Newly-promoted Vittoriosa Stars aim at retaining their Premier League status after being promoted as runners-up in the BOV First Division.
The Stars retained two of the key players behind the club’s promotion bid – Brazilians Ramon dos Santos and Marcelo Pereira. These will be joined by Brazilian midfielder Marcio Teruel and Colombian midfielder Oscar Dario Guerrero Alvarado.
Marcio Teruel played mainly in the Brazilian second and third divisions and then in El Salvador. Last season, he played for FK Jagodina in Serbia. On the other hand, Oscar Guerrero played in Colombia before moving to Deportivo Armenio in Argentina. He then moved to Europe to play for Pyunik Yerevan in Armenia and then Ramat HaSharon, Hapoel Jerusalem and Maccabi Petah Tikva in Israel.
The Stars also secured the services of Clive Spiteri from Pietà Hotspurs and Ryan Mifsud who played for Marsaxlokk while Gilbert Martin and Michael Camilleri join the club on loan from Fgura United and Birkirkara respectively. Twins Samir and Siraj Arab will spend another season at the club on loan from Valletta.
The team will be led once again by coach Oliver Spiteri, assisted by Jean Paul Desira who is also coach of the Under-19 side and goalkeepers’ coach Alex Camilleri.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the newly-refurbished club premises, president Erskine Vella said that promotion was achieved one year earlier than planned. He said that unlike three years ago, this time the squad is based on the squad which gained promotion. The Vittoriosa president said the main objective will be that of regaining Premier League status.
Vella said the club has been working hard on refurbishing the club premises as they wanted to increase the club revenues by maximising their assets. The premises now include a sports bar and restaurant.
Erskine Vella thanked the sponsors, namely Eligio Vella from Tuttosport who are the club’s kit-sponsors with Givova products, Best Deal Properties, Cafe du Brazil, Abitat, Powerade, MRCD, Electrofix, Reflex Total Fitness Centre at the Radisson Blu St. Julian’s, Sound Solutions and Vittoriosa Sports and Social Club.
Vice-President Joseph Scicluna said that after being relegated to Division 1 at the end of season 2010/11, the club laid a three-year plan to regain promotion. Promotion was however achieved a year earlier. He said the team has been strengthened and feels that the squad is strong enough to retain their status. Scicluna admitted the first season is the most difficult one but said that if the team manages to avoid relegation, the club could be in for a long stay in the top division.
Vittoriosa coach Oliver Spiteri said the squad is aware it will be a difficult campaign but is confident that the same determination shown by the players who managed to conclude the season with a brilliant run of eleven matches without defeat in order to secure promotion, would enable the club to achieve its targets.
Spiteri said that together with the president and the team manager, they have been working hard since May in order to strengthen the squad. He said that apart from experienced duo Ramon dos Santos and Marcelo Pereira, the club secured the services of Marcio Teruel and Oscar Guerrero and is now aiming at signing a fifth foreigner in the coming days.
The Vittoriosa coach concluded by thanking the players for their sacrifices and hard work, saying he is optimistic the team will reach its objectives.