Floriana will be aiming for a place in Europe according to club president Johann Said. He was speaking during a press conference which was held at the new club premises.
Said said that when he joined the club, he aimed at transforming the mentality into a positive one which a club like Floriana FC deserves. He said that together with the committee and coach Todor Raykov, they worked together in order to strengthen the squad and he feels that now the squad is strong enough to give good challenge to any other club and qualify for a place in one of the UEFA competitions.
Thanks to this change in mentality, the club managed to convince a number of players to sign new contracts with the club. Duncan Pisani, Owen Bugeja, Mark Gauci and Ryan Darmanin will be staying with the club despite the interest shown by other clubs. Johann Said said that it was of great satisfaction for the club to bring back two former Floriana players – Christian Cassar and Manolito Micallef.
Argentine midfielder Pablo Doffo was confirmed as one of the club’s foreigners. Four new foreign players were registered, namely Tunisian goalkeeper Lofti Saidi, Bulgarians Ivailo Sokolov and Kiril Dzhorov and American striker Michael Mecerod.
The club’s biggest signings are Tyrone Farrugia and Ivan Woods. The former is one of the most upcoming talents while the latter is one of the most experienced strikers in the Premier League. Said said that negotiations to sign these two players were difficult but the two of them understood the club’s ambitions for the coming season.
Said said that the squad is a mixture of young talent and experience and although it is difficult to predict the outcome, he is confident the club’s choices will reap fruit.
The Floriana president praised the technical staff which is made up of technical director Todor Raykov, assistant coach Michael Woods and goalkeepers’ coach Roger Camilleri.
Meanwhile administrative work over the past three months focussed mainly on the completion of works on the facilities in the new club premises so that it could be officially inaugurated in the near future.
Floriana FC is currently in discussions with Green Investments Ltd as the club intends to take responsibility over the synthetic pitch. Said announced that works at the Independence Arena consisting of the building of dressing rooms are currently underway.
Johann Said said that according to the manifesto of new MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo, the Independence Arena will be one of the five regional football grounds. Therefore the club requested a meeting with the association to discuss these plans.
Bulgarian coach Todor Raykov explained that he is happy with the players at his disposal and the squad is now geared for the Premier League campaign. He said that in pre-season friendly matches, Floriana won four games and drew four. This shows that the team was moving in the right direction.
Floriana captain Brian Said said he feels that with the new signings, Floriana have a very competitive side which will gain the respect of all opponents.
Said thanked the sponsors namely GA Investments Limited, Giorgio Aluminium, Lightning Solutions, Twilight Sound and PUMA.
The Floriana president concluded with an appeal for all Floriana fans to give their full backing to the club in its ambitious plans.