Birkirkara FC midfielder Shaun Bajada's role in helping his club clinch the Maltese Premier League title has been recognised with his award as the Malta Football Association (MFA)'s Footballer of the Year.
The 26-year-old is the first Birkirkara player ever to claim the prize, given since 1955, and is only the second person from Malta's sister island of Gozo to be so honoured at the annual MFA ceremony. Bajada topped the poll ahead of four other nominees; his Birkirkara team-mate Trevor Cilia, Gilbert Agius and Kevin Sammut of Valletta FC, and a man who has just joined that club from Tarxien Rainbows FC, Denni Rocha Dos Santos.
"This award means a lot to me," said Bajada. "I started to believe that I could really win this accolade at the end of the season. Personally there is no better feeling than winning the Premier League title, but I am very happy with this award, which I would like to dedicate to everyone at Birkirkara FC and to my family and my girlfriend in particular."
Maltese international Bajada has already made a fine start to 2010/11, helping Birkirkara past FC Santa Coloma in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round and then playing a part in their 1-0 win against MŠK Žilina in the second stage last week. With a visit to Slovakia for the second leg on Wednesday and the chance of earning a tie against PFC Litex Lovech or FK Rudar Pljevlja, Bajada told UEFA.com: "If we stick to the collective performance we put up in the first leg in Malta last Tuesday, we can create quite a stir in this massive competition."
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