Paul Fenech and Leighton Grech received the most sought after individual football awards in Malta, as Best Player and Best Young Player for the 2013/14 season respectively during the annual MFPA awards ceremony, at the Corinthia Palace, Attard.
At the event organized by the Malta Football Players Association, players from the Premier League, coaches, former players and VIP guests, Hon. Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius and Hon. Robert Cutajar, attended the event to celebrate the 2013/14 Maltese football season.
Paul Fenech was a worthy winner of the main award as his hard work, goals and quality performances were evident to all. The two other finalists were Valletta skipper Ryan Fenech, who led his team to the championship and the nippy Birkirkara FC striker Jhonnattann Benites. The Birkirkara midfielder was delighted to be recognised by his opponents and peers as the best player in Malta, receiving his award from former Malta star player Carmel Busuttil.
Being voted as Best Young Player has capped a remarkable season for 24 years old Leighton Grech. He joined Qormi FC from Birkirkara FC on loan to become the most important player for Qormi FC. The attacking midfielder scored important goals on loan and went on to become one of the most important players of the season, culminating in his first call for the Senior National team. The award was presented by the ex-Valletta and National Team midfielder, Nicky Saliba.
Both players thanked the MFPA, the players who voted for them and their respective families for the support during this tough season.
The MFPA introduced a new award, The Merit Award. This award is given for meritorious service to football. This year’s winner was Dr. David Attard, the National Team doctor. Addressing the crowd after receiving the award, Dr. Attard thanked Carlo Mamo and the MFPA for the initiative, but surprised everyone when he said that in a career spreading over 28 years with the National Team, it was the first time that he received any form of official recognition for the work done and was pleased that this had to come from the players. This award was presented by Hon. Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius.
The full list of winners from the MFPA Awards 2013/14 was:
Best Player 2013/14: Paul Fenech (Birkirkara FC)
Best Young Player 2013/14: Leighton Grech (Qormi FC)
Merit Award: Dr. David Attard (MFA)
The MFPA announced also the team of the year as voted by the players.
The MFPA XI were:
Goalkeeper: Justin Haber (Birkirkara FC)
Defenders: Edward Herrera (Birkirkara FC), Nikola Vukanac (Birkirkara FC), Aleandro Mendoza (Birkirkara FC), Clayton Failla (Hibernians)
Midfielders: Denni Rocha Dos Santos (Valletta FC), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara FC), Ryan Fenech (Valletta FC)
Strikers: Jhonnattan Benites (Birkirkara FC), Haruna Shola Shodiya (Birkirkara FC), Edison Luis Dos Santos (Hibernians)
The MFPA best XI awards were presented by ex National Team players. Reggie Cini presented the Best Goalkeeper, John Buttigieg presented the Best Defenders, Martin Gregory the Best Midfielders and Stefan Sultana the best strikers.
Carlo Mamo in his role as founder of the association, also addressed the crowd highlighting the achievements and future plans of the MFPA, and thanked the executive committee, players, MFPA club delegates, journalists and sponsors. He concluded that the role of the MFPA is to work within the local football scene for the good of the players and the improvement of the local game.
The event was presented by Sarah Agius and Rodney Vassallo. A reception followed the Award Ceremony.
The event will be aired on TVM in the near future.
Photos: Copyright © domenic aquilina