Hibernians F.C.


Hibernians F.C.

Football club infobox
clubname = Hibernians


fullname = Paola Hibernians Football Club
nickname = Tal-Pagun
Hibs
Raħal il-Ġdid
Peacocks
founded = 1922
ground = Hibernians Ground,
Paola,
Malta
capacity = 8,000
chairman = flagicon|MLT Tony Bezzina
manager = flagicon|ENG Mark Miller
league = Maltese Premier League
season = 2007/08
position = Maltese Premier League, 7th
pattern_b1=_blackcross | body1=FFFFFF |pattern_la1= | leftarm1=FFFFFF |pattern_ra1= | rightarm1=FFFFFF |shorts1=000000|socks1=000000
pattern_la2=_blackshoulders|pattern_b2=|pattern_ra2=_blackshoulders
leftarm2=FFDD00|body2=FFDD00|rightarm2=FFDD00|shorts2=000000|socks2=000000

Hibernians F.C. is a Maltese football club, playing in the town of Paola, Malta.

Hibernians F.C. is one of the top football teams in Malta. The club was founded back in 1922, but football in Paola, Rahal Gdid in Maltese, dates back to 1894. The team has a long successful story in its 85 year-old history. Hibernians have never played in a lower division, making it the only club that has always played in the Maltese top division. Hibernians also were the first team to represent Malta in a UEFA competition, in 1961. Among other important results one can find two of the best ever results Hibs have obtained in the UEFA competitions. These results are both 0-0 draws in Malta, against mighty European football giants Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Clubs' Crests

The clubs crest shows the traditional black and white stripes, the colours of Hibernians. It also shows the peacock, the mascot of the club, from which generated the nickname of the club.The club's crest in 1969 showed the black and white stripes, and the flag of Paola, from which the club originated and the Maltese Cross, with the club's name on the border of the badge.In 1994 the directors changed the badge to a one more ordinary, showing just the peacock, the traditional stripes and the name of the club on the border.This crest was completely black and white, although sometimes, the peacock was drwn in blue.Again the club changed the crest in 2000 to modernise the crest and to give the club a new look for it's 80th anniversary. This last emblem again shows the stripes together with the peacock and again the flag of Paola, with the clubs name Hibernians F.C. Paola Malta on the border.It even shows the year 1922, the year in which the club was founded.

Colours

Football kit box
align = right
pattern_la =
pattern_b = _thinwhitesides
pattern_ra =
leftarm = 5B0CB3
body = 5B0CB3
rightarm = 5B0CB3
shorts = 5B0CB3
socks = 5B0CB3
title = Hibernians F.C. 3rd kit (2007/2008)
Since the early years of the team Hibernians have always played with their traditional black and white shirts. The second kit colours are yellow and black, while the third kit for this year is all purple.

hirt sponsors and manufacturers

The shirt sponsor is the main company of the club's president Tony Bezzina. The Italian designers errea are the recent kit manufacturers.

Hibernians Football Ground

The Hibernians Ground was inaugurated on 9 November 1986.Hibs became the first Maltese club to own his own football pitch. Thus having their own football pitch Hibernains play their league matches in the National Stadium in Ta’Qali, since all the Premier League matches are played there. Now-a-days this football ground is used by Hibernians for their everyday training sessions, the M.F.A. uses this pitch to play its first division matches on it. Several foreign football teams have also made use of this facility by coming to Malta for their winter training camps.Recently this ground hosted even the Maltese national rugby team.Hibs played their first European match on this pitch on 23 July 1996 when they played against Uralmash Yekaterinburg in the Intertoto Cup.

Paola Boys Hibs Ultras

The Paola Boys Hibs Ultras was founded in 2007 on Friday 18th March, participating for the first time against Valletta F.C. in the semi-final of the Maltese Cup, a match thet was won 2-1 by Hibernians. The 'ultras' prepare for every match with gigantic flags, banners around the Hibs' supporters areas flags and chorus for the Hibernians club. The ultras even won the honour of best support in 2006-2007, their first year.

History

Origins

The origins of Hibernians are traced back to the so-called amateur era of Maltese football. In 1922 a club was formed in Paola representing Gerald Strickland's Constitutional Party. The club participated in the newly established minor Amateur League in the same year. This, however, was their last for a few years until season 1927/28 when the team of Constitutionals FC was reformed to become one of the top in amateur football.

The birth of Hibernians FC

After winning the Amateur League in 1930/31, the club's directors were motivated by the idea of turning professional. Before applying to join the MFA League, it was decided to make some necessary reforms in the interest of the club's future success. The first step, as recommended by the MFA, was to give the club a new name, and Hibernians FC was the one chosen. The aim was to release the club from any political connections that the name Constitutionals implied.So as from 1931 on-wards the Paolities were then always known as Hibernians F.C.

Hibs join Malta Football Association

Hibernians finally, after other attempts joined the M.F.A. in 1932. In the same year Hibernians made there league debut.

1960s

The first championship

In the season 1960-61, finally after 30 years waiting for success, it has come time for Hibernians to taste some victory of their first Maltese League. And this was just the beginning of a new era in Maltese football.In 1961 Hibernians were the first team to take part in the U.E.F.A. competition. For the first European encounter Hibernians were drawn against the Swiss champions Servette FC, in the European Cup, losing both matches 5-0 in Switzerland and 1-0 in Malta.

First F.A. Trophy triumph

In the same year Hibernians wrote down another important event, that of winning the F.A. trophy for the first time, beating Valletta 1-0.In 1962 Hibernians again made another debut in another U.E.F.A competition, this time in the Cup Winners' Cup. Hibernians were drawn against Olympiacos of Greece, but the latter withdrew, making the way for Hibernians to pass the round. Hibs then had to play against the holders of the cup, which were the Spanish Atletico Madrid. Again the foreigners were better and they won the two encounters 4-0 in Spain and a respectable 1-0 result in Malta. Early in 1963, Hibernians played a friendly match against Chelsea F.C. who came to Malta for a training camp. The English side won the match 1-0.

Other Championships, F.A. Trophies and European participations

In the season 66-67 Hibernians returned to success by winning their second championship.In 1967 then Hibernians wrote down another part of their history, when they came to play against Manchester United. As everyone expected the English champions passed the round, after winning 4-0 at the Old Trafford, but surprisingly, Hibs drew the second round match in Malta, against the up-coming champions, 0-0 making this result one of the unforgettable moments for the Hibs and Maltese supporters. In the same year in a friendly match at the Gzira Stadium Hibs won the match against Portsmouth 1-0.Early in the season 68-69 Hibernians once again were the first team in Malta to participate in another U.E.F.A. competition, this time in the Fair Cities Cup (today known as the U.E.F.A. Cup). Again Hibernians were the first ever Maltese team to play in this cup. They had to play against Aris Salonica, of Greece. High expectations were in Malta following the previous year's result against the English stars, and after that Hibs lost only 1-0 away from home the enthusiasm grew more and more. Everyone waited for a Hibs win, but after the end of the match things were far away from everyone's dream. In fact in Malta, Hibs lost heavily 6 goal to 0.At the end of the season Hibs won again the Maltese Championship for the third time.In the same season Italian giants A.C. Milan came to the Maltese islands to play a friendly against the Maltese Champions. The Italians finished the match with a 2-0 score-line for them.In the year 1969 another English football giant came to Malta to play a friendly match against Hibernians. This time Arsenal F.C. had to share the spoils against Hibernians 0-0.In season 69-70 Hibernians qualified to play in the Cup of Champions, this time it was time to a Czech team (nowadays Slovak) to play against Hibs. FC Spartak Trnava were the champions and one of the best clubs in Czechoslovakia in those days. In the first leg in Malta, Hibs drew the match 2-2 against the visitors, but in their away match they were beaten 4-0.that same season FC Spartak Trnava reached the semi-finals of the same cup.In the end of the season Hibs won again another Trophy, again by beating Valletta this time 2-1.

1970s

The following season, Hibs had the right to play in a European competition after winning the second best title Maltese football offers. this time the Maltese opponents for the Cup Winners’ Cup tie were the Spanish team Real Madrid. The first leg had to be played at The Stadium in Gzira. Again, against all expectations, Hibernians somehow did well and finished the match in a 0-0 draw! In the return match in Spain the Maltese team suffered a 5-0 defeat, but still it was a great performance by the Maltese. That same season the Madrilenos went on till they lost the final of the cup.In the same, season Hibernians won the second trophy in a row and for the third time in history. In the final match they defeated Sliema Wanderers 2-0.

Season 1971-72 again saw Hibernians participating in the Cup Winners’ Cup. This time they drew Fram Reykjavik from Iceland. Hibs passed the round on an aggregate score of 3-2. After winning the first encounter 3-0 and then lost the second leg 0-2. For the second round Hibs had to face another famous team, Steaua Bucharest of Romania. In the first match at home Hibs held the Romanians for another successive result for the club. In the away match again both team shared the spoils 0-0, unfortunately Hibs lost the match in extra time with an own goal.

Hibs returned back into the European football scene in 1974-75. They had to play in the U.E.F.A. Cup against FC Amsterdam (today disbanded) from the Netherlands. The Dutch won both matches 5-0 and 7-0 respectively. Amsterdam F.C. reached the quarter finals of the same competition the same year.In the 1976-77 season, Hibernians took part again in the U.E.F.A. Cup competition. This time Grasshopper-Club of Switzerland were the challengers. Hibs played the first match away from home losing it 7-0, in the return match the Swiss won the match 2-0.

Season 1978-79 brought changes in Hibernian's presidency. Current president Tony Bezzina took charge of this glorious club and with him the fourth title came as well in the same year. But at the beginning of the season Hibs had to play their U.E.F.A. Cup matches. Sporting Braga of Portugal had to play against Hibs this year, the Portuguese won the first tie 5-0 in front of their spectators, the second tie in Malta finished with a rare 3-2 win for Hibernians.Later on in the season Hibs succeeded in winning their fourth league championship.

In the following season, that of 1979-80, Hibs returned back to play in the Champions Cup. They were coupled with the Irish team, Dundalk FC the first match in Ireland Hibs lost 0-2, and in the return match in Malta they won 1-0, but it was not enough to pass the round. But in this year Hibernians gained another success, as they won the Maltese Cup for the fourth time. In the final they had to beat Sliema Wanderers 2 goals to 1.

1980s

Season 1980-81 Hibs again faced an Irish squad to play in the Cup Winners’ Cup.
Waterford United were the next team to play against, the first match ended with a 1-0 win for Hibernians but in the second leg in Ireland the foreigners defeated Hibs 4-0.Hibs went along in the season by winning their fifth title as champions.

In 1981-82 Hibs wrote down another mile-stone in the clubs history. They won the league title and the Trophy for the first time in the clubs history making it a memorable double. But first they played against the Yugoslav team Partizan Belgrade in the Champions Cup. Hibs lost 1-2 the first encounter in Malta, but the second match in Yugoslavia was far from tight, with the Belgrades winning the match 8 goals to 1.Hibs than went on to win the title for the 6th time and a few weeks later they won over Sliema Wanderers 2-0 to win the 5th trophy, and the first and only, since today, double of their history. It was the best of ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary from the clubs’ foundation.For more than 11 years Hibs have never triumphed again in any Maltese League or Trophy, though being one of the main contenders they never went through enough.Season 82-83 kicked off with the Champions Cup match against Polish champions Widzew Łódź. The first tie had to be played at the new Ta’ Qali Stadium. The visitors won the match 2-1. In the return match in Poland the home team won 3-1.In 1986-87 Hibernians again played in the U.E.F.A. Cup, this time they played against Trakia Plovdiv. This year Hibernians marked their 25th anniversary in participating in European football. Hibs were soundly beaten on aggregate of 10-0, after losing 0-2 at Ta’ Qali and 8-0 in Bulgaria.In this year Hibs had another story to write down. They opened their own stadium, The Hibernians Ground at Corradino.

1990s

In 1990, the Italian side Palermo was invited by Hibernians to play a friendly match. The match was held at the Hibs 'home' ground. The Italians won the match 2 goals to 1. After another 3 years out of U.E.F.A. competitions Hibernians participated again in the U.E.F.A Cup in 90-91. FK Partizan Belgrade this time came out to play against Hibs. In the first leg in Malta, Hibs lost 0-3 and in the second match the team from Yugoslavia (today Serbia) won again this time 2-0.After more than ten years waiting for the Paolites lads to lift a trophy, season 93-94, was a great comeback for the Hibs side. They won their seventh Premier League title, under the guide of former England midfielder Brian Talbot. Talbot played for renowned clubs as Ipswich, Arsenal, Watford and Fulham in his career winning even two F.A. Cups in arrow first with Ipswich and then with Arsenal between 78 and 79.Hibs were in seventh heaven after winning the league in style losing just one match against Hamrun Spartans and after beating two direct rivals, Floriana and Valletta in the last three matches of the league campaign, to bring home the Maltese Premier League after long 11 years. In the same year Hibs even won for the first time the Maltese Super Cup, after beating Floriana on penalties after that the match ended in a 2-2 draw after extra time. Part of the celebrations was a friendly match against the Italian side, AC Reggiana. The match was played at the Ta' Qali National Stadium, seeing the visitors winning by a single goal. In the coming season (94-95) Hibernians had to play in the U.E.F.A. Cup after that the UEFA decided to change rules on small nations’ champions. Hibs were tied with Dinamo Minsk of Belarus. In the first match Hibs lost in Belarus 1-3. In the second match against all expectations Hibernians won 3-1 in Malta to bring parity, 4-4 on aggregate. Unfortunately in the added 30 minutes, the Belarusian side scored two times, with Hibs scoring only one goal. The match ended 4-3 for the Paolites but the visitors passed 6-5 on aggregate. After the first match, a Belarusian player (who scored one of the three goals) was found positive, but the UEFA fined the club and suspended the player leaving Hibs out of the competition. Hibs lost the right to play against Lazio of Italy in the second round. In the same year Hibs again won the Maltese Premier League making it two in a row. Again Hibs won the title with just one defeat against Sliema Wanderers. This was the eighth triumph for the club from Paola.In the next season (95-96) Hibs again participated in the U.E.F.A. Cup (as champions), this time they had to meet the side from Ukraine, Chernomorets Odessa. In the first leg Hibs lost 5-2 in Malta while in the second round in Ukraine they lost 2-0. In the same year Hibs finished fourth in the championship but won a place in the Intertoto Cup.This was the first time Hibs played in this cup. On their first show they were placed to play against four other European teams. Hibernians faced in the first match FC Uralmash Yekaterinburg of Russia, at the Hibernians Football Ground, losing the match 2-1. In the second match Hibernians played away, in Bulgaria, against CSKA Sofia. The match ended 4-1 for the home team. On the third outing Hibs played again at Corradino against RC Strasbourg of France, which were one of the three winners of the previous season, the visitors won the match 2-0. The last match of the round had to be played in Turkey against Kocaelispor. The Turkish side won the match 5-3. Unfortunately Hibs lost all four matches conceding 13 goals and replying 5 times.Season 97-98 saw Hibs coming back to play in Europe, this time in the Cup Winners’ Cup, after they came runners-up in the Maltese Cup the previous year. They played against IBV Vestmannaeyar of Iceland. The first leg in Malta finished 0-1 for the visitors and the second one was won by the Icelandic team 3-0. In the end of the season as usual the F.A. Trophy had to be played and Hibs won the trophy for the 6th time, after 18 years, after beating Valletta 2-1.In the beginning of 1998 Hibs welcomed the National Polish football team. As part of their training camp in Malta the Poles played against Hibernians at Corradino in the Hibs Football Ground. The visitors won the match 1-0. Again Hibs played in the Cup Winners’ Cup, in the 98-99 season. In the last edition of this cup, Hibs played against Amica Wronki of Poland. Hibs lost both encounters 4-0 away and 1-0 at home.

2000s

In season 00-01 Hibs again qualified for the Intertoto Cup. At the end of the season they played against Zagłębie Lubin of Poland. In the first match the Polish side won 4-0 and in the return match in Malta, Hibs won 1-0.

In 2002 Hibs celebrated its 80th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of their president Tony Bezzina by winning another championship title after a hard battle against Birkirkara F.C. - the ninth title for the club and the most recent to date.

2002-2003 kicked off for Hibs with the UEFA Champions League 1st Qualifying Round match against Shelbourne F.C. of Ireland. Many supporters were keen to see Hibs playing again in this prestigious cup after 19 years (since they participated 2 times as champions in the UEFA Cup). The first game was played in Malta and finished in a 2-2 draw, but in the second match in Dublin Hibs surprised the home team 1-0, passing the round with a 3-2 aggregate. In the 2nd qualifying round Hibs played against Boavista F.C. of Portugal, losing the first match away 0-4, but drawing in Malta 3-3 at the national stadium at Ta’ Qali Stadium.

In 2003, following a fourth place finish, the club represented Malta in the Intertoto Cup. They faced AC Allianssi of Finland. In the first match Hibs lost 1-0 away and in the return match they only drew 1-1 and were eliminated.

In 2004, Hibs participated again in the Intertoto Cup against NK Slaven Belupo. Hibernians won the first match 2-1 in Malta but lost the return match in Croatia 0-3.

Hibs opened their 2005-06 season with a UEFA Cup encounter against AC Omonia Nicosia. Both matches ended in a 3-0 victory for the team from Cyprus. But by the end of the season, Hibs succeeded again in winning the second major title in Malta, that of the Maltese FA Trophy, after they defeated Floriana 1-0. This was the seventh success in this cup for Hibernians.

The 06-07 season Hibs kicked off their campaign with another UEFA Cup tie. Their opponents were FC Dinamo Bucharest of Romania. The Romanians crushed the Paolites 4-0 in Malta and 5-1 in Romania. Like the year before, Hibs finished the season by winning the FA Trophy, this time on penalties 3-0, against Sliema Wanderers after the 120 minutes had finished in a 1-1 draw. This was the eighth time Hibs won this cup.

In 07-08 Hibs played their first matches in the UEFA Cup against FK Vojvodina Novi Sad of Serbia. The first encounter finished 5-1 in Serbia and the second match ended 2-0 for the visitors, bouncing Hibs from the competition. After these matches, Hibernians played against Marsaxlokk F.C. for the Maltese Super Cup final. Hibs won the match with a 3-1 score-line over the reigning champions, bringing the Super Cup to the club for the second time. For the first time in the club's history it did not qualify for the Championship Pool competition but finished their league in the 1st position of the Maltese Premier League, Relegation Pool, (the 7th position in the whole table) after 24 matches. They secured a place in the top Maltese division for the next season. The holders were eliminated early in the quarter-final phase of the Maltese Cup, losing against the new league champions, Valletta 2-1.

Hibs managed to qualify for the 2008 Intertoto Cup, in which they faced ND Gorica of Slovenia. The first encounter finished 0-3 for the Slovenians in Corradino and the return match ended in a goalless draw.

Current Season

In this current season Hibernians are top of the Maltese Premier League with 13 points after 6 matches, after beating Msida St.Joseph, 5-1 and newly promoted Qormi 3-1, they drew 1-1 against Valletta, but won again the encounter against Hamrun Spartans, 4-1. Then they lost against Sliema Wanderers, 2-3, however came back to winning ways Marsaxlokk beating them 3-2 The next match is against Floriana.

Hibernians F.C. in Europe

:"For full list of opponents and results,see Hibernians F.C. in Europe"Hibernians played their first match in a European competition in 1961, being the first Maltese club to play in the Champions Cup, and in any UEFA competition.Since then Hibs participated in any Uefa competition summing up to 27 participations.They played 60 matches in all:16 Champions Cup/League matches, 20 Uefa Cup matches, 14 Cup Winners' Cup matches and 10 Intertoto Cup matches.However, Hibernians succeeded to reach the secound round in just 3 occasions. Hibernians encountered several football club giants including, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Steaua Bucharest, Sporting Braga, RC Strasbourg and Boavista.

Achievements

*Maltese Premier League: Winners ( 9 ):::1960/61, 1966/67, 1968/69, 1978/79, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1993/94, 1994/95, 2001/02Runners-Up ( 9 ):::1932/1933, 1933/34, 1936/37, 1950/51, 1959/60, 1962/63, 1973/74, 1977/78, 1985/86

*"'Maltese Cup: Winners ( 8 ):::1961/62, 1969/70, 1970/71, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1997/98, 2005/06, 2006/07Runners-Up ( 10 ):::1947/48, 1950/51, 1951/52, 1960/61, 1962/63, 1965/66, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1974/75, 1996/97
*Maltese Super Cup: 2Winners ( 2 ):::1993/94, 2007/2008Runners-Up ( 4 ):::1985/86, 1994/95, 1997/98, 2001/02

*Euro Challenge Cup: 1:: 2006/07

*Quad. Tournament: 1:: 2005/06

*Independence Cup: 3:: 1967/68, 1968/69, 1970/71
*Cassar Cup: 2:: 1961/62, 1962/63
*Sons Of Malta Cup: 3:: 1969/70, 1970/71, 1971/72

*Testaferrata Cup: 3:: 1977/78, 1978/79, 1980/81
*Olympic Cup: 1:: 1962/63
*Schembri Shield: 1:: 1961/62

Footballer of the Year Award

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External links

* [http://www.hibs-ultras.org/ Paola Boys Hibs Ultras]
* [http://www.hibernians.com.mt/ Official website]
* [http://hibernians.maltafans.com/ Hibernians F.C. Fanzine Maltese Football]

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