Five players – three representing champions Valletta and two of Hibernians – have been shortlisted for the 2019 MFA Footballer of the Year Award.
Valletta goalkeeper Henry Bonello and team-mates Steve Borg and Rowen Muscat together with Hibernians duo Andrei Agius and Jake Grech are the five contenders for the most prestigious individual honour in Maltese football.
The finalists in the main categories of the 2019 MFA Awards, to be held on 24th May, 2019 were announced on Tuesday during a live broadcast on the Malta FA’s Facebook page.
The winner of the MFA Footballer of the Year award will succeed Gżira United playmaker Andrew Cohen who claimed this honour for a record fourth time last year.
Three Italian coaches have collected the highest number of votes to be named as finalists in the coach of the year category. These are Vincenzo Potenza (Senglea Athletic), Stefano Sanderra (Hibernians) and Giovanni Tedesco (Ħamrun Spartans).
In the young player category, the three finalists have already represented Malta at senior level as Gżira United’s Juan Carlos Corbalan, Birkirkara midfielder Matthew Guillaumier and Joseph Mbong, of Hibernians, are vying for this accolade.
The three candidates for the foreign player of the year award hail from the three clubs that occupied the top three places in the 2018/19 BOV Premier League – Miguel Angel Alba (Valletta), Haruna Garba (Gżira United) and Taylon Nicolas Correa Marcolino (Hibernians).
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.
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.
The public will decide the winner of the 2018/19 best goal award, won by Valletta striker Matteo Piciollo last year.
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 24 when the winner will be announced during the MFA Awards at the Mediterranean Conference Centre.
The MFA Awards Organising Committee last year introduced a new award by way of recognising the contribitution of the supporters – the Best Fans Award. The finalists in this category will be decided by the same panel of media representatives that will select the candidates for the Best Goal Award.
2019 MFA AWARDS – FINALISTS
MFA FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Henry Bonello (Valletta); Steve Borg (Valletta); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Rowen Muscat (Valletta).
COACH OF THE YEAR
Vincenzo Potenza (Senglea Athletic); Stefano Sanderra (Hibernians); Giovanni Tedesco (Ħamrun Spartans).
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Matthew Guillaumier (Birkirkara); Joseph Mbong (Hibernians).
FOREIGN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Miguel Angel Alba (Valletta); Haruna Garba (Gżira United); Nicolas Marcolino Taylon (Hibernians).
BOV FIRST DIVISION BEST PLAYER
Ige Adeshina (Sirens); Jurgen Debono (Naxxar Lions); Jackson Lima (Gudja United).
BOV SECOND DIVISION BEST PLAYER
Lazar Doric (Mġarr United); Gilbert Martin (Fgura United); Felipe Pedrosa de Almeida (Birżebbuġa St Peters).
BOV THIRD DIVISION BEST PLAYER
Bledi Alla (Attard); Claudio Calleja (Żurrieq); Lian Xuereb (Msida St Joseph).
BEST YOUTH LEAGUE PLAYER
Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Andreas Vella (Hibernians).
BOV WOMEN’S LEAGUE BEST PLAYER
Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Haley Bugeja (Mġarr United); Stephania Farrugia (Birkirkara).
BEST WOMEN U-19 PLAYER
Haley Bugeja (Mġarr United); Lucia Maya (Raiders Luxol); Kailey Willis (Birkirkara).
FUTSAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Celino Alves De Freitas (Luxol St Andrews); Andres Gomez Vanegas Camilo (Valletta); Leanderson Sant’Anna Coriolano (Luxol St Andrews).
GFA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ferdinando Apap (Victoria Hotspurs); Shaun Attard (Nadur Youngsters) Adrian Parnis (Victoria Hotspurs).