Despite hosting a population of over 9,000 people, Swieqi had never featured in any of sports disciplines. Some might argue that the facilities offered by the neighbouring clubs were enough to cater for Swieqi too. However, it was always a question of 'when' rather than 'if' Swieqi was represented in the National Football League.
The “Swieqi United Football Club” (SUFC) was approved unanimously by the Council of the Malta Football Association (MFA) on Thursday, 28 May 2009. The club was created by a group of Swieqi residents, mostly attending University. The team plays in Orange shirts. The club is renowned for giving young players the opportunity to play football and the club's symbol is the Owl - a reference to the students who founded Swieqi United F.C.
The name “Swieqi United” acts as a symbol. The town of Swieqi, the village of Ta' l-Ibrag and the hamlet of Madliena have all merged, despite the varied jurisdictions they each fell under, hence UNITED into one team: Swieqi United FC. The SUFC badge, which was only recently remodelled, includes the blue and white of Swieqi and the club’s orange – a wonderful fusion between club and community. (The blue and white represent the waterflow, the 'saqa' which gives its name to our beloved town.)
SUFC Season 2009-2010
On the 13th of July, 2009, Swieqi United took part in the first “MFA 3rd Division” draws . The new club was pitted against Zejtun Corinthians FC (who eventually went on to win the league), Naxxar Lions FC, Gudja United FC, Attard FC, Xghajra Tornadoes FC, Qrendi FC, Sirens FC, Kirkop United FC and Santa Lucija FC.
Despite this being their first league experience, Swieqi United managed, against all odds and with limited resources, to register some positive wins throughout the campaign. The young but determined team had already showed potential as early as late September, when a resurgence in the second half saw the club register its first competitive points with Second Division side Gzira United in the “Division II/III Quick-Keno Knock-Out Cup”. Shortly after, on the 1st of October 2009 at the Centenary Stadium, Ta' Qali, Swieqi played their first game in the “BOV 3rd Division” against Xghajra Tornadoes, winning the game 3-2. Notable wins included 3-1 vs. Gudja, 4-0 and 3-1 wins vs. Santa Lucia and a 4-3 win vs. Qrendi. Also, Swieqi played some excellent football but were unlucky to lose 0-1 against table-toppers Naxxar Lions. Swieqi ended the 2009-10 season in 8th place with 16 points.
SUFC Season 2010-2011
In the seond season, Swieqi United were pitted against Santa Venera Lightings FC, Siggiewi FC, Gudja United FC, Attard FC, Mdina Knights FC, Santa Lucia FC, Mtarfa FC, Xghajra Tornados FC, Marsaskala FC and Qrendi FC.
Following a good preseason, the KO Campaign ended on a positive note compared to the prevous year. Two draws against Gharghur (2-2) and Santa Venera (0-0) followed after an honourable defeat against Senglea (0-2).
The league campaign saw SUFC get off to a blistering start with 10 points gained from their frist four games (notable 2-0 wins against Attard and Mtarfa). Thereafter, a slump and loss of form followed but the beginning of the new year brought with it a string of good performances most notably a good 2-2 draw against Attard, wins against Qrendi (4-0) and Mtarfa (2-0) and a record 8-0 victory against Xghajra (highest score in all MFA divisions). A 1-0 win against Santa Lucija was enough to ensure Swieqi consolidated a mid-table position in the league standings.
Swieqi United ended the 2010-11 season in the 6th place (out of 11) with 25 points. The club also won the 1st edition of the Noel Muscat SUFC Cup against Pembroke (3-1).
SUFC Season 2011-2012
Swieqi United began the 2011-12 season with a new manager - Roland Sollars who joined the club from Sirens. Swieqi made some major changes to the team and brought in many young players many of which came on loan from Melita F.C. The team was knocked out by eventual Gozitan champions Xewkija Tigers in the first round of the FA Trophy losing 0-5.
The league campaign had started with a draw against Fgura United (2-2), before losing to Ghaxaq and Santa Lucija. Thereupon, Swieqi embarked on a positive run beating Xghajra and Mgarr. A slump in fortunes then followed, although Swieqi did register some positive results during the season such as a 3-1 victory against title challengers Ghaxaq, a 6-2 win vs Kalkara and a 0-0 draw against eventual section winners Pembroke Athleta. Swieqi finished the season in 9th place with 29 points.
Steven Diacono (on loan from Melita) won Swieqi United's 'Player of the Season Award'
SUFC Season 2012-2013
Swieqi kicked off the season in great fashion defeating Mdina Knights 2-1 in the FA Trophy and racking up three wins out of four in the early stages of the League campaign. (Santa Lucija 2-0, Marsa 1-0 and Mtarfa 4-1). Everyone expected the club to push forward but some internal problems led to coach Sollars resigning on 1 December and the club never recovered from this blow, losing games by high scores and never recovering confidence.
Things only picked up when during the end of the season, coach Roberto Debrincat was re-appointed Head coach and results improved, at one point notching four wins out of seven games. (Wins vs Attard (2-0), Ghaxaq (2-0), Ta' Xbiex (1-0) and Kalkara (1-0). Nevertheless, despite coach Debrincat's timely intervention, Swieqi would end their most difficult and disappointing season in a lowly position thereby not accomplishing initial expectations.
This season also witnessed the successful participation of Swieqi United Futsal who began life in the Malta Futsal Second Division. Led by Paul Hyzler and Simon Gingell Littlejohn, the Futsal squad produced some great performances and ended up as the club's most successful section.
SUFC Season 2013-2014
The 2013-14 season proved to be much more successful for the club! Not only did the team improve but the club managed to gain promotion to the second division for the very first time in its history. Welcoming on board Mario Mifsud as Club Technical Director and with Roberto Debrincat reconfirmed as Manager, the coaching staff undertook the difficult task of rebuilding an underachieving team. With fresh players brought in, a renewed sense of optimism generated throughout the club given the sparkling new premises launched, Swieqi embarked on a determined assault to ensure promotion would be secured.
The first three games of the season were won quite comfortably before the Orange stumbled to careless wins vs Marsaxlokk and Mgarr. Thereupon, the Orange went on a 5 match winning sequence beating: Santa Venera, Attard, Luqa, Mtarfa and Santa Lucija. Facing the top teams in the section, Swieqi then drew against Xghajra, beat Ghaxaq and drew again in the top of the table clash with Sirens. The second round started very well and Swieqi kept marching on solidly and aggressively. 6 straight wins (Ta’ Xbiex, Kalkara, Qrendi, Marsaxlokk, Mgarr & Santa Venera) were followed by an unwelcome defeat v Attard (3-4), but two wins vs Luqa St. Andrew’s (2-0) and a win vs Mtarfa (1-0) ensured Swieqi were promoted to the Second Division for the first time in their history – certainly a remarkable feat given that the club was only founded a mere 5 years ago!
This season also saw the debut of our Minors Squad (U-19) making their first ever appearence in the Youth League Section E, finishing the season in a respectful fourth position and narrowly missing out on promotion in the last game of the season ! The club managed a total of 7 wins, 1 draw and 6 loses, obtaining a total 22 points.
SUFC Season 2014-2015
This season was also a landmark season for a number of reasons. Primarily, the Under 17s team competed in the league (Section D) and achieved a remarkable 4th place. Swieqi also introduced their women's team to the league championship and the ladies achieved some great results despite it also being their maiden year.
With regards to the Seniors team, several changes were made in the summer in order to make the team more competitive. Swieqi got off to a great start in Division 2 beating Mellieha 4-0 with newcomer Leontiev Konda grabbing a hat-trick. By Christmas, the Orange were in 4th place having just gone on a 4 game unbeaten run (including 3 wins and a draw). However, a post-new year slump followed with the Orange losing some crucial games but recovering quickly by beating Zejtun 1-0 (and achieving the double over them) and holding Zabbar to a 0-0 draw. The battle to avoid relegation culminated with a game against Dingli. Both clubs needed the win and Swieqi won when it mattered by 2 goals to 1 (with goals from Matthew Asciak and Omar Smeir). The Orange ended the season with 33 points - certainly an achievement for their first year in 2nd Division.
The form team of the season was however the Under 19 squad. Bolstered by a year's experience in Section E, the Orange were in no mood to be complacent throughout the campaign though they were mightily challenged by Xghajra throughout the season. With Neil Farrugia in stunning form, the Orange continued to rack up with after win and Promotion to Section D was finally sealed when Swieqi beat St. George's 4-0 at the Sirens ground. With the race to the title going right down to the wire, Swieqi had to beat Mtarfa at Rabat on the final day of the season to ensure the Championship. Swieqi prevailed in a tight encounter thanks to goals from Erik Gollcher and Daniel Bezzina. It was truly a fitting end to a team which had dominated the Division from start to finish!
SUFC Season 2015-2016
The 2015-16 season would prove to be a very challenging and tough campaign for the Orange. Under the guidance of new Manager Billy Mock, Swieqi sought to revamp their youth policy and promote minors players for the first team. Nevertheless, with a reduced budget and entirely new coaching staff, Swieqi struggled for much of the Second Division campaign but did manage to survive when they decisively beat Kirkop United 2-0 in the penultimate game of the season. Throughout the year, 10 minors players managed to make their first team debut.
The Youth (Under-19) League campaign was very positive. The Minors managed to finish in 3rd place in their maiden season in Section D. Under the astute management of Rodney Bugeja and Gilbert Micallef, the squad managed to end the season on a high after a slow start. The Minors managed to wrap up some decisive wins most notably beating Gzira 4-0, Santa Venera 2-1 and Zurrieq 7-2. This was also the first year that the Under 17s debuted in Section B. Despite enduring a very difficult campaign (finishing bottom of their section), the Orange still performed bravely throughout all encounters and registered some positive results such as 2-2 draw v Kirkop and a 0-2 loss vs Valletta.
The Women's Team were also quite successful and went agonizingly close to winning promotion to the Women's Premier Division. Finishing second in 2nd Division after Gozo F.C., Swieqi's Women's team lost the play-off encounter vs Kirkop 0-1 at the Centenary Stadium. Despite the disappointment, the team could still take great pride in their achievements (having only been formed 2 years ago).
Finally, the Futsal team also did Swieqi proud ending up in the Maltese Futsal Elite Division!
SUFC Season 2016-2017
The 2016-17 season got off to the worst possible start with Swieqi United losing 3 points after Attard won a protest after the Orange had fielded an ineligible player. Despite this setback, the Orange went beyond all expectations in the league and managed to register some crucial victories to gain an initial momentum which would prove vital. New signings in particular Kyle Muscat and Sean Gatt Baldacchino provided much needed stability to a team which was already on the way up and with the additions of Roderick Taliana, foreigner Ion-Alin Margarit and Matthew Laferla - the group started to gel and grow stronger. The Orange grabbed some fine wins, narrowly losing against the top teams and ended up the season in 5th place out of 14 teams. Coaches Billy Mock and Rodney Bugeja had utilised more than 20 minors players with the Seniors team thereby highlighting Swieqi's philosophy of promoting youth and giving them a chance.
The Under 19s also had an amazing season finally clinching promotion to Section C after a titanic battle in Section D with Santa Lucija, Birzebbugia and Luqa St. Andrew's. The Orange lost only two games all season [both against Sta. Lucija] and played some awesome football along the way. Nicholas Schembri was particularly prolific for the Orange scoring over 30 goals throughout the season and helping the Orange achieve the much coveted promotion. It took a final day win against Birzebbugia to confirm promotion. With Swieqi needing a win to seal the title, the Northerners displayed their superiority by hammering Birzebbuga 6-0 to ensure their credentials as the top team in Section D. It is worth nothing that the 19s also reached the Quarter-finals of the Youth KO (losing 1-2 to Melita) and for the first time ever, a IASC team was introduced with the aim of giving more young players the chance in an amateur competition.
The Under 17s also had quite a positive season placing 4th in Section C and gaining much needed experience. Led by Andrea Vella and Julian Bonello, the young Orange gained some respectable results beating the likes of Zabbar St. Patrick's and Fgura United along the way. The Under 15s, well marshalled by Gilbert Micallef and Justin Rizzo managed to win promotion to Section D despite losing the play-off vs Marsascala (1-3). It was a very positive season for this age group which was playing against more physically imposing squads. The future certainly is very bright for both these sections.
Our Women's team finally managed to gain their first major silverware winning the BOV 2nd Division in clinical fashion (losing only one game all season). The group was expertly led by new coach Keith Gouder (assisted by Jochen Lenders), who managed to win promotion with a couple of games to spare. Another milestone was reached when Emma Moore was crowned BOV 2nd Division top scorer for 2016-17.
Finally, our Futsal team competed once again in the top echelon of Maltese Futsal. They took part in the Elite League and finished fourth behind the likes of Luxol St. Andrews', Valletta F.C. and Hamrun Spartans. It was certainly a positive season for this group. It must also be stated that the club also opted to field a Futsal Under-21 team which gained some respectable results along the way. The group was mainly used to introduce young players to futsal in the hope that more footballers will pursue this sport.