Sliema Wanderers launched the new club’s official website and the 2011 calendar during a press conference at the Tigne Complex on Tuesday during which the latest developments with regards to the complex were also revealed.
Sliema Wanderers president Steve Abela said that the complex was handed to the club on August 20th. This includes an artificial turf pitch which lies on top of The Point shopping mall, indoor pitches and space for conference rooms and offices for the club and the nursery, a gym and rehabilitation centre, among others.
However the artificial turf pitch poses a problem due to the fact that this was not installed according the latest FIFA standards. Abela said that after taking over as president, since the contract did not specify what type of artificial turf had to be installed and how, the committee had met Midi to discuss this issue. However when the complex was handed to the club, the pitch and the lighting proved not to be to the required standards.
Steve Abela explained that the club has now started discussions with the Malta Football Association as the club now aims at replacing the artificial turf pitch and install adequate floodlighting.
He also mentioned the fact that following correspondence between the club and the Prime Minister, the government had confirmed the payments of money due by the Land Department over a clause in the contract which had stated that if the complex was not ready by in two-and-a-half years after the signing of the contract, the department would pay two thousand Maltese Liri a month. Payments had in fact stopped in December 2009.
The Sliema president announced that Alex Muscat will be working full-time for the club after being appointed as complex administrator. He also announced that John Micallef Moreno will be assisting the Wanderers in trying to obtain funds from the EU as the club wants to market the complex for sports tourism.
Thanks to the work of three Sliema supporters – Kevin Bugeja, Terence Muscat and Walter Arciola, the club could launch its new website www.sliemawfc.org. The website was designed by Echo Designs.
The 2011 calendar was produced once again by Claudia Calleja and Sue Rossi from Modelle International. The calendar features a number of players posing with cars at various locations. Photos were taken by photographer Bernard Polidano.
Calendars will be available for sale from the club premises as from Wednesday for €10.
Meanwhile coach Mark Marlow admitted he was not happy with the team’s performance so far. However he said that most teams lacked consistency with the exception of leaders Valletta and possibly Tarxien Rainbows. Marlow also complained that he never had the full squad at his disposal due to the several injuries.
The Sliema coach said that the club needs to build on the young players and said the fact that the nursery is now based within the same premises of the senior team should strengthen the link between the club and the nursery.
Marlow said that the team and the technical staff have to continue working hard in order to improve the team’s position in the table.
President Steve Abela revealed foreign players will be joining the club for a trial in the coming weeks and these could possibly replace any of the foreigners currently in squad. He said that only goalkeeper Viktor Szentpeteri had a contract until the end of the season. Abela did not rule out the signing of local players in order to strengthen further the squad.