15/16 Review: ONE CLUB, ONE LOVE

JNI

 

All things come to an end and Sunday can be the last match of the 2015/2016. Without any doubt, it will be the ultimate match of the season as all deciders are. When looking back, it was a season of ups and downs. The team started with strong pre-season performances, with good results in friendlies against quoted opponents. This was followed by an average start to the league. A comeback in the first game of the league against Ghajnsielem and minimal wins against Oratory Youth and SK Victoria Wanderers were followed by a loss against Kercem Ajax.  The Tigers recovered immediately with another minimal win against in-form team Victoria Hotspurs and a 4-1 win against St. Lawrence Spurs. In the cup ties, Xewkija were doing great. In the FA Trophy, the Tigers beat Luqa SA and Marsa, Oratory Youths in the KO and St. Lawrence Spurs in the GFA Cup.

December and the start of January weren’t pleasant as everyone fan wished. The team suffered many setbacks with injuries and the 4-0 loss against league leaders Ghajnsielem, elimination from the FA Trophy against Valletta and a 7-0 thrashing against Hibernians in an exhibition match put confidence at a low. Once again Xewkija managed to bounce back with wins against Oratory Youths and SK Victoria Wanderers but still, the team didn’t play the usual flawless football. The return of Dene Shields gave a boost to everyone connected to the club but it seemed late after the Kercem Ajax game. Our Tigers managed to recover from a 3-0 deficit to draw the match with an astonishing comeback but as Xewkija and Kercem were battling out between each other, Ghajnsielem were winning game after game and seemed unbeatable. The gap increased to 6 points between the leaders and Xewkija and everyone was waiting to see how things were going to be until the end of the 2nd round. Unfortunately, at this point the gap remained that of 6 points between Ghajnsielem and Xewkija with Kercem out of the title race. The question was more when will the league title be won rather than who.

Things were clear. Xewkija needed Ghajnsielem to lose a match at least until the last encounter between the two teams. Besides that, the more important task was to win all games of the 3rd round; a not so easy task. But game after game, the performances became convincing. Our boys were keeping pressure on Ghajnsielem and kept vowing that they shall not be beaten yet and were really worthy champions. On the other hand Ghajnsielem were also showing worthy champions form by keeping an unbeatable record in the league and arrived at a point that only 1 single point was enough to hand them the title in their last two games. Everything seemed lost and the only hope of a decider was very minimal and practically nearly impossible. But the unexpected happened on the 17th of April when Ghajnsielem lost against Kercem Ajax and our boys won against Oratory Youths to cut down the gap to 3 points with a direct clash wrapping up the 3rd round. What seemed a remote chance turned into a more fairytale-like story when Xewkija beat Ghajnsielem 3-0 to force a decider for the league title. Now, confidence was rocketing sky-high and a season were everything seemed from bad to worse turned for the better with the capture of the 10th GFA Cup in the club’s history against the same Ghajnsielem who until a few days ago seemed impeccable.

This was a special match preview for a special and important match. Here is a story of a team that never gave up. When everything seemed going bust and the team seemed to have lost motivation, things turned out for the better. From a so-called “disastrous” season, our boys in Yellow arrived in the KO’s Final and won the more prestigious GFA Cup. Our boys can add the league title on Sunday but no matter what, all the supporters have one phrase to say: THANK YOU. Thank you for keeping the fight until the end against all odds. Thank you for defending the club’s colours in all sort of circumstances. Thank you for wearing that shirt with pride before anything else. The team is composed of different characters but with a common denominator: the die-hard factor. We believe in you! Make us proud! Come on Yellows!!

The game will be played on Sunday 8th May 2016 at the Gozo Stadium. Kick-off time: 16:00.

 

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JNI

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