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Galea's European goal

Published: Tuesday 8 July 2003, 13.55CET
Michael Galea is ready for a crack at the UEFA Cup with Maltese Trophy winners Birkirkara FC.
Published: Tuesday 8 July 2003, 13.55CET

Galea's European goal

Michael Galea is ready for a crack at the UEFA Cup with Maltese Trophy winners Birkirkara FC.

By Domenic Aquilina

Michael Galea was the name on everyone's lips at the end of the Maltese season. First the striker scored the injury-time goal which handed Birkirkara FC a 1-0 win against Sliema Wanderers FC in the Maltese Trophy. Then, three days later, he followed up with Birkirkara's second goal in a 2-0 Super Cup victory against champions Sliema.

Top scorer
In addition, the 24-year-old Maltese international struck 18 times in the league (25 in all competitions) to claim the Premier League top scorer's prize alongside Sliema's Danilo Doncic and Adrian Mifsud of Hibernians FC. Here Galea looks back on a memorable campaign in the company of Two cups in four days - have you ever had a better week in football?

Michael Galea: Well, it was certainly a hectic end to the season. After missing out on the league, we wanted to take revenge by winning the Maltese Trophy and the Super Cup. We never stopped believing in ourselves and we thoroughly deserved the two victories against Sliema. It was a great team effort. What was the highlight of the campaign for you?

Galea: Winning the Golden Boot was a great honour. A lot of effort goes into a season, and I should thank my team-mates and the coaching staff for their contributions to my success. But scoring the winning goal in the Trophy final was the best moment of my career. I don't think I will ever score a more important goal - in injury time to win a cup final like that. It is a moment I will always treasure. Birkirkara finished second behind Sliema in the title race. Despite the five-point gap between the teams, at one stage it looked as if you would become champions. What went wrong?

Galea: Having come from behind to catch Sliema, we then threw it away when we drew with Pietà Hotspurs FC and then lost against Marsaxlokk FC. In addition, we didn't manage to beat Sliema in the league. Looking ahead to next season, how much confidence will Birkirkara take from having beaten the champions in two major finals?

Galea: In those games we were better than Sliema physically and tactically. Those wins showed the potential of our team. We managed to break them down with patience and great tactical discipline. Despite being Malta's leading goalscorer, you are not a regular in the national side. Does this worry you?

Galea: The national coach, Siegfried Held, has the right to his opinion and that should be respected. Birkirkara will play Hungary's Ferencvárosi TC in the UEFA Cup qualifying round next month. How are you looking forward to the experience of European football?

Galea: Playing in the UEFA Cup will be a good thing for the club. As well as the financial benefits, it will also be a good experience which the players can learn from. We will do our best to get a result. Would you ever consider moving abroad to further your career?

Galea: It has always been a dream of mine to play abroad, and I would not hesitate if the opportunity arose. I am sure Birkirkara would not stand in my way if I decided to try my luck overseas.

Last updated: 10/07/03 10.34CET

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