History

In the 1930s some Waterpolo enthusiasts, amongst whom Tony Sant Cassia, Salvatore Cassar and the Catania brothers, Tony and Joe, decided to form a Waterpolo team in St. Paul’s Bay. 

The team’s first home pitch was at tal-Vecca where training started in earnest. At around the time the team was being formed, a team from Tunisia called Sirens Triton were on a visit to Malta.  The gentleman who were reposnsible for founding the team adopted the name of SIRENS, a name which has been carried with pride ever since. In 1934 our Club was affiliated to the ASA. At the time most of SIRENS matches then were against teams from the ships of the Royal Navy. The team also played a number of friendly matches at the Military Bay (Ghajn Tuffieha). 

In 1946, after the end of the war, the ASA resumed organising competititive Waterpolo. SIRENS took part for the first time in competitive matches entering the then third division league. During this period the Club’s pitch was in front of Dimitri’s Bar which also served as a ‘dressing room’ for the players.

The first season wasn’t a great success. In the small village of St Paul’s Bay there was another team, also playing in the third division, the Sea Lions. At the end of 1946 season efforts were made to merge the two teams. These efforts finally were successful thus ending the rivalry then existing between the two sets of supporters.

From the word go, one could sense the great improvement emanating as a result of this merger, which resulted in the immediate winning of the third division league. Nothing could now stop our emerging team and the following season further success was achieved by the winning the second division league. This was indeed a magnificent result as the team achieved the honour of playing first division Waterpolo for the first time and this after only two years since its formation.

Our team lasted three years in the first division, between 1949 and 1951, before tasting relegation for the first time.

In 1952 we played in the second division league which we won, thus regaining our first division status. In the next two years our Club kept its first division status and established itself as one of the leading Waterpolo teams on the Island. The major honours kept eluding us but finally in 1959, to the great satisfaction of our numerous supporters, we won the first division league title for the very first time, an honour which we retained the following two seasons 1960 and 1961 for a memorable hat-trick. The team carried on with its successes winning the Knock Out Competition (Kitty Cola Cup) for the first time in season 1962. We again won the first division league in 1967. Meanwhile the other Sirens teams were reaping several success in their respective leagues. Suffice to say that our reserve team, between 1955 and 1966, won the reserve’s league on seven occasions 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1965 and 1966. These results prove the great strength in depth of material in our Club during this period, and part of the reason for the great success achieved in seasons 1959, 1960 and 1961 (league title), in 1962 KO and 1967 (league title).

Following the last successful league campaign in 1967 our team, though possessing a number of good players did not go further than retaining it’s place in the first division.

The decline continued, ending up with the team being relegated to the second division where it stayed for a number of years.

In the late seventies the disappointment of the men’s team was more than made up by the success of the ladies team. During this time, the Ministry of Sport organised waterpolo and swimming competitions for the ladies. At our club we had a number of very enthusiastic leagues organised as part of the Club’s activities. Our team achieved great success in the Ministry’s competitions winning the national league title on six occasions (out of seven), the ladies KO Competition and also twice the annual swimming gala.

The team also participated with success in various tournaments in Malta and abroad, with perhaps the best ever result achieved when winning a tournament in Naples and beating the Italian National Team by 7-0.

Things took a turn for the better in the early eighties when local waterpolo competitions were opened to foreign players. In 1983 the Committee engaged the services of the Dutch international Jan Evert-Veer, then at his peak, a move which proved to be a masterstroke. Our team was hailed by everybody as the revelation of that season and managed to gain a place among the top four Clubs in the championship pool.

Unfortunately as had happened on many occasions when a number of our talented players were lured to other clubs, Evert-Veer chose to play for Neptunes the following season and Sirens were unable to repeat the previous season’s success.

In 1985 the doors were once again closed to foreign players and the league’s format changed once again. The Committee encouraged by the spirit reigning in the team, embarked on a new experiment, that of sending the first team on a pre-season training camp for a week at Acireale in Sicily. Though no houses were set on fire throughout the season, the team showed a marked improvement and gave the leading teams a close match.

With our last major honour (the league title) being won way back in 1967, a lapse of twenty years, the Committee made enormous efforts to strengthen our team. The Committee called on the then leading waterpolo player Dirk Dowling to take up the challenge to get our Club back to it’s former glory days.

In his first season as coach, Dirk succeeded in gaining promotion back to the first division. The Committee decided to reconfirm Dirk as coach the following season and started negotiations with Valletta for his release on loan. After long negotiations agreement was reached and Dirk was appointed player/coach at the Club.

 The team’s performance improved and we achieved a placing behind the leading three teams.

Encouraged further by these results the Committee decided to open negotiations with Valletta to engage on loan Dirk’s brother, Kurt. Agreement was finally reached and we had hopes of a very good season.

In the league, after a good start, our challenge petered out and we only managed fifth place, a real disappointment. However, our team found its motivation once again and played well in the K.O. Competition reaching the final of this competition for the first time in many years.

The duck was finally broken in 1989 when Sirens won the knock out competition after a wait of 22 long years. Encouraged by this result, the club embarked on a team strengthening campaign and for the first time in many years the team starting challenging seriously for the top honours.

The nineties will be remembered as the decade of the runners up as far as our team was concerned. The team placed joint first on two occasions, in 1994 and 1996, losing the championship decider to San Giljan and Sliema respectively. In 1997 we won the Winter League under the guidance of coach Stephen Rizzo, finishing second once again in the Summer League.

For season 1998, the club engaged Sergio Afric as coach and success quickly followed with the Knock Out in 1999 and a treble of Summer League, Knock Out and Super Cup (President’s Cup) in 2000. The names of Jonathan Valletta, Paul Privitera, John Farrugia Karl Montfort, Joe Caruana Dingli, David Cutajar, Neil Cassar and Charlie Zammit amongst other will forever remain associated with the successes of this period.

Afric was poached by Sliema for season 2001, when we won the knock out under Paolo DeCrescenzo. The league was won again in 2005, with John Farrugia as coach. Knock out victories were achieved in 2004 and 2006. Winter League success came again in 2007, this time under Pierre Borg.

Over the years the club has also been at the forefront of recruiting great names as its foreign players. Since the reintroduction of foreign players in1993 Sirens have engaged Robert Andrejic, Toni Milat (gold in Seoul 1988), Sandro Campania (gold in Barcelona 1992), Franco Porzio (gold in Barcelona 1992), Tamas Marcz (gold in Sydney 2000), Zsolt Varga (gold in Sydney 2000), Pedrag Zimonjic, Arpad Babay and Francesco Caprani. On the coaching side, the club has employed Paolo DeCrescenzo and Marco Baldineti, both of whom have won Italian and European Championships both as players and as coaches.

One cannot narrate the history of the club without a mention of what we consider our saddest moment. The date of 8 December 1988 will remain a very sad day in our history. On that day a very severe storm hit the Maltese Islands and the very heavy seas destroyed our clubhouse completely and with it all our records and trophies. The clubhouse was rebuilt and refurbished a number of times and today we boast what is probably the best club waterpolo pitch on the island. In 2002 a filtered pool was constructed giving our members and athletes a facility unrivalled on the island.

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