David Camilleri expects to make his 400th Maltese league appearance this season, and told UEFA.com that results had vindicated his decision to join unfashionable Tarxien Rainbows FC.
At 35, left-sided midfielder Camilleri is a well-respected figure in Maltese football, having also made 35 appearances for the national team. Thus it was considered by some to be something of a comedown when he left Valletta FC – with whom he won the 2007/08 title – for Tarxien, who barely escaped relegation last season.
However, Camilleri's presence has helped the Rainbows to challenge ably this season, and they are already certain to be competing in the championship pool when the league splits in two. For the former Hamrun Spartans FC trainee, who went on to star for Sliema Wanderers FC, Marsaxlokk FC and Hibernians FC, that represents vindication.
"Switching to Tarxien Rainbows after turning out for big clubs in the past was not an easy decision, but today I feel so very pleased to be at a club which has come a long way in establishing themselves in the elite of Maltese football this season," he told UEFA.com. "We have a very competitive squad and I am proud to part of it."
Camilleri has already won every trophy Malta has to offer, including domestic titles with Sliema and Valletta and FA Trophies with Hamrun, Sliema and Hibernians. As he reflected upon his long career in Malta, though, he was proud of all of his achievements, and not least the first honour he won with his hometown club in 1991/92.
"Playing 400 matches in the Premier League is a big deal, especially since clubs did not play 27 matches a season in the past," he explained. "Reaching this milestone will be a big achievement which I am looking forward to, but I still cherish the memory of my first cup – the FA Trophy won with Spartans when I was still a teenager."
Sure of a top-six finish, it will still take something for Tarxien to make it to Europe this season, with Birkirkara FC, Valleta and Qormi FC six points clear of the chasing pack in the race for the medal positions. Dingli Swallows FC and Msida St Joseph FC, meanwhile, will look to pull out of their nosedives in the relegation pool.
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