Club History

Feature by Keith Muscat

Football

The British Servicemen stationed in Malta introduced the popular game of football to the Maltese island, with the first local teams being founded in the Grand Harbour area in the early years of the 20th Century.  Love for the game spread like wildfire and soon enthusiasts started to take up this sports and organise matches, in an amature way, in some field or open space.  St Paul’s Bay was no exception to the rest of the island and soon caught the bug for football as they watched soldiers, stationed at the Ghajn Tuffieha Camp, practicing their favorite passtime.       

The first team to represent St Paul’s Bay in competitive matches was formed during the ealy 1930’s.  During the period, the locality was still a pittoresque village with a population not exceeding a few hundred persons, earning their trade either by fising or else by working the land.  A report issued by the Fisheries Department in 1937 stated that 40 fishing vessels where registered to people living in St Paul’s Bay.  This changed during the summer months when the village was much saught after as a summer retreat.  Enthusiasim took on a concrete form with the foundation of the Sirens Water Polo Club in 1930.  Our forefathers narrate of how the local youths played water polo in Summer and football during the winter months.  This is now a thing of the past due to the very differnt training regimes these two sports entail.  Though the Second World War was still a few years ahead, St Paul’s Bay had already tasted the horrors of such events due to the fact that a large Hospital Camp was set up at Ghajn Tuffieha to treat the casualities of World War I.  Due to the Abbissinia crises a number of machine gun posts and trenches where constructed during 1937.  

St Paul’s Bay Football Club

Founded in 1934, the St Paul’s Bay Football Club, affiliated with the Malta Football Association and made their debut in the Fourth Division, in a match against Rabat Rangers (1-1) on the 10th October 1934.   During Season 1934/35 the club disputed five matches of witch they won one, lost three and a game ended in tie.  During the ill fated season St Paul’s Bay FC suffered 21 goals against the 3 they netted.  The team finished last in the table and the committee members called it a day. 

St Paul’s Bay United

This experience did not deterr the local youths to organise themselves again.  In 1938 the Saint Paul’s United where formed and where trashed in their first outing during a friendly match agains Balzan Youths (1-7).  The team was affiliated as an Associated Member with the Malta Football Association and participated in the Associate Members League during Season 1948/49.  In 1949 the team affiliated as full members in the Malta Football Association and participated in the Third Division League (Section B) during season 1949/50.  United had a similar experience to their predecessors.  From seven matches disputed, they won one and lost the rest.  The team ended the season in the last position with a goal in favour and sixteen against.    Dispirited by their performance, United took a break from official participation and reapplied to affiliated with the Malta Amateur Football Association in 1951.  The team fared better than its predecessors and won the league for Season 1957/58 and reached the final of the MAFA Cup in the same year.  St Paul’s United sported white jerseys with a red stripe. 

St Paul’s Bay Football Team

United called it a day for various reasons but the interest in football remained.  Joseph Muscat (Debu) and some fellow enthusiasts, who formed part of the Sirens Acquatic Sports Club, founded the St Paul’s Bay Football Team in 1967.   The team affiliated with the Malta Football Association and participated in the Minors League for that memorable season.  St Paul’s Bay won their section.  Their victorious debut match was against Siggiewi FC (4-0).  Season 1968/69 was another positive one for the team as they ended runners up in the Amature Soccer Cup Competition (ASCC).   

Founding of the Sirens Football Club 

In 1970 the Malta Football Association issued a call for interested teams to affiliate and participate in the Third Division League and the committee of the St Paul’s Bay Football Team decided to take up the challange.  Due to the fact that the team did not have a club house, the meeting between the MFA and the SPBFT committee was held at the premises of the Sirens Aquatic Sports Club at Xatt il-Lanca.  The application was accapted and the team changed its name to Sirens Football Team prior to their participation for Season 1970/71.   

Many people ask about the origins of the name of the club.  Why where these mythological creatures chosen to represent the team from St Paul’s Bay?  A plausible theory is that the team adopted the name due to the village being close to the sea and this is a partial truth.  The Committee decided to adopt the name of the waterpolo team (Sirens ASC) whose premises they where using as a club house.  Few people know of the connection between the Sirens Acquatic Sprots Club and Tunisia.  It comes as no surpirse that in a village literally on the coast local youths become enthusiast about water sports.  In the early years of the 1930ies, Tony Sant Cassia, Salvatore Cassar, Joe and Tony Catania and other youths founded a water polo team in the vicinity of Veccia (limits of St Paul’s Bay).   Back in 1932 a water polo team from Tunis (capital city of Tunisia), named Sirens Tritons, visited Malta and played matches against Neptunes and Sliema.  The team left such an impression on the youths from St Paul’s Bay that they adopted part of their name (Sirens) for their water polo club.

Sirens FT made their debut in the Third Division League on 10th October 1970 at the Schreiber Ground (Paola).  The first match was a positive one with Sirens emerging victorious over Kirkop United by two goals to nil.  The Football Team created interest and attracted many football enthusiasts.  The Committee started looking for a club house and this resulted in the acquisition of 61 St Paul’s Street, right in the village core just opposite the Parish Church.  The club house was inaugurated by Hon Agatha Barbara, Minister for Culture and Education, on the 29th January 1972.  During the same year the Committee adopted the motto Per Astra Ad Aspra (success can be earned through hard work).  Now that the team had a club house, 1972 the name was altered to Sirens Football Club.  For many years the Committee petitioned regarding the fact that the team had no proper training facilities.  Theri wish finally came to fruition when Hon Lorry Sant, Minister for Public Works, inagurated the football ground and premises on 22nd November 1981.  Till that date the dressing rooms where housed in the basement of the club house.  Now that the club had proper facilities another important milestone was reached by the foundation of the Sirens Football Club Nursery in 1983. 

On the 18 March 2010, the DCC Board (MEPA) approved Siren’s FC application, submitted on 18 May 2009, for the construction of reservoirs, stand and covering the existing pitch with artificial turf.  This long awaited project upgraded the former facilities, which have served their purpose and had become outdated.  The project was completed by May 2012 to host the first official games from the Youth's Knock Out.  As from Season 2012\13 Sirens Football Stadium was one of the Malta Football Association's Regional Grounds hosting matches from the Second and Third Divisions, Woman's League, Youth and FA Trophy.  The stadium has become the venue of prestigious national and international tournaments and is hired out for training sessions, friendly matches and other activities.  

During the years Sirens Football Club never failed to represent St Paul’s Bay in competitions organised by the Malta Football Association and the Youth Football Association. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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