New Valletta striker Andrade Antunes Anderson was officially presented on Wednesday during a press conference at Brown’s at the Valletta Waterfront.
Addressing the media, Valletta FC president Victor Sciriha said the club had set its sights on doing well in Europe and therefore new signings were necessary to strengthen a squad which is already doing very well in the Premier League.
Sciriha said that with the addition of Ryan Fenech and Andrade Antunes Anderson, besides the presence of the other foreigners already on the books of the club, the Citizens should be able to make up for the gap which there usually was between the local teams and foreign opposition in the early rounds of European competitions.
Last season, Valletta eliminated Keflavik of Iceland before losing narrowly on aggregate to Irish side St. Patrick. This year, the Citizens were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League on the away goals rule by Ruch Chorzow of Poland. He said advancing further in European competitions was key to strengthening the club’s finances.
As regards the new signings, Sciriha said Andrade Antunes Anderson has a big potential considering his vast experience, having played in Japan, South Korea and Costa Rica, besides homeland Brazil. He said he joins the club until the end of the season with the club having an option of offering him a longer contract – a decision which would be taking after playing the first three games.
The Valletta president said that although there were other clubs interested in securing the services of Ryan Fenech and who were also ready to offer him attractive contracts, the player was only willing to leave Hamrun to join Valletta. Sciriha said Fenech has already proved his skills on his debut in the Valletta shirt last Saturday.
Valletta president Victor Sciriha appealed to supporters to improve their behaviour at the stadium as the club is being heavily fined by the MFA for a series of offences by the supporters, pointing out that fines for one particular game – the BOV Super Cup final against Birkirkara – amounted to €2,000.
He said the club is hoping to sign shortly the contract for the acquisition of land at ?al-Farru? to build its own stadium. Sciriha said plans would then be submitted to MEPA.
Meanwhile coach Jesmond Zerafa said that with the signing of Ryan Fenech and Andrade Anderson Antunes, he now has a most competitive squad at his disposal. According to the Valletta coach, both are players that can make the difference. He said that the one of the key factors of this year’s successful season so far was the competition between players as they are all eager to show what they are worth and that they deserve to be in the first team.
Zerafa said that the team’s position in the table is the result of the players’ hard work. Although he was confident Valletta had what it takes to be the main challengers for honours, he said he was aware of the big disappointment over the previous two years in which the team failed to clinch the championship. Therefore he wanted to keep his feet on the ground as he was sure that with the players’ confidence and determination, the team would be able to achieve success.