1973-74 CHAMPIONS AFTER ELEVEN YEARS
Left: Alfred Debono, Joe Borg, Norman Darmanin Demajo, Tony Ciantar, Eddie Vella, Vince Gauci
Squatting: Charles Galea, Charles Agius, Denis Fenech, Carlo Seychell, Tony Giglio.
During 1974-81, Valletta FC produced another winning formation. The popular Carlo Seychell and Vince ‘Maxi’ Magro were amongst the well known players of the time. With this squad Valletta FC won the championship, the FA trophy and the Independence Cup three times.
This success was the start-up for more wins in season 1973-74 championship. Although they were held in a draw during the first match against Floriana and another two consecutive draws against Zebbug Rangers and Hamrun Spartans, Valletta FC succeeded in ending the first round without any defeats.
During the beginning of the second round a defeat against rivals Floriana seemed to doom Valletta FC’s win. Nonetheless, Valletta FC soon got their vibe back and won the game. When Valletta FC lost against Sliema Wanderers there was a possibility of a decider, but a dramatic win against Hibernians, with a goal in the dying minutes of the match gave the Lilywhites the title after an absence of eleven years.
Three Cups in one season
In season 1974-75, Valletta FC won three honours from five. They won the FA Trophy, the Independence Cup and the Sons of Malta Cup. On May 25, in front of a large crowd, Valletta FC faced Hibernians in the final of the FA Trophy. The Hibernians eliminated Floriana in the semi-final.
During the first half both set of players seemed nervous but during the second half the game became much more interesting. It was Valletta who scored the important goal when a shot by Carlo Seychell was partially saved by Freddie Mizzi and from the rebound the ball hit Norman Buttigieg and ended in the net.
In season 1976-77 under the guidance of Italian coach Terenzio Polverini, Valletta FC started the season on a bad patch but nonetheless won the FA trophy for the fourth time without conceding a goal under the guidance of coach Lolly Debattista.
During the final of the FA Trophy Valletta FC faced rivals Floriana. It was a very exciting final with both teams proving their worth. Floriana were playing really well in the first half but Valletta FC piled the pressure on their opponents after Nardu Farrugia opened the score.
With this victory a series of 37 positive matches by Floriana came to a halt.
(Squatting): C. Agius, C. Borg, N. Farrugia, V. Magro, L. Farrugia, R. Bone, C. Seychell and P. Portelli.
In 1977-78 season although Valletta FC did not start the season on a positive note, they became champions once more. The Lilywhites ended the first round with one point less than Floriana FC and with a point more than Hibernians. After thirteen matches, Floriana, Hibernians and Valletta FC were leading the game. The three teams were fighting for the championship. The parity between the three soon came to an end as Floriana started losing points while Hibernians failed to keep pace with Valletta FC.
Valletta FC made certain of winning the championship with a great win against Msida St Joseph (11-0).
Being a more consistent team, Valletta FC deserved to win the championship. They played practical football and managed to eliminate a crisis that arose after a second defeat against Floriana. It was this and their collective and effective play that lead Valletta FC to become champions.
During this season Valletta FC also won the FA Trophy. During the final, Valletta FC eliminated Floriana 3-2. During this match that was played in June, the Greens were already 2-0 but a great comeback at the end of the match enabled the Lilywhites to score three goals. It was a memorable moment when Carlo Seychell lifted the FA Trophy for the joy of the Valletta supporters.