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Season review: Malta

Published: Friday 29 May 2015, 13.00CET
Having led from start to finish, Hibernians FC clinched their first league title since 2009 with three games to spare, but were denied a second double by rivals Birkirkara FC in the cup final.
by Domenic Aquilina
from Malta
Season review: Malta
Hibernians celebrate one of their 97 league goals during their title-winning campaign ©Domenic Aquilina

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Published: Friday 29 May 2015, 13.00CET

Season review: Malta

Having led from start to finish, Hibernians FC clinched their first league title since 2009 with three games to spare, but were denied a second double by rivals Birkirkara FC in the cup final.

Champions: Hibernians FC
Having led from start to finish, Hibernians secured their first Premier League title in six years with three games to spare – amassing 97 goals in the process. Branko Nišević's charges finished nine points clear of nearest challengers Valletta FC, having tasted defeat once in 33 outings en route to their 11th Maltese championship. Forwards Jorginho and Edison Tarabai – who left mid-term for South Korean side Seoul E-Land FC – shared the top scorer prize after notching 25 goals apiece to underline the Paolites' superiority this campaign. "I'm very happy on a personal level – it's our first title since 2009," said star midfielder Clayton Failla. "We are now reaping the rewards of good planning behind the scenes."

Cup final: Birkirkara FC 2-0 Hibernians FC
Birkirkara beat the newly crowned champions in the 23 May decider at the National Stadium to lift the cup for the fifth time, denying their rivals a first domestic double since 1981/82. Strikes from Argentinian defender Mauricio Mazzetti and Brazilian attacker Rafael Ledesma ensured the third-place finishers ended the season on a happy note.

European places*:
Hibernians FC – UEFA Champions League first qualifying round
Valletta FC – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
Birkirkara FC – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round
Balzan FC – UEFA Europa League first qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year*: Clayton Failla (Hibernians FC)
The 39-cap Maltese international has had an eye-catching campaign, registering 16 times for Hibernians. The wing-back capped a memorable 2014/15 with a domestic trophy and a personal highlight – becoming a father for the first time. "I would like to dedicate this title to my family: my wife and my new-born son, and to everyone at Hibernians," the 29-year-old said.

*Player of the year yet to be awarded by Malta Football Association (MFA)

One to watch: Zach Muscat (Birkirkara FC)
The Birkirkara starlet has long been talked about. A former Maltese Under-21 international, Muscat – who turns 22 in August – has become a regular in the full national side under coach Pietro Ghedin. Consistent and committed, the defender continues to show promise.

Leading scorer: Edison Tarabai (Hibernians FC), Jorginho (Hibernians FC), 25 goals

Relegated: Pietà Hotspurs FC, Zebbug Rangers FC

Promoted: Pembroke Athleta FC, St. Andrews FC

Last updated: 29/05/15 13.13CET

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