Sliema Wanderers present their new signings

Sliema Wanderers presented the twelve new signings for season 2012/13 including two new players who are yet to make their debut. The presentation was held on Friday at the club premises in Sliema.

Serbian defender Branislav Timotic, Italians Paltemio Barbetti, Stefano Bianciardi and Alain Faccini, Argentineans Matias Muchardi, Diego Ortega and Ariel Laudisi and Norwegian striker Omar El Ghaouti together with former captain Ivan Woods have already made their debut while goalkeeper Glenn Zammit has so far made it to the squad although he is yet to make his first appearance.

The other two new players in the squad is former Mqabba and Floriana midfielder Marlon Briffa and Italian striker Luigi Ruggiero.

Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA

Sliema Wanderers president Keith Perry admitted that last season was a very difficult one for the club and he was very disappointed that he and former president Robert Arrigo found little support. However despite the financial difficulties, the committee managed to keep the club afloat, also thanks to the players who understood the situation.

Keith Perry revealed the club reduced its debts by 70% – something which was of utmost importance due to the Financial Fair Play regulations as from season 2014/15. He said the club’s priority now was to get rid of all debts by the end of the season – an important objective which would have been achieved in just eighteen months.

On the field of play, the team disappointed despite qualifying for the Championship Pool as Sliema won just one game against Floriana. The Sliema president said the time has come for the club to challenge once again and make it to the European competitions next summer.

The club also aims at solving the problem of the Tigne complex.

Perry said that MIDI took a long time before handing the complex to the club and the fact that in the mean time no maintenance was carried out, the pitch became too hard and therefore unsuitable for training.

Several discussions were held with MIDI, the last being held in June, and the club is now waiting for a reply over an agreement to carry out the necessary works. Since the artificial turf pitch is on the roof of the shopping complex, architects have to confirm how the works – including the installation of a new artificial turf pitch – have to be done in order to avoid damages to the roof of the complex.

Referring to the nursery, Perry said the club invested heavily in the coaching staff. After losing a number of players to other nurseries over the past years due to the MIDI project, the Sliema nursery now has more than 250 registered players. He said he was confident that under the guidance of chairman Mark Pace, the nursery will continue to improve.

The technical staff for the senior team is made up of Alfonso Gre­co as coach, Roberto Causio as director general, Arturo Zeppitella as physical trainer, Robert Agius as goalkeepers’ coach and Jo Jo Bajada as assistant coach. Bulgarian coach Todor Raykov has been appointed as the new coach of the Youths team.