Valletta FC: Wikis

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Valletta FC
Logo
Full name Valletta Football Club
Nickname(s) Tas-City
Lily Whites
Tal-Palestina
Il-Belt
Founded 1943
Ground Ta' Qali Stadium,
Ta' Qali,
Malta
(Capacity: 17,000)
Chairman Malta Victor Sciriha
Manager Netherlands Ton Caanen
League Maltese Premier League
2008/09 Maltese Premier League, 17th
Home colours
Away colours

Valletta Football Club is a Maltese football club based in the capital city of Malta, Valletta. Valletta FC has a strong support by Maltese standards, with only Birkirkara FC coming close to matching Valletta's fan base. Valletta achieved a lot of success in the 1990s, and were the dominant force around the turn of the century, before financial difficulties forced the club into a decline.

Valletta Football Club was founded in 1943, as merge of Valletta Prestons and Valletta St. Paul's. The extinct Valletta United which had won two league championships before the World War II.

Contents

Early history

Football in Malta reportedly started in 1886. The foundation of Valletta F.C. was laid with the creation of the Valletta United team. Valletta United was known as the 'team of the square' since the club was located in St. George's Square. Valletta United represented the city from 1904 to 1932.

Valletta United won the Championship twice, in 1914/15 and 1931/32. They were also runners up for two seasons 1925/26 and 1926/27. United also won the Cousis Shield, which is also known as the Knock Out Competition (although the word "Trophy" is even more familiar) - they won this twice in 1914/15, and they did the double in that season and in 1920/21.

Although Sliema and Floriana dominated the local scene in those times, by winning these trophies it was Valletta United that started to break into this monopoly and induce greater competition. Valletta United were very active in the Championship of the first division and in fact played 97 games.

During the period that Valletta United played within the M.F.A. (i.e. from 1909 to 1932), Valletta United won the championship in 1931/32. However for some reason in the following season, Valletta United disappeared from the football scene and thus the monopoly of Sliema and Floriana football clubs recommenced.

Valletta United was the not the only team from the city that played in the highest Division of the M.F.A. In the 1925/26 and the 1926/27 seasons there were Valletta Rovers who played in the highest Division of the M.F.A., then in the season 1937/38 and 1938/39 there was Valletta City. There were St. Paul's and the Valletta Prestons who were playing in the second division. It is to be noted that St. Paul's were always in a better division than the Prestons until the end of season 1939-40 when Valletta St.Paul's finished last of Division 1 an relegated to division 2, while Valletta Prestons finished top of 2nd division and promoted to 1st division.

The Amalgamation between St. Paul's and Prestons

It was 1935 when the M.F.A. started its campaign so that each city and village will be represented by one team. Obviously during that time, as we have already said, St. Paul's and the Prestons were the big teams in Valletta and negotiations for the amalgamation had to start. It took a long time and there were arguments between the two clubs. There was also a delay due to the War, but at the end of the second World War, football started again, so did the M.F.A. Competitions.

In 1943, the amalgamation took place between Valletta St. Prestons and St. Paul's. Originally the notes read that they were named Valletta St. Paul's but such name was immediately changed into the Valletta F.C. In this amalgamation between St. Paul's Valletta Prestons there were number of people connected with, referring to these two Clubs' Committees, but particularly one must name Guze Muscat who was the President of St. Paul's, Emanuel Calleja and Joseph Salinos known as the 'Chief' who both were the 'factotum' of the Prestons. These three persons worked hard in fact they also formed part of Valletta F.C. for many years.

One must say that regulation number 3 of the statute, says that Valletta F.C. must recognize Valletta United, St. Paul's, Valletta City and Valletta Prestons as well as those who precede them. That is why Valletta F.C. prove that before the war they won the Championship twice, these had been won by Valletta United. With this regulation no. 3, they had to accept that one of the amalgamated clubs Valletta St.Paul's was relegated to the 2nd division in season 1939-40, while the other club Valletta Prestons were 2nd division champions in season 1939-40. On the re-opening of the M.F.A. activities after the World War II, Valletta F.C. had a great success, and in the first season 1943/44, the M.F.A. had created the Malta Cup instead of the league. At first the Malta Cup had the significance of being the Championship, but then the M.F.A. decided it was to be played on knock-out basis, owing that football had just been revived after the war. Valletta F.C. reached the final against Floriana where the youthful Valletta Team which consisted of St. Paul's and Prestons' players was up against an experienced Floriana team. Yet, Valletta rose to the occasion and defeated Floriana by 2-1.

This beautiful Malta Cup is to this day in the Club and it is one of the most precious honours that the Valletta F.C. have won. Between 1943 and 1948, Valletta F.C. won three Championships - in 1944/45, 1945/46 and 1947/48 - and they also won the Cassar Cup in the year 1944/45.

When we mention the Cassar Cup, at that time this was considered as the true Malta Champion because in this Cup very good British Services' Teams mixed with Maltese ones to take part. Then there was a barren spell from 1948/49 to 1958/59, where Valletta F.C. did not win any major honours.

The start of more honours

Valletta F.C. returned to the top of the table at the end of the fifties, winning the championship in 1958/59 and 1959/60. In the sixties, the Valletta F.C. were champions once - in 1962/63 - but then in the seventies, Valletta won the Championship three times, 1973/74, 1977/78, and 1979/80. Two more championships followed in the eighties, 1983/84 and 1989/90.

The best time for Valletta F.C. was the nineties where Valletta won five from ten Championships: 1991/92, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/1999 and 2000/01. This is in short the history of Valletta F.C. but obviously, Valletta did not only win the Championship. There was the history of the Trophy, one of the competitions that Valletta F.C. seemed to struggle to win; but as time passed on, Valletta F.C. became one of the teams that regularly win the honours. Enough to say that, between 1959/60 and 2000/01, Valletta won the Trophy eleven times. There were other competitions that Valletta won four times- between 1944/58/65 and 1968, as well as Scicluna Cup which was actually considered as the Cup of the Sliema team which they used to win every year, but it was Valletta that broke this Sliema monopoly, by winning this Cup in 1960 and 1963. Valletta have also won the Testaferrata Cup and the Sons of Malta Cup which the latter Cup was won twice by the Valletta F.C. Another success by Valletta F.C. was the winning of the Lowenbrau Cup, a Cup which at the time was played between the three teams representing Malta in the UEFA competitions.

The winning of five cups in one season

In 1996/97 Valletta F.C. won all five competitions that the Maltese football offers. This was done by succeeding to win the Premier League, Rothmans Trophy with money always, Super Five Cup, Lowenbrau Cup and Super Cup.

The historic season - 2000/2001 - Six cups in one season

In the season 2000/01, Valletta F.C. succeeded in breaking their own record from 1996/97. This time they won the six competitions offered by the M.F.A. This particular season there was an additional one, namely the Centenary Cup. It had been added to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the M.F.A. The Centenary Cup win was possibly the most prestigious as in the final they defeated their rivals Floriana. the best team

2007/2008: Champions again

The hope of the first trophy in 7 years was a huge thought running through Valletta fans in the summer of 2007. Victor Sciriha, one of the richest men in Malta was elected President of the club. Valletta spent a lot of money in the transfer market and expectations were high. Valletta began the season in the worst possible fashion, with a 3-2 defeat to Eternal rivals, Floriana. Valletta's poor start continued with a 1-1 draw against Hibernians, defeat to Sliema, a 0-0 draw with Ħamrun Spartans and Msida respectively. However, eventually Valletta hit good form with a 1-0 win over Birkirkara, a 7-0 trashing over champions Marsaxlokk and they gained revenge over Floriana with a 4-0 win on the 8 December. After wins over Msida, Mqabba, Ħamrun, Sliema and Marsaxlokk the club showed its winning pedigree. Valletta headed to the final round of the season on a high note.

Valletta won their 19th Premier League title after Marsaxlokk failed to beat Birkirkara on Saturday 3 May after a very successful Championship Pool campaign. However, with the title in the bag the long unbeaten streak soon came to an end, and the season ended with a number of defeats. The team also failed to reach the U*Bet F.A. Trophy 2008 final, after losing 4-2 to rivals Birkirkara F.C. in the semi final. But except for the early stages and the post-championship games, Valletta had been the most consistent side.

2008/2009: Second place

Having signed several high-profile players, Valletta were clear favourites ahead of the 2008/2009 season. However, too many players struggled with poor form, in particular up front. Although Valletta remained undefeated until the end of March, a number of draws against supposedly weaker teams meant the team fell behind Hibernians. The first defeat of the season, a 1-3 loss against |The Big Team Birkirkara in March, was followed by a 0-0 draw with Floriana. Hibernians were on a winning streak and it took a win in the direct clash in April for Valletta to stay in contention. Valletta were finally looking consistent and moved to the top of the table, until a 1-2 loss against Marsaxlokk in the penultimate round. As Hibernians won their game against Birkirkara and moved two point clear, Valletta had to win the final game of the season. Hibernians stayed focused and won the title thanks to a 0-0 draw.

Valletta in Europe

Valletta skipper Frankie Zammit (second from right) prior to the match against Dukla Prague at the Juliska Stadium.

Valletta FC's baptism in European football was in season 1963/64, in a Champions' League qualifying round against Czechoslovakia giants Dukla Prague, which were led by Josef Masopust (0-8 agg.).[1]

To date (season 2001/2002), Valletta FC participated 25 times in European competitions; 11 editions of the European Cup and 7 editions each of the Cup Winners Cup and UEFA Cup.

Through the years, Valletta FC were polled against several high-profile European clubs: Juventus FC and Internazionale (Italy) (1-7 agg.), Leeds United (England) (0-7 agg.), Rangers F.C. (Scotland) (0-18 agg. losing the home leg 0-10), Porto (Portugal) (0-4 agg.) and FC Dynamo Moscow (USSR) (0-7 agg.) to mention just a few.

Disastrous results such as 8-0 defeats against Grasshoppers of Switzerland and Honved of Hungary - as well as the afore-mentioned 10-0 trashing against Rangers F.C. - were amongst the worse defeats experienced. However, amidst all this, Valletta also achieved positive results such as minimal 1-0 defeats to Porto and Internazionale as well as victories against HJK Helsinki and Barry Town.

Without any doubt Valletta's qualification to the first round proper of the European Cup in season 1999/2000 was the most successful participation ever, eliminating Barry Town of Wales 3-2 on aggregate. In season 2000/2001, Valletta just missed qualification in extra-time losing 8-6 on aggregate to Rijeka in the qualifying round of the UEFA Cup.

In the 2009/10 season, Valletta participated in the inaugural Europa League. They eliminated Keflavik 5-2 on aggregate before earning a credible 1-1 draw away to St Patrick's Athletic F.C. in the next round. Unfortunately, they lost the return leg 0-1 in Malta conceding a goal 10 minutes from time.

Achievements

1914/15*, 1931/32*, 1944/45, 1945/46, 1947/48, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1962/63, 1973/74, 1977/78, 1979/80, 1983/84, 1989/90, 1991/92, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 2000/01, 2007/2008
* as Valletta United
1959/60 1963/64 1974/75 1976/77 1977/78 1990/91 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1998/99 2000/01
1989/90 1994/95 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 2000/01
  • Löwenbräu Cup: 6
1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 2000/01
  • Super 5 Lottery Tournament: 4
1992/93 1996/97 1999/00 2000/01 2007/08
  • Centenary Cup: 1
2000
  • MFA Malta Cup: 1
1943/44
  • Cassar Cup: 4
1943/44 1958/59 1965/66 1967/68
  • Cousis Shield: 2
1914/15* 1920/21*
* as Valletta United
  • Coronation Cup: 1
1953/54
  • Scicluna Cup: 2
1960/61 1963/64
  • Sons of Malta Cup: 2
1974/75 1978/79
  • Independence Cup: 3
1974/75 1979/80 1980/81
  • Testaferata Cup: 1
1979/80
  • Euro Cup: 3
1983/83 1987/88 1989/90
  • Division 2 Champions: 1
1939/40 *
* as Valletta Prestons
  • BetFair Cup (Exhibition Match) : 1
2008

Players

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Current Squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
4 Malta DF Steve Borg
7 Malta MF Gilbert Agius (captain)
8 Malta MF Edmond Agius
9 Malta FW Michael Mifsud
10 Malta DF Roderick Briffa
13 Malta DF Steve Bezzina
16 Republic of Ireland FW Declan O'Brien
17 Malta DF Kenneth Scicluna
18 Malta MF Jamie Pace
19 Malta MF Dylan Grima
No. Position Player
20 Malta MF Dyson Falzon
22 Malta FW Cleavon Frendo
23 Malta MF Kevin Sammut
24 Malta GK Andrew Hogg
28 Malta GK Nicholas Vella
30 Cameroon FW Njongo Priso
66 Malta DF Luke Dimech
77 Netherlands MF Jordi Cruyff
99 Malta FW Terence Scerri

Transfers for 2009/10

In
# Pos Nat Player From
4 DF Malta Steve Borg Mosta
77 MF Netherlands Jordi Cruyff Free Agent
23 MF Malta Kevin Sammut Marsaxlokk
16 FW Netherlands Geert den Ouden Netherlands De Graafschap
21 FW Malta Terence Scerri Hibernians
Out
# Pos Nat Player To
23 DF Malta Josef Mifsud Sliema Wanderers
10 MF Malta David Camilleri Tarxien Rainbows
16 FW Netherlands Geert den Ouden released
Out On Loan
# Pos Nat Player To
4 DF Malta Jonathan Bondin Qormi
2 DF Malta Justin Grioli Tarxien Rainbows
DF Malta Justin Muscat Dingli Swallows
MF Malta Mark Barbara Ħamrun Spartans
MF Malta Keith Fenech Qormi
26 MF Malta Stefan Giglio Qormi
MF Malta Massimo Grima Qormi
MF Malta Kurt Magro Tarxien Rainbows
9 FW Malta Ian Zammit Ħamrun Spartans
FW Malta Dylan Zarb Dingli Swallows

For recent transfers, see List of Maltese football transfers summer 2009.

Club Officials and Coaching Staff

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1964-65 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Spain Real Zaragoza 0-3 1-5 1-8
1975-76 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Hungary Haladás VSE 1-1 0-7 1-8
1977-78 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Soviet Union FC Dynamo Moscow 0-2 0-5 0-7
1983-84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Scotland Rangers F.C. 0-8 0-10 0-18
1991-92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup 1. Round Portugal Porto FC 0-3 0-1 0-4
1995-96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying Round Slovakia FK Inter Bratislava 0-0 2-5 2-5
1996-97 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Qualifying Round Romania FC Gloria Bistriţa 1-2 1-2 2-4

UEFA Intertoto Cup

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Albania KS Teuta Durrës 1-2 0-0 1-2
2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup 1. Round Montenegro FK Budućnost Podgorica 0-5 2-2 2-7

UEFA Cup/Europa League

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1972-73 UEFA Cup 1. Round Italy Internazionale FC 0-1 1-6 1-7
1979-80 UEFA Cup 1. Round England Leeds United 0-4 0-3 0-7
1987-88 UEFA Cup 1. Round Italy Juventus FC 0-4 0-3 0-7
1989-90 UEFA Cup 1. Round Austria First Vienna FC 1-4 0-3 1-7
1993-94 UEFA Cup 1. Round Turkey Trabzonspor 1-3 1-3 2-6
1994-95 UEFA Cup Preliminary Round Romania Rapid Bucureşti 2-6 1-1 3-7
2000-01 UEFA Cup 1. Qualifying Round Croatia NK Rijeka 4-5 2-3 6-8(aet)
2003-04 UEFA Cup 1. Qualifying Round Switzerland Neuchâtel Xamax 0-2 0-2 0-4
2009–10 UEFA Europa League 1. Qualifying round Iceland Keflavík 3-0 2-2 5-2
2. Qualifying round Republic of Ireland St Patrick's Athletic 0-1 1-1 1-2

UEFA Champions League

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1963-64 European Cup Preliminary Round Czechoslovakia Dukla Prague 0-2 0-6 0-8
1974-75 European Cup 1. Round Finland HJK Helsinki 1-0 1-4 2-4
1978-79 European Cup 1. Round Switzerland Grasshoppers FC 3-5 0-8 3-13
1980-81 European Cup Preliminary Round Hungary Budapest Honvéd FC 0-3 0-8 0-11
1984-85 European Cup 1. Round Austria FK Austria Wien 0-4 0-4 0-8
1990-91 European Cup 1. Round Scotland Glasgow Rangers 0-4 0-6 0-10
1992-93 UEFA Champions League Preliminary Round Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-2 0-1 1-3
1997-98 UEFA Champions League 1. Qualifying Round Latvia Skonto Riga 1-0 0-2 1-2
1998-99 UEFA Champions League 1. Qualifying Round Cyprus Anorthosis Famagusta 0-2 0-6 0-8
1999-00 UEFA Champions League 1. Qualifying Round Wales Barry Town 3-2 0-0 3-2
2. Qualifying Round Austria SK Rapid Wien 0-2 0-3 0-5
2001-02 UEFA Champions League 1. Qualifying Round Finland FC Haka 0-0 0-5 0-5
2008-09 UEFA Champions League 1. Qualifying Round Slovakia FC Artmedia Petržalka 0-2 0-1 0-3

Notable former and current players

  • Malta Emmanuel Farrugia
  • Malta Leonard Farrugia
  • Malta Dennis Fenech
  • Malta Raymond Gauci
  • Malta Stefan Giglio
  • Malta Jack Grech
  • Malta Frank Grima
  • Malta Charlie Mackay
  • Malta Vincent 'Maxi' Magro
  • Brazil Paulo Massaro
  • Malta Raymond Mifsud
  • Argentina Omar Sebastián Monesterolo
  • Czech Republic Pavel Mraz
  • Germany Thomas Niesen
  • Malta Serbia Branko Nisevic
  • Malta Kristian Laferla
  • Nigeria Christopher Oretan
  • Malta Louis Pace

References

External links


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