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Malta women’s Maria Farrugia parts ways with Sunderland AFC Ladies

Malta women’s international Maria Farrugia will no longer stay at Sunderland AFC Ladies, the club announced on their official website.

Sunderland unveiled the list of retained players following the conclusion of their 2021/2022 FA Women’s Championship season on Wednesday.

“Maria Farrugia, Eve Blakey and Daisy Burt will all depart the club this summer,” the statement opened.

“Farrugia leaves having been an integral part of the squad for a number of years, having rejected the offer of a new contract.

Everyone at Sunderland AFC would like to thank Maria, Eve and Daisy for their service to the club and wish them all the best in their future careers.”

Farrugia, who has recently signed a two-year deal with EFG Management agency, had established herself as a key player at Sunderland.

Gozitan-born Farrugia leaves after four seasons. Regarded as one of Malta’s most talented youngsters, she moved to Wearside in 2016 after graduating from the Malta National Sports School and began training with the Foundation’s Ladies Scholars.

Farrugia made her senior debut in the 2018/2019 season when Sunderland were in the FA Women’s National League (third-tier). Farrugia finished that season with a tally of three goals in eight games.

The next couple of seasons were unfortunate for Sunderland as they were pushing for promotion but the championship was halted on both occasions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 season, Farrugia scored six goals in 21 games including a spectacular one at the Stadium of Light, home to the men’s team.

Farrugia made her debut in England’s second-tier during the past season after Sunderland were granted promotion in the FA Women’s Championship.

The former Gozo women player was a regular fixture at the club, playing 23 games in all competitions and scoring one goal in the process during a routine 4-1 win over Sheffield United.

Farrugia was also Sunderland’s hero when she scored the winning penalty that enabled her team to beat giants Liverpool in the women’s League Cup, back in December.

Maria Farrugia’s winning penalty against Liverpool.

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