The opening part of the 2021/2022 MFA Women’s League has already offered some indications on how competitive this season will be with some balanced match ups and tight results.
After five Matchdays, nine-time league winners Birkirkara are leading with 13 points after playing five games. They won their opening three games before drawing with Mġarr United in the first top of the table clash of the season on Matchday 4.
Last week, the Stripes returned to winning ways after easing past Mtarfa 13-0 while Mġarr were serving a bye. The Greens, who have a game in hand compared with Birkirkara, are joint-second with Swieqi United on 10 points as the Oranges were held to a surprising goalless draw by Raiders Lija in the previous Matchday.
Mġarr and Swieqi, who have played four games so far, will cross swords with each other this week in an important clash which will determine who will join Birkirkara at the top. That if there will be a winner because otherwise it will allow Birkirkara to open a two-point lead this early in the season.
Brenda Borg, captain of Mġarr, is upbeat on her team’s chances of having a competitive season and has pointed out that the Greens are striving to improve game after game.
“I believe that every team in our league has room for improvement,” Borg told the Times of Malta.
“In our case, we always analyse our games to evaluate our strengths and determine where we can improve as our objective is to grow from game to game throughout the campaign.”
Borg has enjoyed a bright start to the season as she is currently leading the league’s top scorer list with six goals, with five of her goals arriving in a single game against Mtarfa.
She is one of the five players who have already registered a hat-trick this season which includes also fellow Mġarr team-mate Francesca Chircop.
Mġarr are playing under the guidance of new coach Michael Mangion, who was appointed at the helm of the Greens prior to this season.
Mangion, who is a UEFA B License coach, has vast experience in Maltese football having been a key figure at Lija Athletic.
In fact, he won no less than six promotions with the club including two as assistant coach of the men’s senior team and three as U-19’s coach.
Mangion has so far steered the Greens to three wins and a draw against Birkirkara, scoring 13 goals and conceding none in the process.
“The introduction of coach Michael Mangion was a very positive move for us,” Borg pointed out.
“While resuming where our previous coach Patrick Curmi had left off, he brought innovative ideas of his own and I think this injected further motivation into our environment.
His dedication and professionalism in how he implements his methodology are some of his best features.”
Borg is also part of the Malta women’s national team that has been reaching new heights in recent years.
The Mġarr captain earned Malta’s penalty which Dorianne Theuma converted to propel Mark Gatt’s team to a historic World Cup win against Azerbaijan, last month.
“The victory against Azerbaijan was a historic milestone for us and it fill us with a lot of joy,” Borg underlined.
“Undoubtedly, such feat will keep us motivated and hungry to improve and continue achieve such positive results.”
In the previous international window, Borg was joined by three other Mġarr players in goalkeeper Patricia Ebejer – who was between in the sticks against Russia and Azerbaijan, defender Maia Debono – who is still uncapped, and forward Francesca Chircop.
Malta will return in action this month with their final World Cup qualifiers of the year as they host Montenegro before facing Bosnia-Herzegovina on away soil.
THIS WEEK’S FIXTURES
TUESDAY – 20.30
Swieqi United vs Mġarr United, Centenary Stadium.
Kirkop United vs Mtarfa, Mġarr Ground.
WEDNESDAY – 20.30
San Ġwann vs Raiders Lija, Centenary Stadium.
MD6 bye – Birkirkara.