When the championship race for 2012 ended on the 8th of September after our boys had won the third play-off against Sliema, it was odds on that Steve Camilleri would sweep the top individual honour of Waterpolo Player of the Year for 2012. He had also been voted best player of the month for July and August.
No one lived in his street. Technique, strong swimming, versatility and above all a keen eye for goal which helped him dominate the scoring charts yet again would be enough to earn him the coveted prize as Malta’s number one player of the year.
One thought it would only be a matter of days after the end of the season before the ASA would announce that Steve was the winner of this award.
But, surprisingly, the association has been mum on this and up to the time of writing, which is two and a half months since the summer competitions ended, the official announcement is still to be made. Wonder of wonders…!
Somehow the news that Steve was voted 2012 Player of the Year filtered through but still the ASA kept silent.
Be that as it may, our star player’s top individual award for the year was a foregone conclusion. He swept the scoring board in every match, never missing a conversion throughout all the competitive outings. His total of 78 goals was way ahead of the second-placed scorer.
Above all, his all-round skills in attack and in defence reflected a new-found maturity that was as impressive as it was effective. These qualities bely his age. Not surprisingly, he is one of RN Bogliasco’s most influential players and among the leading scorers in the Italian top league.
It was the third time Steve had won this honour on the home front. The first was in 2007 as a 20-year-old and the second was in 2011. Only six players have now been bestowed with this award three times or more, with Marco Manara heading the list with five.
Given his relatively young age, pundits will surely put their money on our stalwart extending this run to surpass that of the others.
Yes, Steve is a safe bet to re-write the record books in this regard.