The day after they suffered their first league defeat, losing 1-2 to rivals Valletta, Birkirkara FC president Dr Adrian Delia stressed that the club will continue to work hard in order to achieve the objectives it had set during the close season. Dr Delia was speaking during the presentation of the club’s signings for season 2015/16 at the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Monday.
Dr Delia explained the main highlights of the work of the committee over the past weeks which included the acquisition of a property next to the old clubhouse which would be developed as the home for supporters and as accommodation for the club’s foreigners; intensive work to strengthen the club membership, the transfer campaign, the qualification to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League and the fine performance against West Ham United. He said the club will be investing heavily in the academy which will provide the club with future players and thanked the chairman and committee for their hard work.
Speaking about the rather disappointing start to their Premier League campaign, Dr Delia said the team went from playing at par with West Ham to disappointing and rather pathetic performances in the league matches. He said it was difficult to explain this but promised the club will work harder to reach the objectives which they had set early in the season.
The Birkirkara president thanked the club members which for the first time exceed 1,300 including around five per cent which opted to help the club even further by becoming VIP members. He thanked the committee for working hard voluntarily, the supporters sub-committee for their moral support and for raising funds for the club. He went on to thank his predecessor Joe Zammit who never stopped helping the club.
Dr Delia finally thanked the sponsors namely McDonald’s – the club’s main sponsors for the last nineteen years, Middle Sea Life, Eurosport, Powerade, Meat Point and Remedy Swiss – not only for their financial support but also for helping establish important contacts abroad of utmost importance for the further growth of the club.
Vice-President Matthew Calascione announced that the club offered new contracts to six players, namely Paul Fenech, Ryan Camenzuli, Justin Haber, Rowen Muscat, Joseph Zerafa and Nikola Vukanac. Giovanni Tedesco was appointed as coach, Josef Mansueto as assistant coach and Michael Valenzia as team manager, goalkeepers’ coach Francesco Ripa and physical trainer Antonio Romagnolo
The club signed three new Maltese players – Under-19 or Under-21 internationals – Cain Attard, Philip Schranz and Matteo Desira Buttigieg. Desira Buttigieg, however, will stay on loan with St. Andrews for this season.
As regards foreign players, the club secured the services of Fabrizio Miccoli, Vito Plut, Emerson Marcelina, Frank Temile, Juan Quero Barroso and Edin Murga. Murga, however, will be spending the season on loan with Mosta.
Meanwhile coach Giovanni Tedesco said it was not easy to speak after the defeat to Valletta. He thanked the president and the committee for giving him the opportunity to coach an important club. He said his objective was to make important achievements with Birkirkara.
Tedesco said Birkirkara did very well in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers but said the defeat to Hibernians in the Super Cup was the result of mistakes which could have been avoided.
As regards the Premier League campaign, the Birkirkara coach said this would be a long season and hoped to repay the club for their faith in him. He said Hibernians were favourites with other teams just behind them like Birkirkara, Balzan, Floriana and Valletta but denied ever saying that Valletta will end in fifth place. He said the level of the competition improved this season, especially with the arrival of several new foreigners.
Speaking of the game against Valletta, Tedesco said that Valletta defended with five players.
“A game is made up of episodes and they won thanks to an episode. Some you win, some you lose. We fought hard. They had two shots at goal from which they scored.”
The Birkirkara coach said that unlike other local coaches, he never wants to lose games, saying he wanted to change the mentality and that he is glad that players follow his instructions.
Giovanni Tedesco concluded by saying “I tell my players to work hard, speak less and do the talking on the pitch.”