Steve Sultana wins the Goalkeeper and Player of the Year in the GFA awards

The Gozitan football community came together in a night of celebration and recognition as the Gozo Football Association (GFA) hosted its annual awards event at a prestigious venue in Gozo. The event, attended by esteemed guests including top officials from the Malta Football Association and the Minister for Gozo, showcased the remarkable talent and achievements of players, coaches, and officials throughout the 2023/2024 season.

Highlighting the evening were the individual honours presented in various categories, recognizing outstanding performances and contributions to the Gozitan football scene.

The main protagonists of the GFA Awards 2022/2023 were Gozitan player Steve Sultana, together with foreign players Marcelo Barbosa and Wellington Valentim De Souza who all won two honours each.

Steve Sultana, the 33 year old goalkeeper and captain of champions Nadur Youngsters won the prestigious honour as the GFA Player of the Year for the second time in his career and was presented with the honour as the Best Goalkeeper of the Year, which was being awarded for the first time.  Nadur’s Brazilian striker Marcelo Jr Barbosa received two honours, one as the Top scorer of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division with 21 goals, and was also voted as the Best Foreign Player of the top flight.

Qala Saints, who ended the season as the runners-up of the championship and winners of the GFA 1st Division KO and of the BOV GFA Cup won three individual honours.  Shaun Bajada was chosen as the Coach of the Year, Nathan Chukwudi Njoku was awarded the Best Young Player, while goalkeeper Owen Attard won the People’s Choice Award.

The superiority of Victoria Hotspurs in 2nd Division in Gozo, was also reflected in the individual awards for the category, as their captain Shaun Attard won the Best Player, while Wellington Valentim De Souza received the trophies as the Best Foreign Player and the Top Scorer of the BOV Gozo Football League of the 2nd Division with 22 goals.

Second division side St Lawrence Spurs won the Fair Play Award.  Moreover, the late Mario Borg, who was a dedicated representative for St Lawrence Spurs in the GFA Council, was posthumously honoured as the GFA Official of the Year

The Best Player of the U/19 category was Tomas Sciberras of Ghajnsielem, while Matthias Said of Nadur/Qala was the Top Scorer of the category with 15 goals.

The Gozo Football Association presented special awards during the annual event.   A reward of recognition was given to four Gozitan players of the Malta’s Women National Team who played the match on 5 December 2023 against Latvia where Malta won the promotion in the UEFA Women’s Nations League.  The players are Maria Farrugia, Valentina Rapa, Anne-Marie Said and Emma Xuereb.

Veteran player Chris Camilleri, who played for Xaghra United during this season, received an award for his achievement in his career by marking his 700th appearances in domestic competitions, and currently retain the national record as the player who played most domestic matches in Malta and Gozo.

The GFA presented a token of appreciation for his support to the Minister for Gozo Clint Camilleri, consisting of a Gozo shirt signed by all the players who formed part of the Gozo football team in the International Island Games held in Guernsey during July 2023; and extended its gratitude to the Malta Referees Association on their 75th anniversary.

The President of the Gozo Football Association Dr Samuel Azzopardi delivered a speech where he insisted on the role of the association to keep working towards the improvement of the game on the island particularly through more attention towards the Youth sector.  He thanked the Malta Football Association and the Ministry for Gozo for their continuous support in various ways.

Individual Honours 2023/2024:

Steve Sultana (Nadur Youngsters):  GFA Player of the Year, GFA Goalkeeper of the Year.

Owen Attard (Qala Saints): GFA People’s Choice Award,

Shaun Bajada (Qala Saints):  GFA Coach of the Year,

Marcelo Barbosa (Nadur Youngsters): GFA Foreign Player of the Year, Top scorer (21 goals) BOV Gozo Football League 1st division,

Nathan Chukwudi Njoku (Qala Saints): GFA Young Player of the Year,

Shaun Attard (Victoria Hotspurs): GFA 2nd division Player of the Year,

Wellington Valentim De Souza (Victoria Hotspurs): GFA 2nd division Foreign Player of the Year, Top scorer (22 goals) BOV Gozo Football League 2nd division,

Tomas Sciberras (Ghajnsielem): GFA Player of the Year U/19,

Matthias Said (Nadur/Qala): GFA Top Scorer U/19 (`15 goals),

Mario Borg (St Lawrence Spurs): GFA Official of the Year (posthumously),

St Lawrence Spurs: GFA Fair Play Award,

Maria Farrugia, Valentina Rapa, Anne-Marie Said, Emma Xuereb:  Recognition Award as National Team players for winning promotion in the UEFA Women’s Nations League

Chris Camilleri: Award for Achievement, marking 700th appearances in domestic competitions

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