The finalists in the main categories of the 2018 MFA Awards, to be held on 11th May, 2018 were announced on Wednesday afternoon during a live broadcast on the Malta FA’s Facebook page.
The five contenders for the most prestigious individual honour in Maltese football – the MFA Footballer of the Year Award – are Andrew Cohen (Gżira United), Paul Fenech (Balzan), Jake Grech (Birkirkara), Steve Pisani (Floriana) and Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassaol).
Of the five finalists, Cohen and Fenech have already won this award in the past. Last year, the award went to Hibernians midfielder Bjorn Kristensen.
Darren Abdilla, the Gżira United coach, John Buttigieg, who is in charge of Sliema Wanderers, and Balzan’s Marko Micovic are vying for the coach of the year prize.
In the young player category, the three finalists are all Malta Under-21 players – Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians), Jake Grech (Birkirkara) and Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).
The three candidates for the foreign player of the year award are Mislav Andelkovic (Birkirkara), Carlos De Fiori Mendes (Balzan) and Amadou Samb (Gżira United).
Outside the BOV Premier League, awards will be also be given out to the best players in the remaining divisions, youth league, women’s league, futsal and Gozo FA competitions.
The coaches, captains and officials of all the clubs in the respective divisions together with a panel of journalists who follow the various leagues took part in the voting process.
Pietà Hotspurs’ Dylan Agius, Paul Chimezie, the Mqabba forward, and Qormi midfielder Yannick Yankam are vying for the Best First Division player award while Gudja United striker Adolphus Nagbe Marshall, Santa Lucia’s Sebastiano Perdomo and Swieqi United’s Roderick Taliana are the finalists in the Best Second Division player category.
Royter Degiorgio (Xgħajra Tornados), Jack Vella (Mellieħa) and Edward John Wileman (Sta Venera Lightnings) are in contention for the Best Third Division player award.
Hibernians duo Dorianne Theuma and Shona Zammit, and Birkirkara’s Alishia Sultana are the three candidates for the BOV Women’s League best player.
The three contenders for the Best Youth League player honour are Jan Busuttil (Pietà Hotspurs), Neil Frendo (Mosta) and Connor Zammit (Hibernians).
The three nominees for the GFA Player of the Year award all play for champions Victoria Hotspurs – Ferdinando Apap, Christian Mercieca and Adrian Parnis.
For the Futsal Player of the Year award, there are two Valletta players, Melvin Borg and Jovica Milijic, and Marwan Telesi, of Mrieħel ESS.
The public will decide the winner of the 2017/18 best goal award.
A panel of football journalists will draw up a shortlist of 10 goals and each entry will be assigned an SMS number for voting purposes.
The list will be eventually whittled down to five with the public voting remaining open until the night of May 11 when the winner will be announced during the MFA Awards at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
The MFA Awards Organising Committee has introduced a new award by way of recognising the contribitution of the supporters – the Best Fans Award.
The finalists in this category, to be decided by the same panel of media representatives who regularly follow the BOV Premier League, will be announced next week.