The presence of the new BOV Premier League trophy elicited great interest and enthusiasm among the students of the National Sport School on Monday morning.
Designed by Thomas Lyte, the renowned London-based silversmiths who also manufactured the new FA Trophy, the new league cup is hand-crafted from sterling silver and weighs approximately five kilos, including the base which has a solid silver/gold plated plinth band on it.
All eyes were on the glittering cup, displayed in a prominent position in front of one of the movable stands, as the students gathered at the school’s sports hall.
George Micallef, the headmaster of the National Sport School (NSS), got the ball rolling, thanking the Malta Football Association for choosing the NSS to host the first visit of the BOV Premier League Trophy Tour.
Micallef introduced the four Malta players who attended the event, namely Hibernians defender Andrei Agius, Cain Attard, the Birkirkara wing-back, and Ryan Camilleri and Paul Fenech, the captains of Valletta and Balzan respectively.
The students participated in an open Q&A session with the players.
Asked about the difficulties he encountered in the early stages of his career, Agius, who played for a host of Italian clubs before returning to Malta to join Hibernians a few years back, replied: “In football, as in every aspect of life, you have ups and downs but perseverance is the key. From a young age, I was determined to pursue a career as a professional footballer, no matter what, and that attitude stood me in good stead.”
Attard, a University graduate, emphasised the importance of achieving the right balance between the academic and footballing commitments in order to succeed in both.
With Valletta and Balzan engaged in a neck-and-neck race for the BOV Premier League title, Camilleri and Fenech were asked to give their views on their clubs’ chances of winning the most coveted prize in Maltese football. Both captains struck an upbeat note.
The Q&A session was followed by a series of fun and skill games involving the students enrolled in the school’s football programme, under the watchful eyes of their football coaches, Paul Zammit and Stefan Sultana.
The students also seized the opportunity to take photos with the new BOV Premier League trophy in what turned out to be an enjoyable event.
Louis Micallef, the Malta FA Deputy General Secretary, presented a signed Malta shirt to George Micallef.
The BOV Premier League Trophy continues on Wednesday with a visit to St Benedict’s College in Kirkop.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg/MFA