Thanks to ground-breaking deals with Italian clubs Parma FC and Brescia Calcio, Mosta FC not only managed to attract a large number of foreign players to the club while receiving a financial assistance from these clubs. Details were revealed by Mosta FC president George Galea during a press conference marking the launch of a three-year technical sponsorship by Eurosport.
George Galea said that last season, Mosta started on a positive note and mid-way through the season, the club had to make a number of changes in order to guarantee financial stability for the future. In the Championship Pool, the club made use of seven to eight players from the youths squad and two of these are now first-team members.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg
Galea said that the Championship Pool was an excellent opportunity for the players and the club as players gained more confidence and more experience while the club prepared for the future.
In summer, the club aimed at strengthening the squad, focussing mainly on foreign players. He said that now the club aims at establishing itself and the first objective is that of securing a Championship Pool spot. Once that target is achieved, the club could focus on further objectives.
The Mosta president said this was the first time a Maltese club made deals with top Italian clubs like Parma and Brescia which included players from these clubs joining Mosta while having their salary sponsored by their parent clubs and financial assistance from these clubs. He said Enrico Piccioni who joined the club’s technical staff this summer was instrumental for the club to secure such deals. Mosta also have deals with FK AS Trencin of Slovakia and a Brazilian club.
The players who joined Mosta thanks to these deals are Francesco Calcagno, Nicola Cosentini, Armando dos Santos, Lukas Duriska, Jonas Ekani Rodriguez, Ricardo Faria, Haruna Bara, Bojan Kaljevic, Ilario Lanna, Simone Meluzzo, Cristian Martins Fernandes, Yuri de Jesus Messias, Diego Pereira, Sorin Oproiescu, Stefano Rosciani and Gianmarco Piccioni.
The only two local players to join Mosta were goalkeeper Omar Borg and Ishmael Grech.
Galea said it was of utmost importance for local clubs to secure financial support from foreign sources and said that this could eventually lead the club to become self-sufficient in future.
Thanks to the approval of an amendment to the MFA regulations during the MFA Council meeting which was held earlier this month, three of the players who were still unable to play for the club are now eligible.
George Galea said the squad did not have any prima donnas but consisted of players who were eager to impress. He said the players have been working hard and that the trip to Libya last month was a great team-building experience. The teams did well so far, winning four of the seven matches played, showing that it can offer all teams a strong challenge.
Mosta coach Danilo Doncic said that this summer he and the technical staff had to choose from over fifty players. He said the process was slow but he was now satisfied with what was done. Doncic said there was very healthy competition between the players. He said the atmosphere within the squad was great and this was one of the keys for success.
The former Floriana, Sliema Wanderers and Tarxien Rainbows coach said Mosta had a competitive team and hoped to continue playing this way. He said that with the players at his disposal, Mosta are one of the best teams in the Premier League, stating that his only problem is to select six players for each game.
On the other hand, Enrico Piccioni said that Mosta focussed on its youths, leading them to play in the first team. He said that for the time being Mosta will aim for a place in the Championship Pool and then possibly aim for more while keeping their feet on the ground. Piccioni praised the several people who work hard for the club on a voluntary basis and said that they were those who enable the club to move forward. He also praised coach Danilo Doncic, saying it was not easy to have so many players at your disposal but still do well.
Mosta FC Youth Nursery Head Coach Mark Markow said the nursery’s objective was to continue improving its image in order to attract more children. He said by developing more players, the club would have a better future. He said that the nursery wanted to develop the children not only as players but as educated persons.
Marlow said that around three hundred children attended the nursery in the various age-groups ranging from Under-5 to Under-17 and the Girls Under-16. Speaking about these girls, Marlow said that although the women’s senior team withdrew its participation from the Women’s First Division, the club was laying a good foundation for the future and there were twenty girls in the Under-16 category who should be able to play in the senior competitions shortly.
The nursery’s technical staff included twenty-five coaches, including the goalkeepers’ coach, the coordination coach and physical trainer.
Vice-President Chris Grech spoke about the Charles Abela Stadium saying that apart from being one of the venues for regional football, hosting matches from the BOV Second and Third Division, the BOV Women’s First and Second Division Leagues and the Youth League, the stadium will be used for training by teams taking part in the UEFA Under-17 Championship finals in May.
Chris Grech said the association supported the club in the upgrading of the dressing rooms and the installation of fencing and floodlights. He said that last month the club was given the green light by MEPA to resume works at the stadium which include the upgrading of the nursery premises, new toilets, VIP Area, area for the Media and ticket-booths. Grech said the club is now seeking financial support in order to complete the works.
Eurosport Managing Director Christina Peresso said the three year deal with Mosta covers the senior team, Under-19, Futsal, Women and the Nursery. She said Eurosport felt it was their duty to support clubs and individual athletes and revealed that Mosta is the eighteenth football club to be sponsored by Eurosport.
The main sponsors of Mosta are Noel Co. Ltd, Tas-Sold Construction, Silverstar, 4 Homes Real Estate, Choc au Lait and Gianluca’s Ristorante e Pizzeria.