Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Balzan chase first trophy, Valletta eye double-double
May 17, 2019
Posted in:
General
Cups & Competitions

Balzan and Valletta will bring the curtains down on the 2018/19 football season when they meet in the FA Trophy final this Saturday (tomorrow) at the National Stadium (kick-off 17.00).


After capturing the BOV Premier League title in dramatic fashion, beating Hibernians on penalties in a decider, Valletta are seeking to complete back-to-back doubles and win their 15th FA Trophy success.

 

On the other hand, Balzan, who last reached the FA Trophy final three years ago, losing to Sliema Wanderers on penalties, are aiming to win their first major honour which would also earn them a spot in next season’s Europa League.

 

The Knock-Out showdown is the second final between the two sides this season with Valletta lifting the Super Cup in December after beating Balzan 2-1.

 

At the pre-match press conference, Balzan coach Jacques Scerri said his team will be going all out to win their first major honour. 

 

“We’re honoured to have come this far but we're determined to go all the way,” Scerri said.

 

“We respect Valletta, after all they are the champions and have been the most consistent team this season. That said, we’re also aware of our strengths and it should be a very good game on the day.

 

“We will be doing our utmost to bring the first honour to Balzan.”

 

Valletta coach Gilbert Agius said this is an opportunity for the players to further cement their place in the club’s history.

 

“This is a special occasion for our players to keep etching their names in golden letters in the history of Valletta,” Agius said.

 

“It’s a nice game to play in and be part of. I hope it will be another feast of football like the league decider and may the best team win.”

 

CAPTAINS' VIEWS

 

The press conference, organised by the Malta FA at the Trophies Lounge, was also addressed by the two captains.

 

Balzan’s Steve Bezzina believes his team must grasp this opportunity to achieve something at the end of a long journey.

 

“Valletta are a strong club,” Bezzina said.

 

“They have flourished in the latter and most important part of the season but we believe in our abilities. Saturday is the right opportunity to avoid upsets and claim this historic win for the club."

 

Valletta captain Jonathan Caruana is expecting a tough match against Balzan.

 

“We watched Balzan’s resilience and tactical shape in their semi-final win over Birkirkara,” Caruana said.

 

“We have played them three times this season and all matches were difficult. We must be on top of our game and strive to repeat the brilliant performance in the semi-final 2-0 win over Gżira United.”

 

MATCH OFFICIALS


The 2018/19 FA Trophy final will be controlled by referee Mario Apap. The two assistant referees are William Debattista and Paul Apap while Eman Grech will be the fourth official.

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