Associations

Philharmonic Society Santa Marija
It was on the 5th May 1995 when a meeting was held for all those who were interested to learn music. It was the start of a month full of commitments to put the foundations for the new cultural project aimed to promote music in the locality. A committee, composed of nine members, was set up and the officials were elected during the first official meeting. In the meantime a number of persons started taking music lessons once a week as through the efforts of the committee youths and adults were encouraged to join the project to learn a musical instrument. Maestro Joseph Grech was appointed as the director of the Band. The committee started in the meantime organizing fund raising and also drafting the Statute under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Grech. A call for suggestions for the name of the Band led to a decision taken on 30th May 1995 where the name chosen was Banda Santa Marija, so that the seventh band club in Gozo was founded.

 
The first musical instrument of the Band was blessed on the 16th August 1995 during a mass celebrated at the parish church. Five days later, the Band performed for the first time at Iż-Żebbuġ’s square during a musical concert named ‘Lejla Kulturali’ [Cultural Evening]. The official inauguration of Banda Santa Marija took place during a special ceremony on the 20th August 1997.

 
The Band has now established itself as it is not limited to perform services at the village of Iż-Żebbuġ but is regularly invited to perform service in every locality in Gozo and some localities in Malta. Banda Santa Marija has regular services at Iż-Żebbuġ which are performed without any remuneration, such as that of Carnival, the procession of Our Lady of Sorrows, the procession on Good Friday, the celebration on Easter Sunday, the performance during the annual celebrations on Jum iż-Żebbuġ [Iż-Żebbuġ Day], and the annual concert held every August at Iż-Żebbuġ’s square. The Band participates almost through the program of services during the celebrations of on the titular feast of Iż-Żebbuġ dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady.

 
The Band performs a popular marc on the occasion when the statue of Our Lady is brought out of the niche and exposed in the church, the demonstration marc that takes place on the Friday prior to the feast, the performance of the main anthem of the feast and also during the procession with the statue of Our Lady. The Band has other services at Iż-Żebbuġ on the feast of Madonna ta’ l-Għażżiel (the traditional feast at the beginning of autumn), the feast of San Fortunato martyr and also during the annual Christmas concert which take place at the parish church. Banda Santa Marija performed services during a march-past of four young priests from Iż-Żebbuġ during the celebration of their first solemn mass.

 
The Band performed also during the ceremony when the public school of Iż-Żebbuġ was named for Mons. Gian Andrea Vella on the 15th June 2001, while it celebrated with marches when Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers FC won the main honours of football in Gozo, including the championship of the season 2003-2004. The Band was also invited by the Local Council to other services such as those commemorating Jum il-Lokalita’ [Locality Day]. The Band honoured the Missionary Society of Saint Paul on the 6th September 2004 on the 30th anniversary of the opening of Dar Stella Maris and performed marches when the first commemorative stone of Dar Museum in Iż-Żebbuġ was laid and when the centre was officially inaugurated.

 
The Cultural Sector
The cultural sector was at the heart of the Musical Society from the very beginning. This is shown by the number of studies about the different aspect related to the traditions, the history and lifestyle of Iż-Żebbuġ. These studies include a historic seminar which took place in Marsalforn during the year 2000, a study about the history of education at Iż-Żebbuġ, the religious patrimony, Bastjan’s crib, the history related to the tradition of Madonna ta’ l-Għażżiel and about the devotion related to the statue at the niche of Madonna taċ-Ċiċri. The Society organizes three main annual competitions, namely the one for the best carnival costume, the best decorated window during Christmas and another one regarding the village and its traditions at the Primary School for Classes of Years 4, 5 and 6. A number of anthems which were forgotten or lost were regenerated, such as the school anthem (which was the first anthem for the school) and the anthem dedicated to Saint Anne, composed by Mro. Antonio Mallia.
The Society also commissioned an anthem for the Madonna ta’ l-Għażżiel, the Band anthem, the anthem for the Madonna taċ-Ċiċri, while the present school anthem was modified to be more appropriate to be performed by the band. Other special activities organist by the Society were marches and commemorative memorial stones with houses where different important personalities from the locality lived and dies, such as that for the late Maestro and composer from Zebbug Antonio Mallia (at Triq il-Madonna taċ-Ċiċri) and to three priests who gave a considerable contribution to the locality, namely Mons. Giov Andrea Vella, a teacher and historian (at Pjazza l-Assunta), Fr. Guzepp Camilleri Pace, a teacher at the primary school and a procurator of the church’s assets (at Triq il-Mitħna) and Fr. Karm Cachia, a priest who died with a holy fame (at Triq il-Ponta).
The Band published the book ‘Via Sagra’ which not only includes prayers related to the passion of Jesus, but also a publication of the set of paintings found at the parish church about the same subject. Another publication by the Society was that of special bookmarks to commemorate ‘il-Madonna ta’ l-Għażżiel’, the occasion of the blessing of the stone at the Band Club and also the niche of ‘Madonna taċ-Ċiċri.
 
The Social Sector
The Executive Committee each Easter takes the initiative to organize visits to old persons and sick of the parish so that they can receive the Holy Communion. During Christmas visits are carried out to persons who live on their own and those with disability. The Committee organizes also cultural outings, Coffee Mornings, Tea-nights, bingo and lotteries.
The Religious Sector
A number of masses are held at the cemetery of the village. A special mass organised in November dedicated to all those who worked in the past for the teaching of music in Iż-Żebbuġ and for the four victims from Iż-Żebbuġof the World War II. Another mass is celebrated on the occasions of Mothers Day and Fathers Day. On these occasions flower writs are hung on the gate of the cemetery. Moreover, on one of the Wednesdays of the Assumption, close to the 30th May which marks the birthday of the Band, a mass is celebrated at the parish church.
The Musical Sector
The Band obtained the rights of a number of sets of marches of well known and established composers. The band marches are appropriate for celebrations, processions, religious, for Christmas time and for Carnival. The Society purchased six sets of new instruments to be used by the musicians of the Band and the uniform for the whole Band was completed. In addition, the Band also completed its flag which is carried during the services which has as a logo the form of the traditional ‘Għażżiela’ embroiled in a modern context with musical notes. Banda Santa Marija issued three CDs with merrymaking marches namely, ‘Ġawhra 2000’, ‘Nisġet il-Bejta’ and In Coelum Assumpta’. A CD with funerary marches was named ‘Golgota’, while ‘Ħames snin ta’ Ħidma’, ‘Nisġet il-Bejta’ are two professional video productions. Another video was produced on the occasion of the laying of the commemorative stone of the Band Club.
The Philharmonic Society Santa Marija currently has 150 members and 40 local musicians. It has an Honorary President and each year the Society honours a persons with ‘Ġieh il-Banda Santa Marija’. The most important project of the Society at the moment is the completion of the Band Club, which has been constructed on a design by Mr. Leli Cini, so that the Society can be in a position to carry out its needs. The blessing of the commemorative stone took place on the 20th August 2003 by H.E. Bishop of Gozo Mons. Nikol Cauchi and inaugurated by the President of Malta H.E. Dr. Guido de Marco. The Local Council of Iż-Żebbuġ has expressed its appreciation for all the work delivered by the Philharmonic Society Santa Marija with the honour of ‘Premju Iż-Żebbuġi 2008’.
 
Missionary Society of St Paul
The Mission Society of St Paul is a Maltese Congregation founded by Mons, Joseph De Piro (1877 –1933). He was born into a family of the nobility in Mdina, at the age of twenty-one, he was called to the priesthood, and eventually established his own Society in 1910. Since that time, its charisma of being a missionary society continues but its members are involved in other areas including parish and migrant work, school chaplaincy, retreats, education and care of less fortunate.
 Today, the Society extends to Rome, Peru, Pakistan, USA, Canada, Philippines and Australia. In Malta the Society is situated at St Agatha’s Motherhouse in Rabat, close to the grotto of St Paul, and above a network of catacombs, the Oratory in Birkirkara and St Joseph Institute in St Venera. In Gozo, in Iż-Żebbuġ stands Stella Maris House that hopes to be a center of spirituality, retreats and for formation of new members of the Society.

Stella Maris House
Dar Stella Maris is situated on the edge of a ridge, high above the village of Iż-Żebbuġ, and the northern coastline. It was built by the Society in the early 1970s, after a local farmer donated most of its land, which the house stands. It was initially opened as a novitiate, but than it also began to serve as a retreat house. Although relatively new, internally, it has been carefully designed, to create the atmosphere of a much older house, pleasing and homely in its simplicity, and, in style, almost art deco, here and there.

 Focus, on entry, is drawn towards the small central glazed atrium with its fountain and greenery. This shed shafts of light into the surrounding area. In front of the atrium is a spacious refectory with pillars, arches, and ceiling height, leaded-light windows. These provide views down hillside to the sea. On the other side there is the main chapel which is well used by the local community for religious services and it’s also opened for retreatants. On the ground floor, there is also another small meditationċprayer room.

 Also at ground level, eleven bedrooms are arranged on either side of a long corridor, in which also houses the MSSP community. At the upper corridor one can find a total of sixteen bedrooms. Those leads on into the main hall, which can seat up to forty.

 Outside there is a small, narrow garden, but on both first floor and rooftop levels are various terraces with spectacular views of much of Gozo. This includes Ir-Rabat Citta' Vittoria and the Citadel, Ix-Xagħra, In-Nadur and other villages. In addition to looking down over the cliffs, coastline and sea, on a clear day, one can see the coast of Sicily, with at times, even glimpses of Mount Etna.

Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers F.C.
The season 1976 -77 was the first season that Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers F.C. were in the second division of the G.F.A. From 10 matches, Iż-Żebbuġ won 1 game, had 2 draws and lost the rest. During these matches they scored 9 goals and suffered 21. The first goal for Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers in their first season was scored by Michael Vella. It was a difficult start which finished with 4 points in the last position. The team was coached by the player-coach Bro. Jimmy Catania.

 The Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers F.C. second championship that of 1977-78 was again a difficult one like the previous season. However, Zebbug had one point extra this season, but scored the least number of goals that of 4. Although Iż-Żebbuġ finished in the last position they suffered only 13 goals. This season the player-coach Jimmy Catania was selected as the GFA Yearly sports Official.
 
The next season 1978-79 Bro. Jimmy Catania had to leave to Malta, and Iż-Żebbuġ selected Alfred Buttigieg as their coach. In the team started to play the brothers Paul and Philip Ciantar and the team improved a lot and in fact in the first round they were in the first place.
 
 They ended runners-up in the final classification and were the team which scored the most. This season Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers finished final in the knock-out and lost it in the replay with only one goal. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, the tem experienced an internal crisis and retired from the GFA. The team of Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers passed 7 seasons inactive even though they tried several time to form the team.
 
In the setup of the team season 1986-87, the team was fortunate to play in the first division with all the Gozitan teams. Iż-Żebbuġ played well in this highest division when won against St. Laurence Spurs with 2-0 both goals scored by Frans Saliba. Thus, Frans Saliba was the first player of Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers who scored in the first division. However, Iż-Żebbuġ had to play in Pool B and finished in the fourth place and had to play in the relegation Pool in the second half of the league. In this second pool, Iż-Żebbuġ had good results, however were not sufficient to remain in the first division even though came in the third place. Again in the second division Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers, in the season 1987-88, had five wins and five lost games. In this season, Iż-Żebbuġ started together with il-Munxar with one point less, while Victoria U. and St. Laurence with two points less, always as classified in the previous season.
 
The season 1988-89 was the best in the history of Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers. It was a surprise that Iż-Żebbuġ won over the favourites and won everything, even the double. the team was coached by their ex-player, Baskal Saliba. This season Iż-Żebbuġ had 3 individual honors, one given to the President Benjamin Cefai as the GFA Yearly Sports Official, another to the goalkeeper Louis Cardona as the best player in the second division and the third to Victor Zammit as the best scorer with 5 goals. Something new this season was that the second placed in the second division was also promoted to the first division.
 
 Back in the first division, the season 1989-90, the Rovers lost 7 games and had 3 draws and with their 3 points they placed last in the classification and again were relegated to the second division after only one season. In the first phase they worked hard against every team, but in the second round they suffered 3 large loses and ended to be the team who suffered the most goals which was that of 27.
 
In the season 1990-91, Iż-Żebbuġ rovers seemed that they were going to challenge everyone to achieve the first places. However, they emphasized mainly on their player captain Victor Zammit. After the first round they were in the first place together with Il-Qala, however they started the second round very bad after that they lost against Il-Qala. However, Iż-Żebbuġ reacted and ended in the second place together with Il-Qala and thus a decider had to be played to see who will be promoted together with the Champions Il-Munxar to the first division. Iż-Żebbuġ were disappointed after that they lost this decider against il-Qala with 3-0. This season Victor Zammit was the best scorer with 5 goals and the best player in the second division.
 
 Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers disappointed a lot in the season 1991-92. They played well in the first round, but did nothing in the second round, In fact in the second round, Iż-Żebbuġ had their greatest lost against Oratory Youths with 1-8, and even when played against SK Victoria W they finished the game with 4 players less.
 
 In the season 1992-93 Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers were champions after they have worked hard against Għajnsielem. There were moments when Il-Qala also worked for the promotion. Iż-Żebbuġ won game after game, lost against Għajnsielem, however they skipped against Għajnsielem in their last match of the season to become the Champions of the Second Division.
 
 So, the Rovers started playing in the first division after 3 years in the second division. During this season Iż-Żebbuġ were coached by Teddy Curmi and got from Sannat Lions the attackers M. Grima and M. Cardona. In the midfield J. Briscoe hardened the defense and the team suffered only 6 goals. The captain Carmel Farrugia was voted to be the best player in the
 
GFA Second Division.
 The next season, 1993-94, in the first division, Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers found it difficult, even though they got the goalkeeper T. Pace, the attacker R. Chetcuti and the foreigner R. Bouamara, and changed the coach to Carmel Sultana instead of Teddy Curmi. 
 
 This season Iż-Żebbuġ won only 2 matches, got 3 draws and lost the other 9 games. Positive result was achieved in the Independence Cup were the Rovers were eliminated in the semi-finals.
 
 Back in the second division, coached by Walter Mampalao, the 1994-95 was a disappointed season for Iż-Żebbuġ as they lost 6 matches, got 2 draws and won 2. Rovers ended the second place from the last. In the other competitions, Iż-Żebbuġ did well in the GFA Cup after qualified from Group A, however were eliminated in the quarter finals.
 
 The season 1995-96 was another disappointed season for Iż-Żebbuġ rovers in the second division under the coach Eddie Camilleri. They finished in the last place with only one point. They had none wins, one draw and lost 9. This disappointment was replaced at the end of the season by being given the Good conduct Cup. The GFA representative member Sammy Camilleri was given the Council Shield.
 
 Now coached by the player coach Paul Cilia, Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers were better in the season 1996-97 than the previous ones. They ended in the second place of the second division, but they lost the promotion-decider against Il-Munxar Falcons 1-2 and remained in the second division. Iż-Żebbuġ were given the honor of the GFA Play Fair award and Reuben Galea was given the best scorer in the second division with 10 goals. Even in the Knock-Out of the second division they finished up in the second place after lost against Ta' Kercem Ajax 1-3.
Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers achieved the double in the season 1997-98 in the second division that is the Championship and the knock-out. Coached by Victor Zammit, Iż-Żebbuġ were Champions with 28 points achieved after 9 wins, and one draw and 2 loses. In the Knock-out Zebbug won over Oratory Youths with 2-0, and won this Cup for the second time in their history.
 
 The team reinforced by the involvement of new young players. Iż-Żebbuġ were given the Good Conduct Cup, and one individual basis Mario Grech was given the GFA Best player of the year and the players Joe Cini and Alex Tramboo were voted as the Sprite Players in the second division in October and April-May respectively.
 
 The next season 1998-99 the team was against coached by Victor Zammit, and had a good championship in the first division. They finished runners-up with 18 points and played the promotion decided against Ix-Xewkija T. After working hard Iż-Żebbuġ won with 4-3 in the extra time and were promoted in the Premier Division. This success was honored again with the Good Conduct Cup and the player Mario Azzopardi was chosen to be the best promising player of the first division. In the season 1999-2000, Zebbug rovers ended up in the fourth place of the classification in the first division Rothmans cup.
 
 This was the best league in their history. for a long time, Iż-Żebbuġ tried to achieve the first place. At the end of the first round Iż-Żebbuġ were in the first place with 12 points as Victoria Hotspurs. They got 3 won matches, 3 draws and one lost. However, in the second round they won 1 match, had 3 draws and lost 3. This reflected also on the goals scored and those suffered. Iż-Żebbuġ had kept the same basic players, however they lacked of reserves. This lack of reserved basic players, however they lacked of reserves.
 
 However, Sylvan Galea was rewarded for the best Rothmans player for the months of September and February. In fact he was the first player who won this reward for 2 times in the same season since the past 10 years. He was also given the GFA Best Scorer with 25 goals. Mario Azzopardi was also rewarded as the Rothmans Player of October. In the Rothmans GFA Cup, Iż-Żebbuġ were eliminated in the semi-finals. In this competition participated all the Gozo teams. In the preliminary round Iż-Żebbuġ won over Il-Munxar Falcons 10-0 and got the greatest win. Then Iż-Żebbuġ won over Ix-Xagħra United 5-1, but lost against Ix-Xewkija Tigers 1-2. Again in this competition Sylvan Galea was the best scorer of the competition with 6 goals. This same season Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers won their first seasonal honor of the Millennium when they won the Independence Cup.
 
 They played the final against Ix-Xagħra United and with a goal of Philip Cardona at the last 2 minutes of the match. Iż-Żebbuġ won this cup. This was an honor as Iż-Żebbuġ were celebrating their 25th anniversary since their origin. Sylvan Galea was the best scorer of the competition with 5 goals. till the final Iż-Żebbuġ rovers had won over St. Laurence Spurs 3-0, In-Nadur youngsters 1-0 and Victoria Hotspurs 2-1.In this same season another won Cup was that of the Freedom Day Cup (8th edition). Iż-Żebbuġ won the final with the penalties, after a well played match against Għajnsielem with a lot of chances for Iż-Żebbuġ. Although Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers were the favourites in the once organized Cup, the Millennium Cup. Iż-Żebbuġ lost the final with the golden goal. This competition was organized to see which Gozo team was going to participate in the MFA Century cup. This competition involved 11 teams with direct elimination and from 10 matches, 4 were decided in the extra time and another with the penalties. In the preliminary round, Iż-Żebbuġ won with 1-0 over Oratory Youths in the extra time. In the quarter final won over In-Nadur Youngsters 4-3, and won over Ix-Xewkija Tigers 2-0 in the semi-finals. Their opponents in the final were Victoria Hotspurs. Iż-Żebbuġ disappointed a lot in this final match as they did not play as a team but on individual basis. Victoria won the game with 2-1 in the extra time. Best scorers of this competition were Sylvan Galea and Jason Portelli (L-Għarb) with 3 goals.
 
From this season onwards, the Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers team showed that it was becoming a strong team and was becoming one of the favourites. 
 
 Although in the next season 2000-01 the Rovers did not win any Cup, gave a great match to every team. In fact this season they ended in the 4th place in the classification of the First Division League (the highest league in Gozo) and played till the final in the BOV Super Cup where they played against Għajnsielem and lost the match in the extra time with the golden goal.
 
 In the season 2001-02 the Rovers kept the 4th place in the classification table, came runners-up in the Independence cup and in the BOV Super Cup.
 
 The next season 2002-03 the Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers placed the third in the league classification and came runners-up in the Noel Vassallo Cup after they played against In-Nadur Youngsters and lost with the penalties.
 However, in the season 2003-04, Iż-Żebbuġ won over the same In-Nadur Youngster for the same cup with 3-0. Apart from the Noel Vassallo Cup they won also the Freedom Day Cup after playing versus In-Nadur and won with the penalties after an equal result of 2-2. At the beginning of the season there was the competition of the Independence cup and in the preliminary round surprisingly Iż-Żebbuġ lost against Qala St. Joseph with 1-0. For this lost Iż-Żebbuġ went over and won the above mentioned cups the Noel Vassallo and Freedom Day Cup and also the ever expected dream when it came true after winning the Gozo highest division league. Thus, the Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers were honored as the New Gozitan Champions. During this season Iż-Żebbuġ lost 2-4 in the final of the GFA Cup against In-Nadur Youngsters.
 
 The next season 2004-05, Iż-Żebbuġ finished in the fifth place of the first division with 23 points, gained from 7 wins and 2 draws. They lost 9 games. In all they scored 29 goals and conceded 47 goals. During this season they lost the Freedom Cup Final 2-1 against In-Nadur Youngsters. On a good note Manwel Cordina was voted as the Most Promising Players of the First Division.
 
 During 2005-06, Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers asked the GFA to participate in the second division as most of their top players were transferred on loan to other top clubs. They were accepted to play in the lower division and lacking of their key players, Iż-Żebbuġ had one of the most negative seasons during those last seasons. They collected only 10 points from 3 victories and a draw and lost the other 11 games. They scored 15 and conceded 33 goals. They finished an only a place before the bottom team.
 
 The season after 2006-07, Iż-Żebbuġ finished fifth in the second division with 16 points. They get 5 wins, 1 draw and lost all the other games. They scored 19 and conceded 39 goals.
 
 During the next season 2007-08 Iż-Żebbuġ played again in the second division fejn they finished up in the fourth place with 21 points obtained from 5 wins and 6 draws. They lost the other six games. They lost two finals against SK Victoria Wanderers 5-1 and 2-1.
 
 Last season 2008-09 Iż-Żebbuġ Rovers disappointed again as they finished in the sixth place of the second division with 15 points. They obtained 4 wins, 3 draws and 11 lose. They scored 22 and suffered 41 goals.

Otters ASC
 The history of a club is the history of its ups and downs, of its successes and failures. Everyone likes to relive the magic moments of success; the time when dame luck seems to smile unembarrassed upon his club. But one must not forget the moments of frustration and failure; the time when everything seems to go wrong. It is with these memories in mind that one has to look upon the thirty years plus of Otters A.S.C.
 
 It is difficult to trace the actual date when the team was formed. However, the first players who joined the club were registered with the Gozo Aquatic Association on the 28th July, 1971 and thus this date is normally considered by club members as the date on which the club was formed. The founder members of the team itself included Anton Refalo, Victor Grech, George Calleja, Carmel Debattista and Frank Masini.
 
 The history of the club started with the team having to participate in the Second Division of the Gozitan Waterpolo League along with other teams such as Ghajsielem, Sea Urchins and Blue Sharks. The first year was a promising one with Otters A.S.C. being promoted to First Division. The following years, Otters A.S.C. also had the chance to play against other Gozitan teams such as Dolphins, Whales and Penguins, teams that have all been dismantled as time went by. In 1973, Otters A.S.C. started competing in the Minor League, which was being organised by the GAA for the first time.
 
Over the past years, Otters A.S.C. consolidated itself as a true team with its ups and down, good seasons as opposed to bad ones. Otters A.S.C. managed to win various honours organised over the years by the GAA with the introduction of new talented players who over the years managed to win a reputation for the team.
 
PLAYING IN MALTA
Otters A.S.C. started participating in the league organised by A.S.A. cautiously by fielding an under-18 team in 1977. The team obtained decent results when one takes into consideration the great difficulties and hardships that the team had to face. The first team to participate in Malta was composed of Mario Calleja, Raymond Grech, Franz Refalo, Joseph Grech Hili, Ino Mario Busuttil, Joseph Busuttil, Raymond Calleja, Ivan Refalo, Joseph Sammut Alessi and Victor Camilleri. But it was not until 1980 that Otters A.S.C. once again participated in Malta in the Second Division Reserves’ League and the Second Division Knockout. At the same time, however, Otters A.S.C. was proving too tough a competition for the other Gozitan teams and indeed in 1979 the club won all the honours that were at stake in Gozo. Efforts by the GAA to restrain the utter dominance of our team still proved futile and Otters managed to surpass all the difficulties and unfair treatment reserved to them.
 
 It was in 1982 that Otters A.S.C. took the plunge and decided to compete in the competition organised by A.S.A. in Malta and participate in the Second Division League. Though the results were not very encouraging, new blood and talent in the names of Dennis Attard, Paul Dimech, Anton Tabone, Patrick Sciberras, Robert Xerri and David Pace was introduced and this proved to be very beneficial for the team in the following years.
 
 In fact, just three years after namely 1985, Otters A.S.C. managed to clinch victory in the Third Division League. This was the first time that Otters managed to win a major honour in the A.S.A.’s competitions. Though winning promotion to the Second Division again in 1987, A.S.A. re-organised its league structure and eliminated the Third Division. By this time, players such as Marc Tabone and Kristen Dimech were rendering their services to the senior team. One has also to comment on the fact that in the meanwhile the waterpolo scenario in Gozo was becoming very bleak, participation was dwindling and in fact only Otters A.S.C. managed to survive within the Gozitan waterpolo scenario. All the other teams, for different reasons were slowly dismantled until Otters A.S.C. had no choice but to compete in Malta in order to play any competive matches.
 
 By this time, many of the founder members were now occupying posts within the Otters A.S.C. committee. Their job was no easier today than it was at the very beginning. With the advent of a more professional structure in Maltese sports, the club officials started putting pressure for an equal treatment to Maltese teams in order that a proper club premises was provided for Otters A.S.C. Needless to say, this proved to be a tortuous and extremely complicated issue which however, with a lot of perseverance finally resulted in acquiring a decent and modern premises for the club in 1995. This permitted the club to offer a decent structure to the players and youngsters who through a lot of sacrifice and goodwill showed a genuine interest in playing the game.
 
The 90’s also saw the introduction for the first time in Maltese waterpolo history of a foreigner player. Otters A.S.C. had three foreign players who all gave their services to the club: Sacho Popovski who played for two years for the club (1993-1994), Radu Georgescu who rendered his services for just one year (1995) and Fabio Valenti who also played for two years namely 1996 and 1997 until A.S.A. decided to forbid the use of a foreign player in the Maltese league. It was also at this time that Otters A.S.C. started making use of various Maltese players.
 
 Over these years, Otters also had the occasion of using the services of various coaches who all gave their unconditioned help and support to the club. Miro Caruana had a three year spell with the club where the team, with the introduction of some youngsters such as Jo-Etiene Abela, Kevin Galea, Joseph Grech and later on also Reuben Grech and Stephan Grech also managed to achieve good results in the Second Division League in Malta. However, the major successes were registered with the minors’ teams, where extremely good results were registered both on home and away matches.
 
 Otters A.S.C. felt the need to invest heavily on youngsters in order to ensure the survival of the club itself. Alfred Cachia was chosen as the ideal person to set up a professional swimming school since he had vast experience within this field. With the help of various committee members, the swimming school was successfully launched and nowadays is an integral part of the club. It was also at this time that players such as George Louis Zammit , Kevin Mizzi and later other youngsters, were introduced to the senior squad and in this way the dependence on Maltese players was to a certain extent diminished.
 
 Over the past five years the team also had the chance to go abroad to train and play. The visits enhance team spirit always proved to be a good opportunity for hard training and some fun for all the players.
 
The future depends on those who make up the team structure nowadays ,the committee who together with all local waterpolo lovers and within the various restrictions that exist have to model and shape out the future of water polo in Gozo. It is no secret that all contributors to game in the past and nowadays wish to see an Olympic swimming pool being constructed on our island and a real Gozitan team which is made up of Gozitan players with perhaps only the inclusion of only one or two outstanding Maltese players, compete for honours in the national league.