KRISTAIN LAFERLA

Born on March 23, 1967, Kris started his career in 1983 with Luxol St Andrew's in the Third Division. Although still 16, he immediately commanded a place in the first team and his obvious potential was already attracting the attention of the Premier League clubs. Valletta were the first to make a bid for his signature and at the start of the 1985-86 season he joined the City club on loan.

Laferla had a quite a good season with Valletta. In 1986-87, he returned to St Andrew's but after playing three games in the Third Division he returned to Valletta FC on a permanent basis. He settled down immediately in his new surroundings and after a short while he became one of the mainstays of the City team.

The nineties were the greatest period in the history of Valletta FC. The Citizens' domination of Maltese football was so complete that they eclipsed the achievements of the traditional leaders of Maltese football, Sliema and Floriana.

During his stay with the club, Laferla won an incredible total of 25 major honours and only injuries prevented him from winning a handful of others, this makes him one of the most honoured players in the history of the game. Laferla, however has had one big dissapointment....for some reason or another, he never won the MFA Footballer of the Year award.

This prestigious individual award depends, to some extent, on circumstances which have nothing to do with the performance of the players concerned. Luck is also a factor.

Sometimes it happens that a player enjoys his best season at a time when competing for that award is very intense. On the other hand a player can also land the honour despite not achieving excellence simply because the level of performances that season was generally below standard.

Laferla played his first game for Malta on November 14, 1986 in the European Championship against Sweden and played his last game against Latvia in 1998. In between, he played 65 times for his country and scored six goals. This is an excellent total for a midfielder, especially for a small country like Malta where positive results are rare.

During the Christmas period of 2002, Laferla was transferred to Sliema Wanderers. This certainly came as a surprise for the City faithful. He made his debut with the Blues on January 19th against Marsa (5-0). With Sliema Wanderers Laferla won two Championships and also the FA Trophy against Marsaxlokk in May 2004. Laferla played a total of 50 games with the Wanderers before retiring at the end of season 2004-05.

After 17 eventful season, Laferla had become very much part of the City set-up and it was hard to imagine the team without him.

Time was very kind and gentle with Laferla. Despite being well in his 30s, he remained fit and although at the age he should have been thinking of retirement, he still contributed significantly to the Blues’ success.

By the time he head decided to retire, Laferla had already carved a niche for himself as one of the great players of the Maltese football.


(Adapted from: Maltese Footballers Hundred of the Best by Carmel Baldacchino)