Sixty-five teams will be taking part in the 76th edition of the U*BET FA Trophy – the fifty-three member clubs of the Malta Football Association plus twelve clubs from the Gozo Football Association. This was announced before the draws for the Preliminary Round and the first two rounds which were held on Tuesday at the MFA Conference Room, National Stadium, Ta’ Qali.
The only two Gozitan clubs which are not taking part are Gharb Rangers and Zebbug Rovers.
Since there are twenty-five clubs were due to take part in the first round which is open to Gozitan and Third Division clubs, a Preliminary Round match was necessary – Attard were drawn with Qala Saints.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg
First and Second Division clubs enter the Second Round together with the twelve winners of the First Round clashes.
Among the interesting First Round clashes are the derbies Hamrun Spartans vs Pietà Hotspurs and Zejtun Corinthians vs Gudja United.
The Preliminary Round match is due to be played on Sunday 1st September. First round matches will be played between the 4th and 9th September while the second round matches will be played between October 25th and 27th.
Before the draw, MFA Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo said the format of the competition is proving to be a successful one, raising more enthusiasm from clubs and supporters. The U*BET FA Trophy was providing smaller clubs the opportunity to face more established clubs and in some cases, smaller clubs managed to advance further in the competition. He said this was a sign of solidarity on and off the field of play.
Vassallo announced that from the third round onwards, most matches will be played in mid-week with the third round matches due to be played between the 22nd and 27th November, fourth round between the 17th and 22nd January, quarter-finals between the 15th and 16th February, semi-finals on the 19th March and final scheduled for Sunday May 4th.
The MFA CEO thanked Maltco Lotteries for their support, saying the company believed in the product the MFA was providing.
Maltco Lotteries Managing Director Vasileos Kasiotakis confirmed the good relationship between Maltco and the MFA and said the company is committing its support for the coming years.
Venues to be used include the National Stadium, Hibernians Stadium, Victor Tedesco Stadium, Centenary Stadium, Luxol Stadium, Charles Abela Stadium, Sirens Stadium, Gozo Stadium and the new stadium in Kercem.
Attard vs Qala Saints
Victoria Hotspurs vs Munxar Falcons
Kercem Ajax vs St. Lawrence Spurs
St. Venera Lightnings vs Xaghra United
Oratory Youths vs Mtarfa
Nadur Youngsters vs Ghaxaq
Xghajra Tornados vs SK Victoria Wanderers
Winner Attard/Qala vs Mgarr United
Xewkija Tigers vs Kalkara
Sirens vs Sannat Lions
Swieqi United vs Qrendi
Santa Lucia vs Luqa St. Andrew’s
Ghajnsielem vs Ta’ Xbiex
Winner Match 4 (Oratory/Mtarfa) vs Winner Match 1 (Victoria Hotspurs/Munxar)
Winner Match 2 (Kercem/St. Lawrence) vs Winner Match 11 (Santa Lucia/Luqa)
Winner Match 10 (Swieqi/Qrendi) vs Siggiewi
Winner Match 7 (Attard/Qala/Mgarr) vs St. Andrews
Senglea Athletic vs Kirkop United
Winner Match 9 (Sirens/Sannat) vs Marsa
Zurrieq vs Gzira United
Hamrun Spartans vs Pieta Hotspurs
St. George’s vs Zabbar St. Patrick
Melita vs Winner Match 5 (Nadur/Ghaxaq)
Birzebbuga St. Peter’s vs Msida St. Joseph
Fgura United vs Mdina Knights
Zebbug Rangers vs Dingli Swallows
Marsaxlokk vs San Gwann
Winner Match 3 (St. Venera/Xaghra) vs Mqabba
Gharghur vs Mellieha
Winner Match 12 (Ghajnsielem/Ta’ Xbiex) vs Pembroke Athleta
Zejtun Corinthians vs Gudja United
Marsaskala vs Winner Match 6 (Xghajra/SK Victoria W.)
Lija Athletic vs Winner Match 8 (Xewkija/Kalkara)