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Zammit proud of Birkirkara’s heroics after Glentoran victory

A respected figure in the Maltese women’s game, Charlene Zammit knows what it takes to write history.

On Sunday, she added another memorable chapter to her distinguished career with the winning goal for Birkirkara against Glentoran in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

A close-range effort from a set-piece situation marked her second goal in this competition.

Her only goal until Sunday was another crucial one, in deed.

Zammit was one of Hibernians’ three goal scorers that had helped the Paolites become Malta’s first ever side to secure at least a point in Champions League – a thrilling 3-3 draw against Faroese champions KI.

Since Hibernians’ famous draw in 2015, it took seven years for a Maltese club to win at least a single game in this tournament.

In between, just one positive result with Birkirkara holding Cardiff Met Ladies to a draw in 2018.

The string of negative results, though, does not make justice with the displays staged by the Maltese representatives including Birkirkara who have been representing Malta in every single edition since 2017.

The 10-time Maltese champions came close to victory on more than one occasion but as Zammit says, it is not a straightforward task when you play in such competitions.

“Women’s football in Malta is not professional with the players having to juggle between work, family and football training on a daily basis,” Zammit told the Times of Malta.

“It is not easy for us to compete on this stage because more often than not, you have to rub shoulders with professional clubs which makes it hard for us to obtain positive results.

Hence our euphoria after beating the champions of Northern Ireland because it reflected our mentality and showed that we can compete with other nations.”

Zammit, who joined Birkirkara from Swieqi United last season, lauded her team’s efforts and belief as they managed bring victory home.

“This victory reflects the talent and the fighting spirit that this team has,” she said.

“Moreover, I have to thank the staff for being a constant support and preparing us from any aspect for this tournament.”

The Birkirkara defender has 83 caps for her country and has contributed to some of the major feats the national team has achieved in recent years.

She was part of the team that finished fourth and set a record of points in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualifications, and is also part of the current squad which is on course of achieving the same record.

“Moments like these are the reward for our huge sacrifices,” she pointed out.

“I really hope that this result is just a stepping stone in the development of the women’s game on our shores.”


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