Champions Hibernians will be all out to claim the double on Saturday as they take on Birkirkara in the final of the FA Trophy, sponsored by Attian Group, at the National Stadium, kick-off at 17:00.
The Paolites had an excellent season to claim the title, suffering just one defeat in thirty-three matches. Their women’s and youths’ teams also had a perfect season to win the double as they won the Women’s Knock-Out and the Youth Knock-Out earlier this week after winning their respective leagues. Winning the FA Trophy for Hibernians would therefore be the cherry on the cake.
Hibs won the competition ten times – the last being two years ago when they had defeated Qormi 3-1. They were on the losing end another ten times – the last one being in 1997 when they lost 2-0 to Valletta. Birkirkara, on the other hand, reached the final nine times, winning it four times. Their last FA Trophy success goes back to 2008 when they beat Hamrun Spartans 2-1.
Winning the FA Trophy would save a rather disappointing season for the Stripes as although they won the first honour of the season – the BOV Super Cup after defeating Valletta 2-1, they were never consistent in the BOV Premier League campaign, ending in third place.
However it was against Hibernians that they played among the best games. They lost narrowly in the first round but held them in a 1-1 draw and a goalless draw in the second and third rounds.
Haruuna Shola Shodiya is still recovering from an injury for Birkirkara while Hibernians could not count on the injured Jean Paul Farrugia.