Qormi will be aiming at securing a place in the Championship Pool as the club celebrates its 50th anniversary. The club’s objectives for this season were explained during the launching of the sponsors and presentation of the new players which was held at Amazonia, Bugibba on Thursday.
President Redeno Apap thanked all those who in some way or another contributed to these past fifty years of the club. To mark this anniversary, the club will be releasing a limited edition wine and a book covering ninety-five years of football in Qormi – including the forty-five years which led to the foundation of Qormi FC on September 20, 1961.
Apap said the club has been investing in infrastructure and the club’s training grounds will be officially inaugurated shortly.
As regards, the team’s performance so far, the Qormi president said that despite the defeats to Birkirkara and Valletta, they gave a good account of themselves and then fully deserved to win the games against Balzan Youths and Tarxien Rainbows.
Redeno Apap thanked the sponsors and said that their support was of utmost importance for the club. He said that nowadays clubs need a lot of money as in order to move towards professionalism, voluntary work was not enough for the day-to-day running.
Apap explained that the club’s first objective was that of securing a place in the Championship Pool and then if this target is achieved at the end of the first phase, they would aim at a higher target.
Vice-president Matthew Fenech said that spending four years among the elite of local football was no easy task for Qormi and therefore the club aimed at strengthening the foundations in order to avoid having to sign several new players every summer.
Fenech said that this season, more club products were introduced in the first time and this as something of utmost importance and of great satisfaction for the club.
Matthew Fenech concluding by thanking the sponsors, committee members and supporters who give the club the courage to continue working hard for Qormi FC.
Jesmond Aquilina thanked main sponsor Tumas Group and the other sponsors, namely Bajada New Energy, BMIT Ltd, Viru Beer, Gino, Express Trailers, Fitness Planet, Bestplay, Alfgatt.com, Ta’ Dernis Properties, Lamb Brand and Powerade.
Coach Stephen Azzopardi expressed his gratitude towards the club for giving him the opportunity to lead the club once again – his second at the club, the eleventh in the Premier League and the twenty-third in his career.
Azzopardi said he was satisfied with the club’s achievements last year as Qormi focussed on strengthening the youth nursery and the technical department. He said he was happy with the performance of the Youths team and with the players’ development and the professional approach.
He went on to explain that when he took over as coach, the club had just seven or eight players and no youngsters who were property of the club. Now this has changed and one third of the squad are players under the age of twenty-one. Only one player is on loan at the club – Kenneth Scicluna – but Qormi have an option on him for next season.
Besides Kenneth Scicluna, the squad has been strengthened with the signing of Steve Sultana, Charlon Sammut, Christian Briffa, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Dino Cachia and five foreigners.
Abubakar Bello-Osagie, who was due to leave, decided to stay. Jorge Pereira da Silva and Giuseppe Vela Jr have already made their debut with the club. Daniel Nwoke is set to make his first appearance for Qormi against Hamrun Spartans on Friday after arriving earlier this week. Another new signing, Italian defender Federico Mirarchi who is a former primavera player of Juventus, is still waiting for the international clearance.
Coach Stephen Azzopardi said the technical staff has been strengthened with the addition of Jean Debattista as physical trainer, Victor Schembri as team manager and Steve D’Amato as technical advisor.
Azzopardi said his main targets were that of having a united group of players, a high level of team spirit and players who work hard to improve. Only this would enable the club to aim at a higher position in the table.