2016/17 Review: Maltese Premier League

I wasn’t sure whether to write a review on the Maltese Premier League after it finished nine days ago as (I think) only one Englishman featured in it this season but he did win the league and he was managed by a fellow Blighty expat so here it goes.

Hibernians wrapped up their 12th Maltese Premier League title after defeating St. Andrews 3-1 in their final home game back at the end of April. They then went out in style in the final game of the season as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 6-1.

The club is managed by Englishman Mark Miller, who has been coaching in Malta since 1996, after getting his first taste of playing on the island back in 1985. The former midfielder also played for Gillingham and Doncaster Rovers, as well as having a spell playing in Finland.

Having already won the Maltese Premier League three times already, Miller was the man charger to bring the title back to Hibs after they lost their crown to Valletta in the 2015/16 season.

Miller also recruited compatriot Montell Moore back in January to aid his title push. The former Brentford man was looking for a new challenge following his release from Charlton Athletic the previous year.

Now nearly a year on from when he took over, the 54-year-old has another title in the bag and his second as the manager of Hibs, adding to the title he lifted in the 2008/09 season with the Peacocks.

Here’s a look at Moore’s involvement this season (league appearances only).

Montell Moore.

Montell Moore. 21. Forward. Hibernians. Appearances: 11. Goals: 0
Moore joined Hibernians in January 2017 after he had failed to live up to the initial promise he had shown at Brentford.

After joining the Bees at the age of 7, the winger/striker was the club’s youth team top scorer in the 2013-14 season. Following his impressive form in the youth ranks, Moore made his senior debut in August 2014 during an extraordinary League Cup first round match against Dagernham & Redbridge.

Starting the match, Moore and the rest of his teammates headed to extra time after the game finished 4-4 after 90 minutes. The debutant then scored his first ever senior goal to give his side a 5-4 lead in extra time. Three more goals followed before the Bees eventually won on penalties.

However, despite a promising start to his career in the first team, that was to be Moore’s first and only appearance for Brentford. He was released from the club in February 2016 having scored in his only senior appearance for the club.

During the time between his first appearance and his release, Moore did actually join Danish side Midtylland, who like the London club, are owned by Matthew Benham. The move was as much for his personal well being as it was for footballing reasons, as the youngster had been charged with numerous offences off the field prior to his move to Denmark. During his time in Scandanavia, he did not feature for Midtylland’s senior team but did make ten appearances across the club’s U19 and reserve sides.

Following release, he joined Charlton Athletic on a deal to the end of the season but could not force his way into the senior squad.

Then after spending the first part of the 2016/17 season without a club, Moore joined Hibernians partway through the Maltese Premier League campaign to team up with Mark Miller.

The move would see the 21-year-old finally get some more senior game time under his belt. His debut came as a substitute in a 2-2 draw against Floriana in mid-January and he would go on to make a further ten appearances, two of which were starts.

Although he failed to score during his 281 minutes of action, Moore has undoubtedly gained valuable first team experience in Malta and not many Englishmen can say they have won the title on the first season abroad in a club’s first team.

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