U*BET FA Trophy first and second round draws

Sixty-six teams will be taking part in the seventy-fifth edition of the U*BET FA Trophy. This includes the twelve clubs from the Premier League, the twelve clubs from the First Division, the fourteen clubs in the Second Division, the fifteen clubs in the Third Division and thirteen clubs from Gozo.

The draws for the first and second rounds were held on Friday at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali by MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo and Maltco Lotteries General Director Vasileos Kasiotakis.

Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg

The only team not taking part are Gozitan side Zebbug Rovers while Ta’ Xbiex SC and Gozitans Qala Saints and Munxar Falcons are taking part for the first tie.

MFA CEO Bjorn Vassallo said that thanks to the new format of the competition all local clubs are now benefitting financially whie improving their image. He said the association, together with clubs are doing their utmost so that ‘product football’ continues to evolve.

Vassallo said that last season no club lost money in participating in domestic competitions. Hopefully they will do even better this season as the national leagues will be played in seven stadiums, following the recent addition of the Sirens Stadium.

The MFA CEO said that last season’s U*BET FA Trophy final was a feast of football and hopefully this year’s edition will be the same. He said smaller clubs are being given the opportunity to face stronger clubs and on some occasions the determination and enthusiasm of the smaller clubs lead them to give their opponents a hard time. This new format of the competition also led to more solidarity between the smaller and the bigger clubs, therefore uniting more the football family.

He concluded by thanking Maltco Lotteries for their support over the past years and praised them for entering a new agreement at a time when the new ten-year concession to operate lotteries in Malta and Gozo had not been awarded yet.

Maltco Lotteries General Director Vasileos Kasiotakis said this was the eighth year of sponsorship of the FA Trophy by the company and the first after being awarded ten-year concession and a licence to operate the National Lottery of Malta.

Kastiotakis stressed Maltco Lotteries’ intention to keep supporting the committee and said that with the sponsorship, the level of the game could be improved.

Third Division and Gozitan clubs were included in the First Round draw. At least four Gozitan clubs will be reaching the Second Round due to four all-Gozitan first round clashes: Kercem vs Ghajnsielem, Nadur vs Gharb, Xaghra vs Oratory and Qala vs Xewkija.

The winners of the first round matches join First Division and Second Division clubs in the Second Round.

Ticket prices for all U*BET FA Trophy matches will be €6 for adults, €4 for holders of Kartanzjan and €1 for children.

First Round

to be played between the 5 and 9 September

1. Attard vs Sirens
2. Kercem Ajax vs Ghajnsielem
3. Mdina Knights vs Swieqi United
4. Nadur Youngsters vs Gharb Rangers
5. Xghajra Tornados vs Mtarfa
6. St. Lawrence Spurs vs Senglea Athletic
7. Xaghra United vs Oratory Youths
8. Santa Lucia vs SK Victoria Wanderers
9. Qala Saints vs Xewkija Tigers
10. Ta’ Xbiex vs Munxar Falcons
11. Sannat Lions vs Kalkara
12. Marsaskala vs Victoria Hotspurs
13. Ghaxaq vs Marsa
14. Qrendi vs Luqa St. Andrew’s

Second Round

to be played between the 19 and 21 October

Zebbug Rangers vs Mellieha
Winner Match 12 vs Winner Match 14
Mqabba vs Kirkop United
Dingli Swallows vs Naxxar Lions
Gudja United vs Winner Match 10
Winner Match 3 vs Winner Match 11
Vittoriosa Stars vs Msida St. Joseph
Winner Match 6 vs Winner Match 2
Lija Athletic vs Siggiewi
Winner Match 1 vs Gzira United
Gharghur vs Winner Match 5
Mgarr United vs Winner Match 8
Zurrieq vs Fgura United
St. Andrews vs Birzebbuga St. Peter’s
Pembroke Athleta vs Winner Match 9
Winner Match 13 vs St. Patrick
St. Venera Lightings vs Winner Match 7
St. George’s vs Pieta Hotspurs
Winner Match 4 vs Marsaxlokk
Zejtun Corinthians vs San Gwann

The dates for the other rounds are as follows:
Third Round – winners of second round plus Premier League clubs – 30 November to 2 December 2012
Fourth Round – 18 to 23 January 2013
Quarter-Finals – 17 February 2013
Semi-Finals – 10 and 11 May 2013
Final – 19 May 2013