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Sliema duo Nicky Grixti, Francesca Paolella named ASA Players of the Year

Sliema ASC goalkeeper Nicky Grixti was voted as the BOV Water Polo Premier Division Player of the Year for 2023, while Francesca Paolella won the same award for the BOV Women’s Division.

Exiles player Kurt Griscti won the award for the First Division while Sliema’s Jayden Cutajar landed the U-17 title.

Andre Aquilina and Benji Lewis, both hailing from Neptunes WPSC, rounded up the junior awards winning the U15 and U13 categories respectively.

The BOV Player of the Year Award goes to the players who obtain the most votes from the panel of judges who submit their votes following each game throughout the season. This panel is made up of council members eligible to vote on waterpolo matters, one club official who is selected by the clubs, the national team coaches, the first team club coaches, an official from the first team and media members who regularly attend and report matches.

The votes are collected within 48 hours of each match day and each one goes towards the selection of the Players of the Year.

Bank of Valletta hosted the Awards Night with the winners presented with their awards by Ernest Agius, chief operations officer at Bank of Valletta and Karl Izzo, president of the Aquatic Sports Association of Malta.

“It has been a source of pride to us at the ASA to watch the quality sporting moments during the 2023 waterpolo season which culminated in Malta’s first-ever win in the group stages at the European Championships,” said the ASA president Izzo.

“All the nominees here, and especially the winners have distinguished themselves in the pool and it is with great pleasure that we are here today to recognize their achievements.

“As from next week, it is time to roll up our sleeves again as we head back to the pool to see the start of the BOV Winter League and see the ever-growing waterpolo community come together to enjoy the sport we all love.”

On his part, Agius said the awards night was a special occasion for BOV.

“This is a special occasion for us at BOV to celebrate sporting excellence and to award athletes whose performance has been judged by their own peers,” he said, while congratulating all the nominees and winners.

“Bank of Valletta has become synonymous with local sports and with waterpolo. In fact, the upcoming season is the 20th consecutive season that BOV and the ASA are collaborating together in the organization of the National waterpolo competitions, and we are delighted to make part of this ever evolving journey.”


Premier Division: Nicky Grixti (Sliema ASC)

Women’s Division: Francesca Paolella (Sliema ASC)

First Division: Kurt Griscti (Exiles ASC)

U-17: Jayden Cutajar (Sliema ASC)

U-15: Andre Aquilina (Neptunes WPSC)

U13: Benji Lewis (Neptunes WPSC)

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