fourth yellow card last weekend.
Josef Mifsud and Manuel Boni of Msida St. Joseph will be missing the last game against St. Patrick. Orosco Anonam will be unavailable for Sliema in the match against Hibernians while Massimo Grima is ruled out of the decisive match for Valletta against Birkirkara.
Other players to be suspended for one match include Julian Buhagiar and Colin Ciantar (Attard), Darren Attard (Dingli), Matthew Borg I (Melita), Fabio Cauchi and Joseph Chetcuti (Sta Venera) and Edmund Lapira (Gharghur).
Gianluca Calabretta of Floriana was suspended for one match in the Youth League.
- Champions Sliema Wanderers will be facing Birkirkara in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. Msida St. Joseph take on Marsaxlokk in the other match. The draw was held at the MFA Headquarters on Monday evening.
Sliema Wanderers vs Birkirkara will be played on Friday 13th May while Msida St. Joseph vs Marsaxlokk will be played on Saturday 14th.
This is the second consecutive time that the two teams will be facing each other in the semi-finals. Last year, Sliema had defeated Birkirkara 2-1, going on to win the final after beating Marsaxlokk.
Sliema and Birkirkara will therefore face each other for the eighth time this season. Following a 1-1 draw in the Euro Cup in July, Birkirkara defeated Sliema 3-1 (after extra-time) in the Super Cup in August. The two teams shared the spoils in a goalless draw in a league match in October.
In December, Birkirkara won the Super 5 Tournament after beating Sliema 2-0. But Sliema bounced back with a 2-0 win in the second round of the Premier League in January. In March, the third round clash ended in a 1-1 draw but two weeks ago, the Stripes once again emerged as winners beating Sliema 3-1.
To reach the semi-finals, Birkirkara defeated Floriana 3-2 while Sliema eliminated First Division side Mqabba with the same score.
Meanwhile, Marsaxlokk defeated Msida St. Joseph twice with an identical 2-1 score in the first phase of the Premier League.
Marsaxlokk, FA Trophy finalists last year, reached this stage after beating Valletta 4-2. Msida, on the other hand, went through all stages beating Mosta 3-1 in the first round, Senglea Athletic 3-1 in the second round and Hibernians 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
The final of the FA Trophy will be played on May 20.
- After winning the third consecutive Premier League title and the 26th championship in the history of the club, Sliema Wanderers announced a programme of celebrations which will be held between May 3 and 13.
Tuesday May 3 - 19:30: Entertainment for supporters, players and the committee provided by the Socjeta' Filarmonika Sliema at the band club in Triq San Trofimu, Sliema.
Wednesday May 4 - 19:30: Social activity for supporters organised by Sliema Wanderers FC at the premises in Tower Road.
Thursday May 5 - 18:00: Special edition of 'Sliema Review' on Smash Television.
19:30: Entertainment for supporters, players and the committee provided by the Socjeta Filarmonika Stella Maris at the band club in Pjazza Annunzjata.
Friday May 6 - 19:30: Entertainment for supporters, players and the committee provided by the Socjeta Muzikali tal-Karmnu, Balluta at the band club in Triq Sant' Elena.
Saturday May 7 - 20:00 Entertainment for supporters, players and the committee provided by the Socjeta Muzikali San Girgor, Sliema at the Parish Hall in Triq Blanche.
Sunday May 8 - 13:45: Carcade leaves Sliema Ferries towards Ta' Qali
14:45: Entertainment at the National Stadium.
16:00: Premier League match Sliema Wanderers vs Hibernians kicks-off.
19:00: Entertainment at the Sliema Ferries.
19:45: Carcade leaves Gzira (next to Paul & Rocco) towards Sliema Ferries.
20:45: The defile, including the float carrying the players and officials arrives at the Sliema Ferries.
Monday May 9 - 00:30: 'After Hour Celebration Party' at 'Boogies Club Bar', Ball Street, Paceville for players, officials and supporters. Free entrance.
A dinner dance will also be held at the New Dolmen Hotel, Bugibba. Adults pay Lm 6.50, children Lm 4.00. Entertainment will be provided.
A new compact disc has also been released and is available from the Sliema Wanderers FC, band clubs, Mangion Stationery (next to Police Station) and Blue Star (Mrabat Street) for Lm 5. A new poster will be distributed together with the CD.
The Sliema Wanderers Supporters Club is also selling new T-Shirts marking the 26th title.
- Premier League Sliema W. vs Valletta 0-0
- Second Division Attard vs Melita 0-3, Mellieha vs St. Andrews 2-1
- Second Division Zebbug R. vs Qormi 2-0, Sta. Venera L. vs Gzira U. 1-2
- Women's Knock-Out Rabat A. vs Sta. Venera L. 0-1, Mosta vs Birkirkara 1-0, Raiders vs Melita 1-0
- Gozo - First Division Xewkija T. vs Ghajnsielem 0-2
Following a 31-year wait, Ghajnsielem FC claimed the GFA First Division title for the sixth time in the history of the club after beating Xewkija Tigers 2-0 in a decisive match on Sunday.
The Blacks could not have a better start as they took the lead on the 2nd minute when off a cross by Daniel Bogdanovic, Eduardo Do Nascimento hit home from close range.
The Tigers scored a few minutes later but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Ghajnsielem goalkeeper Daniel Dengaky. Ray Vella's side held the initiative with the Blacks having to defend constantly.
Edoardo Do Nascimento was sent by referee Joe Attard for an early shower after retaliation on an opponent.
Xewkija increased the pressure but their finishing left much to be desired. On the other hand, the Blacks had only some isolated counter-attacks.
But in one of these counter-attacks, Kalenga Ndayi advanced upfield beating Xewkija goalie Jonathan Xuereb with a great shot from the edge of the area to seal the issue with the second goal.
It was over for Xewkija and the final whistle brought joy among the players, officials and supporters of Ghajnsielem.
The team managed by Eddie Vella boasted a host of experienced Premier League players like Daniel Bogdanovic, Bizu, David Carabott, Richard Buhagiar, Graham Bencini and goalkeeper Daniel Dengaky.
Throughout the league campaign, they won 15 matches, drew 2 and lost one to Xewkija in the first round. They scored 57 goals and suffered 16.
The Blacks had won the previous five championships on five consecutive years - 1969/70 to 1973/74.
- Gozo - Second Division Sannat L. vs Oratory Y. 3-1