BOV League draws: Champions Valletta face Tarxien in first game

Champions Valletta will be facing Tarxien Rainbows in their first game from the BOV Premier League 2012/13. The draws for the BOV Premier League, BOV First Division, BOV Second Division, BOV Third Division, BOV Women’s First Division and BOV Women’s Second Division were held on Saturday at the Grand Hotel Excelsior by MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo and BOV Chief Officer Operations Michael Galea.

Runners-up and U*BET FA Trophy winners Hibernians will face Mosta while newly-promoted sides Melita and Rabat Ajax will be facing Birkirkara and Qormi in their first league match. The other games for day 1 are: Hamrun Spartans vs Balzan and Sliema Wanderers vs Floriana.

MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo thanked Bank of Valletta, whose sponsorship has now entered the eighth year. He said the association and clubs were not only grateful but lucky to have Bank of Valletta as the league’s main sponsor.

Vassallo said that the past season was an experimental season due to the drastic changes in the format of competitions. He said that undoubtedly these changes turned out to be a success and the main objective behind these changes was achieved. In fact more youngsters got the opportunity to play, despite the increase in the number of foreigners. He said that the association will continue to invest in youth development.

The MFA Chief Executive Officer said that, especially in the case of the Premier League and the First Division, the two leagues offered competitiveness and pointed out that this season, between gate money and sponsorships, no club suffered losses from the participation in the various leagues. The clubs’ financial situation improved thanks to the fact that the association is no longer taking its shares from the gates, the universality of the various leagues, the investment in facilities and the clubs’ commitment to improve the ‘product’.

Bjorn Vassallo revealed that there was an increase in the number of people attending league matches in the various divisions, confirming the wise decision to take the various leagues to regional stadiums.

Meanwhile BOV Chief Officer Operations Michael Galea said the bank’s objective was to see the game improve, become more professional, become more popular and attract more children to the game. He said the bank’s role was not only to offer the best financial services and set new standards but had the responsibility to participate in the community in order to give something back. Football was one of the main organisations from this programme.

To mark the eighth season of the BOV sponsorship for the leagues, the bank launched a limited edition BOV Premier League MasterCard Prepaid Card with a denomination of €150. The new card features the BOV Premier League trophy being lifted in celebration.

This card will be available from BOV branches as from next week and could be used as a gift, to make payments over the internet and when travelling abroad.

The first matches in the various divisions are as follows:

Birkirkara vs Melita
Hamrun Spartans vs Balzan
Rabat Ajax vs Qormi
Sliema Wanderers vs Floriana
Hibernians vs Mosta
Valletta vs Tarxien Rainbows

Birzebbuga St. Peter’s vs Zejtun Corinthians
Mqabba vs St. Andrews
Marsaxlokk vs Gzira United
Gudja United vs Lija Athletic
Pietà Hotspurs vs Dingli Swallows
Naxxar Lions vs Vittoriosa Stars

Gharghur vs San Gwann
St. George’s vs Fgura United
Zurrieq vs Msida St. Joseph
St. Patrick vs Pembroke Athleta
Kirkop United vs Siggiewi
Zebbug Rangers vs Sta. Venera L.
Mellieha vs Mgarr United

Swieqi United vs Santa Lucia
Marsa vs Sirens
Senglea Athletic vs Marsaskala
Ta’ Xbiex vs Ghaxaq
Qrendi vs Xghajra Tornados
Luqa St. Andrew’s vs Attard
Kalkara vs Mtarfa
Mdina Knights bye (first game against Swieqi)

Tarxien Rainbows vs Mosta
Mgarr United vs Gozo
Hamrun Spartans vs Birkirkara
Pembroke Athleta vs Hibernians

Kirkop United vs Vittoriosa Stars
Naxxar Lions vs Melita
St. Venera Yellow Blues vs Fgura United
Lija/Iklin vs Raiders (Luxol)