After being demoted from the Premier League, Vittoriosa Stars FC have strengthened their squad ahead of the forthcoming First Division campaign. The new signings were presented during a press conference at Couvre Porte, Vittoriosa on Friday.
The squad will be a good mix of both veteran players who already played with Vittoriosa Stars together with a fresh influx of new players that were either transferred from various clubs or who are a product of the club’s Nursery.
Vittoriosa president Erskine Vella said that after analysing the past two years together with new coach Joe Brincat, the club realised that the club could not continue to sign players and loan therefore being unable to plan for the future. The club adopted a sustainable plan of signing players on a permanent basis while also using nursery products.
Veteran players like Justin Camilleri, Larry Lagana, Johann Spiteri, Lucian Scerri and Stephen Calleja who were either part of last year’s squad or are back from the clubs that they were loaned to.
Brandon Bonnici also returned back to play with Vittoriosa Stars after he used to make part of such a squad two years ago. This player is on loan for a year from G?axaq FC. Sammy Piscopo also re-joined the squad after an absence of a year and he now signed up for three years.
Goalkeeper Jean Mathias Vella, who was on loan with the club last season, was transferred permanently to the club from San ?wann FC. Apart from the investment on the main goalkeeper, a substantial investment was made on other players as well and players on loan were kept at a minimum. This was done so as to be able to plan for the long term. Vittoriosa, in fact signed Mark Barbara (Valletta) for five years, Josef Dalli (St. George’s) for four years, Adam Spiteri (Sliema) for three years, Ryan Sell (St. George’s) for two years.
Shawn Tellus, Mauro Grioli and Erin Azzopardi join the club on loan from Marsaxlokk, Floriana and Senglea Athletic respectively but the club has an option to sign them at the end of the season.
Erin Azzopardi was also transferred on loan for a year from Senglea Athletics FC.
Meanwhile the squad includes two players that are a product of the club’s own football nursery, namely Clifton Piscopo and Kieran Zammit. Another two youth players were transferred from St Patrick’s FC and these are Dillon Pace and Justin Zammit. These four players will also play for the club’s Under-19 side.
Once again the foreign players that were engaged by Vittoriosa Stars FC are Brazilian nationals from the company Bizusoccer and these include former ?amrun Spartans striker Marcelo Pereira together with two new comers to Malta, Leon Rocha dos Santos and Tassio Lopes Fereira. The club thanked Eduardo Do Nascimento for the help and support he has always given to the club.
The technical staff is led by coach Joe Brincat who will be assisted by Stefano Grima as Assistant Coach and Under 19 Coach and Alex Camilleri as the Goalkeepers’ Coach. Karl Spiteri is the Club Masseur and Aaron Saliba is the club’s physiotherapist.
The club thanked the various sponsors including Jonathan Darmanin of Teamsport with Macron products, Brian Construction Limited, Fornaio Bakery, Creations, Electrofix, Sound Solutions, Krea and Sandro Estates together with vice-president Joseph Scicluna. Vittoriosa also thanked the Mayor John Boxall and the Local Council for the help and support they give to the Club.