Italian coach Marco Banchini joined the technical staff of Premier League side Qormi FC as part of a sponsorship deal by an Italian company.
Banchini, who coached Vigevano in the Italian Eccellenza, Teuta Durres in Albania and Amicale FC in the islands of Vanuatu who won the Vanuatu Premier Division and took part in the OFC Champions League last season, will work hand-in-hand with coach Johann Scicluna.
Addressing a press conference at the club premises on Tuesday, Qormi FC president Jesmond Aquilina stressed that the appointment of Banchini as a coach on the team’s technical staff was not the result of a series of defeats. In fact, Qormi lost to Sliema, Birkirkara, Hibernians, Balzan and Naxxar in the last five league matches and were eliminated from the FA Trophy by Tarxien.
Aquilina said the club did not even consider changing the coach after these defeats and the addition of another coach to coordinate matters with Johann Scicluna was already planned three months ago. He revealed that in an effort to improve the financial situation, the club had talks with an Italian company who acknowledged Qormi FC’s focus on youths and entered an agreement with the club which includes a substantial sponsorship and the appointment of Marco Banchini on the club’s technical staff.
As part of the agreement, part of the sponsorship will go directly as an investment in the club’s project with regards to the youth sector. Four or five players will be joining the Qormi squad for training for three months as the club was unable to register any new players due to a prohibition. A number of young Qormi players could go abroad for training as part of the same deal.
The Qormi president said that despite financial difficulties, foreigners and members of the technical staff were being paid on time. He thanked club members for being the backbone of the club and said that he believed that Qormi FC would shortly be among the top teams on the island once again.
With regards to the recent disappointing results, especially the 0-5 defeat to Naxxar Lions, coach Johann Scicluna said that the defeat was expected. He said the fact that the younger players are playing so many matches due to senior team and youth team duties, they are being burned out. Qormi president Jesmond Aquilina said that the younger players in the squad had played five matches in ten days between the senior team and youths.
Johann Scicluna said that the club’s objective of introducing its products in the senior team was still being met. He revealed that on the final day of the transfer market, two players requested the release but this was not granted as the club could not afford shortening further the squad.
Meanwhile Marco Banchina said this was a good opportunity for him to work with Scicluna and the rest of the technical staff. He said he knew the situation was not easy but as this point, the club needed to get in focus in order to return to winning ways. Banchina stressed that it was of utmost importance to put the focus on the team and the players in order the bring the best out of them.