Hamrun Spartans F.C.
|Full name||Hamrun Spartans Football|
|Nickname(s)||tas-sikkina, ta' werwer|
|Ground||Victor Tedesco Stadium|
|League||Maltese Premier League|
Hamrun Spartans Football Club is the football team of Ħamrun on Malta. Since being founded in 1907, the Hamrun Spartans have won a total of seven league championships. They have also been runners-up eleven times.
One of the stalwarts in the club history, Stefan Sultana, has scored a total of 252 goals in his career (225 of them while playing for the club), which makes him Malta's top-scorer (per May 12, 2007).
Hamrun Spartans were founded in 1907. By season 1913–14, Hamrun Spartans were already an established team on the local scene winning the title during that season thanks to a better goal-average than St. George's. Their second League success came four years later when they finished again in joint top-spot with St. George's. This time the Spartans were crowned Champions of Malta by beating them in a play-off. Hamrun's top player at that time was Gejtu Psaila, known as il-Hacca. In the 1920s and 1930s, the club went through a difficult period as most Hamrun players left to join other clubs.
A new team, Hamrun Liberty was formed and in just a couple of years, Hamrun Liberty were among the elite of Maltese soccer. On their return to the First Division in 1946–47, the club changed its name to Hamrun Spartans. They were soon a hit as they won the Johnnie Walker Championship Trophy, winning also the Cassar Cup. They won the Cassar Cup again in 1948–49 season. For four times between 1947 and 1952 they were four times runners-up.
The team started dwindling down in the 60's until they were relegated in the season 1969–70. After returning to the First Division, they were relegated once again in 1973–74. However, after two years in the Second Division, they were back in the First Division.
On the 75th anniversary, in season 1982–83, the club was back at the top winning the title after an absence of 36 years. Hamrun also managed to win the FA Trophy during that season. That was the beginning of an era under the guide of president Victor Tedesco. The team was strengthened with top players like Gigi Salerno, Raymond and George Xuereb, Edwin Farrugia, Raymond Vella, Joe Brincat and Carlo Seychell. Alfred Cardona was their coach. After a lot of disputes with the Immigration Division, Victor Tedesco managed to sign two foreigners, Englishmen Peter Hatch and John Linacre – the first foreigners to play on the island after a long period of time.
The Spartans set a new record being the first local team to win both the home and away legs in a UEFA competition after beating Ballymena of Northern Ireland. In a decade, Hamrun managed to win three league titles, three FA Trophies, the Super Cup and Euro Cup twice each.
After such successful campaigns, the Spartans faced financial difficulties. The team had to transfer its best players until finally they were relegated to the First Division in 1998–99. After one year, they were promoted back to the Premier League after winning the Division 1 title.
The last four seasons were years of ups-and-downs. They were relegated to Division 1 at the end of season 2003–04, winning promotion as First Division champions in 2004–05, being relegated in 2005–06 and winning the First Division championship once again in 2006–07.
The team won the Maltese First Division in 2006–07. Following the promotion to the Maltese Premier League the Spartans finished in 6th place in 2007–08 and met all their objectives and even ended up in the final of the FA Trophy against Birkirkara FC losing with honours in the last minute by a 1-goal difference. This season was also a great success to its supporters after winning the Malta Best Support Award.
Seemingly having been strengthened in several departments, Hamrun Spartans aimed to challenge for a place in Europe the following season. Yet, the team failed to reach the championship pool. In the relegation pool Hamrun started with an excellent 3–0 win over Msida St. Joseph, then suffered a shock 1–5 defeat against Tarxien Rainbows. Four points over the next three games were not enough to reach safety, and in the final game a depleted Hamrun side was easily defeated by Qormi FC. With Tarxien and Msida also reaching 16 points following the draw between them, Hamrun Spartans were relegated on the worst head-to-head record. Fortunately for Hamrun Spartans, the corruption cases resulting involving Vittoriosa Stars and Marsaxlokk meant both "relegated" teams remained in the Premier Division for the 2009–10 season.
The 2009–10 season Hamrun Spartans made success because they finished in the eight position of the Maltese Premier League with the last game was in the Relegation Pool against Msida with the final result was a draw of 2–2.
Hamrun Spartans faced more difficulties and albeit staying in the top division for some years, they were relegated to the Maltese First Division in the 2012–13 season. Worse was to follow when the team was relegated to the Maltese Second Division – the worst ever placing in its history. Hamrun Spartans managed to gain promotion from the Second Division by placing in the second position in the season 2014–15. Hamrun, now will play in the Maltese First Division (Season 2015–16).
The 2015–16 season ended successfully for Hamrun Spartans FC. The team finished in second place in the First Division and was promoted to the Premier Division after an absence of four years. In this period the administration of the club improved greatly and many difficulties, mainly financial, were surmounted. New enthusiasm and optimism embraced the club. The supporters were looking forward for a fresh start.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
UEFA UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
|1984–85||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1. Round||Ballymena United||2–1||1–0||3–1|
|2. Round||Dynamo Moscow||0–1||0–5||0–6|
|1989–90||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1. Round||Real Valladolid||0–1||0–5||0–6|
|1992–93||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||Qualifying Round||Maribor||2–1||0–4||2–5|
|1985–86||UEFA Cup||1. Round||Dinamo Tirana||4–0||0–1||4–1|
|2. Round||Sporting CP||1–0||0–2||1–2|
UEFA Champions League
|1983–84||European Cup||1. Round||Dundee United||0–3||0-3||0–6|
|1987–88||European Cup||1. Round||Rapid Wien||0–1||1–3||1–4|
|1988–89||European Cup||1. Round||KF Tirana||2–1||0–2||2–3|
|1991–92||European Cup||1. Round||Benfica||0–1||0–1||0–2|
- Maltese Premier League
- Winners (7): 1913–14, 1917–18, 1946–47, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1990–91
- Runner-up (11)
- Maltese FA Trophy
- Winners (6): 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1991–92
- Runner-up (4)
- Maltese Super Cup
- Winners (5): 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1991–92
- Runner-up (0)
- Euro Challenge Cup
- Winners (4): 1985, 1988, 1991, 1992
- Cassar Cup
- Winners (2): 1947-47, 1948–49
Super 5 Tournament (Quadrangular Tournament)
- Winners (1): 1991–1992
Club officials and coaching staff
- President: Nunzio Antignani MFA Council Member
- Vice President: Gaetano Debatista
- Secretary: Stephen Saliba
- Treasurer: Sean Anthony Scicluna *Club Delegate:
- Administrator: Joseph Bugeja
- Team Liaison Officer:
- Club Director:
- Website & Facebook Admin: Fabio Piluso
- Nursery Representative: George D'Amato
- Nursery Marketing Manager: Jason Penza
- Spiritual Director: Rev. Anton Portelli
- Administrative Consultant:
- Head Coach: Jackques Scerri
- Assistant Coach: Ryan Pulis
- Goalkeepers Coach:Ivan Casha
- Team Manager: Etienne Vella
- Kit Manager: Clint Bonavia
- Fitness Trainer: Gregory DeGabriele
- Assistant Team Manager: Aymen Grech Pace
- Assistant Kit Manager's: Gaetano Camilleri and Redeimen Aquilina
- Michael Degiorgio (2005–06)
- Atanas Marinov (2006–07)
- Marco Gerada (2007–08)
- Steve D'Amato (Oct 2008–11)
- Jesmond Zammit (2011–12)
- Stefan Sultana (Feb 2012–13)
- Giuseppe Forasassi (2013–14)
- Steve D'Amato (2014–16)
- Jackques Scerri (2016–)
- Armstrong, Gary; Mitchell, Jon P. (2008). Global and Local Football: Politics and Europeanization on the Fringes of the EU. Routledge. pp. 58–105. ISBN 9781134269198.