Balzan announced that they have renewed the contracts of a number of key local players, namely Lydon Micallef, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Dylan Grima and goalkeeper Christian Cassar. This was announced by president Anton Tagliaferro during a press conference at the club premises on Tuesday.
The Balzan president explained that the club retained the core of the Maltese players and strengthened the squad with the signing of three foreign players, namely Bruno Giglio de Oliviera, Anderson Francisco de Barros and Borče Manevski. THe three players have already turned out for Balzan in the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round. From last season, they retained Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero, Bojan Kaljevic and goalkeeper Ivan Janjušević.
Tagliaferro said that although Balzan have a very competitive squad, he did not rule out further signings, saying there was still time until the end of August.
Anton Tagliaferro stressed that the club’s objective will be once again a top-three or top-four position. He said it was encouraging how clubs have performed in the UEFA competitions with Birkirkara making it to the third round, Valletta to the second round and Balzan being unlucky to miss out on a place in the second qualifying round despite a fine 2-1 win in Baku.
“This shows that the level of the Maltese game has improved and should encourage spectators to come and watch local games. The level can now be compared with that of a number of leagues in Europe,” said Tagliaferro.
The Balzan president went on to say that the level is significantly higher than it was three, four years ago. He said his only regret is the lack of support and that locals did give enough credit to the effort made by clubs.