Thirty five trophies up for grabs at 2022 MFPA Awards on Monday 

As the 2021-22 season reaches its finale, preparations for an eagerly-awaited annual  appointment in the local football calendar are in full swing. The best football players in the domestic  men’s and women’s competitions together with the coaches and referees will once again take centre stage at the 2022 MFPA Awards, being held this Monday at the Aviation Museum in Ta’ Qali. 

The build-up for the MFPA showpiece event kicked off a few months ago when a panel of coaches  submitted their list of award nominees in the different categories. A new category, that for Best  Amateur League player, has been introduced this year with the nominees vying for a total of 35  awards, including the 11 players making up the MFPA Best XI for both men and women, and the Merit  Award for outstanding contribution to Maltese football. 

Following the announcement of the nominees, the MFPA passed the baton to its members, the  football players, to vote for their preferred candidates in the different categories. In addition to the  eligibility criteria related to the minimum playing time for the nominees, players cannot vote for a  candidate who plays for the same team. 

There are a total of 33 nominees in the MFPA Best XI categories for both men and women with the  awards being assigned as follows: one goalkeeper, two centre-backs, one left-back, one right-back,  three midfielders and three forwards in a 4-3-3 formation. 

Newly-crowned champions Hibernians and runners-up Floriana have the highest number of  contenders with eight and seven nominees respectively. In the MFPA Women’s Best XI, Birkirkara,  who have already secured their 10th league crown, and title rivals Mġarr United are represented by  eight payers each. The final three nominees for the MFPA Best Player honour (men and women) will  be unveiled during the MFPA Awards night followed by the announcement of the winner. 

There will surely be a new winner in the MFPA Men’s Best Player category as last year’s winner,  Ħamrun Spartans forward Jorge Ailton Soares ‘Dodo’ is not among the final nominees for the 2022  prize. In the women’s category, Swieqi United’s Shona Zammit, the 2021 winner, is among the  candidates for one of three midfield positions in the MFPA Women’s Best XI category. 

There are seven candidates for the MFPA Best Men’s Young Player award, won by Siena midfielder  Matthew Guillaumier last year, while the winner of the MFPA Women’s Young Player accolade will be  chosen from the contenders (under the age of 23) in the Best XI category. The nominees in the  Challenge League categories are in contention to win the MFPA Best Challenge League Player award.  

LIST OF NOMINEES 

MFPA Best Amateur League Player 

Ivan Bojovic (Żurrieq); Nicholas Schembri (Attard); Timothy Thomas (Żurrieq). 

MFPA Best Challenge League Goalkeeper 

Jamie Azzopardi (Żebbug Rangers); Andrea Cassar (Marsa); Matthew Grech (Pembroke Athleta)

MFPA Best Challenge League Defender 

Shaun Bugeja (Żebbuġ Rangers); Juan Cruz Gill (Marsaxlokk); Adolphus Marshall  (Pembroke Athleta). 

MFPA Best Challenge League Midfielder 

Ryan Fenech (Marsa); Stanimir Miloskovic (Żebbug Rangers); James Scicluna (Pietà Hotspurs). 

MFPA Best Challenge League Forward 

Wéverton Gomes Souza (Pembroke Athleta); Lydon Micallef (Lija Athletic); Terence Vella  (Marsaxlokk). 

MFPA Best Challenge League Player  

To be selected from the above-listed nominees 

PREMIER LEAGUE  

MFPA BEST MEN’S YOUNG PLAYER 

Jan Busuttil (Floriana); Marcus Grima (Balzan); Adam Magri Overend (Floriana); Paul Mbong  (Birkirkara); Nevin Portelli (Gżira United); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers); Carlo Zammit Lonardelli  (Sirens). 

MFPA BEST XI 

BEST GOALKEEPER 

Jonathan Debono (Sirens); Georgi Kitanov (Floriana); Glenn Zammit (Gudja United). 

BEST LEFT-BACK 

Leandro Aguirre (Birkirkara); Gabriel Izquier Artiles (Hibernians); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana). 

BEST CENTRE-BACKS (2) 

Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Leandro Almeida (Hibernians); Ferdinando Apap (Hibernians); Gabriel  Bohrer Mentz (Gżira United); Oualid El Hasni (Floriana); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara). 

BEST RIGHT-BACK 

Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Adam Magri Overend (Floriana); Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans). 

BEST MIDFIELDERS (3) 

Ulises Arias (Floriana); Ivan Curjuric (Valletta); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Jackson Mendoza (Gżira  United); Miloš Mijic (Balzan); Nikolai Muscat (Gżira United); Brandon Paiber (Floriana); Dunstan Vella  (Hibernians); Diego Venancio (Birkirkara). 

BEST FORWARDS (3) 

Sunday Akinbule (Mosta); Thaylor Aldama (Hibernians); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Faissal El  Bakhtaoui (Ħamrun Spartans); Uroš Ljubomirac (Balzan); Maxuell Maia (Gżira United); Gabriel Mensah  (Gudja United); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara); Kemar Reid (Floriana). 

MFPA WOMEN’S LEAGUE BEST XI

BEST GOALKEEPER 

Jodie Attard (Swieqi United); Giulia D’Antuono (Raiders Lija);  Patricia Ebejer (Mġarr United). 

BEST LEFT-BACK 

Abigail Camilleri (Mġarr United); Jade Flask (Swieqi United);  Rebecca Vella (Raiders Lija). 

BEST CENTRE-BACKS (2) 

Leanne Cefai (Mġarr United); Maia Debono (Mġarr United); Jessica Dimech (Swieqi United);  Stephania Farrugia (Birkirkara); Celine Galea (Kirkop United); Charlene Zammit (Birkirkara). 

BEST RIGHT-BACK 

Anna Aloisio (Raiders Lija); Rebecca Bajada (Mġarr United); Jade Schembri (Swieqi United). 

BEST MIDFIELDERS (3) 

Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Maya Lucia (Raiders Lija); Veronique Mifsud (Birkirkara); Ann-Marie  Said (Birkirkara); Monique Sultana (Raiders Lija); Tracy Teuma (Birkirkara); Dorianne Theuma (Swieqi  United); Jasmine Vella Turner (Mġarr United); Shona Zammit (Swieqi United). 

BEST FORWARDS (3) 

Leah Alice Ayres (Raiders Lija); Yulya Carella (San Ġwann); Francesca Chircop (Mġarr United); Aleksandra Georgieva (Kirkop United); Raina Giusti (Birkirkara); Patrizia Mary Lamanna (Birkirkara);  Alishia Sultana (Birkirkara); Emma Xuereb (Swieqi United); Rodianne Zerafa (Kirkop United). 

MFPA BEST WOMEN’S YOUNG PLAYER 

Jodie Attard (Swieqi United); Maya Lucia (Raiders Lija); Veronique Mifsud (Birkirkara). 

MFPA BEST COACH 

Gianluca Atzori (Floriana); Thane Micallef (Gudja United); Stefano Sanderra (Hibernians). 

MFPA BEST REFEREE 

Philip Farrugia; Trustin Farrugia Cann; Slobodan Petrovic. 

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