Premier League side Vittoriosa Stars unveiled their new director general Felice Bellini during a press conference at the club’s premises as the Stars outlined the plans for the future.
Vittoriosa went through some difficulties a few weeks after losing a major sponsor but thanks to hard work, the club made plans to reduce costs while retaining a competitive squad which aims at retaining Premier League status.
Felice Bellini explained that he came to Malta last summer, bringing a number of players to Qormi as part of a collaboration agreement he had with the club which was led, at the time, by coach Tommaso Volpi.
Players who joined Qormi thanks to this collaboration agreement include Federico Santaguida, Riccardo Innocenti, Francesco D’Aniello, Christian Terribile and Marco Petrassi. Santaguida has now followed Felice Bellini to Vittoriosa.
Bellini said that he enjoys the Maltese league and his decision to quit Qormi and choose Vittoriosa Stars was based on the fact that he liked Vittoriosa’s plans since they aimed at retaining their status at the end of this season and then aim higher next year.
The new Vittoriosa Stars director general said the current squad is doing well and praised the work of coach Oliver Spiteri. He said that eventually the squad needs to be strengthened with four to five players in order to be able to make it to the top six.
Felice Bellini made it clear that he would not like to make drastic changes mid-way through the season but will still sign a couple of players which would strengthen the squad for the rest of the season. He said that after watching them in action in a number of matches and considering that the fact that teams are more or less on the same level, he is confident that Vittoriosa would be able to achieve their objective of avoiding relegation.
The Italian director general revealed that he had asked for a meeting with MFA Integrity Officer Franz Tabone and MFA Vice-President Dr Chris Bonnett to show that his only intention is to invest in the club and that he had nothing to hide. He said that for businessmen in Italy, it made more sense to invest abroad and he felt that Malta was the ideal place where to invest, not necessarily in football.
Among the plans for the future, Felice Bellini stressed on the need to focus on the youth sector which would eventually provide players for the senior squad.
Asked about his previous links with Qormi, Bellini – who has also served Gudja United for sometime as sporting director – said he had no written contract with the club and left before the dismissal of Tommaso Volpi.
Vittoriosa coach Oliver Spiteri said that the loss of the sponsor was a major setback for the team as this led to the departure of two key players – captain Ramon dos Santos and Marcio Teruel. Finding replacements was not easy but he said he believes that the new signings are on the right way to deliver. Further signings could provide a bigger boost. He said the club is eyeing a goalkeeper and two other players.
President Erskine Vella and captain Marcelo Pereira also addressed the press conference.