Newly-promoted Hamrun Spartans presented their new signings during a press conference at the premises of one of the club’s main sponsors Video Slots in Pietà.
The club signed Brazilians Patrick Jean Teixeira Maia, Jorge Mesqueu Neto, Sergio Raphael Dos Anjos Raphael, Leandro Wallace Motta dos Santos, Colombian Luis Miguel Vergara Rodriguez and Italian duo Massimiliano Giusti and Christian Maldini while from the local market, they secured the services of Matthew Farrugia, Luke Sciberras, Daren Falzon and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza. David Cassar, Philip Chircop and Mark Anthony Borg extended their stay with the club. Malta Under-19 and Under-21 international Jake Grech, who has been promoted to captain, pledged his future to the club by signing a five-year deal.
Club administrator Joe Bugeja said that three years ago, the club had planned a strategy for three years and over these three years, everything went according to plan with consecutive promotions from the Second Division to the First Division and from the First Division to the Premier League. He said the club’s objective now is to stay among the elite of local football.
Gaetano Debattista, who has been re-appointed as president following the resignation of Dr Lino Farrugia Sacco earlier this summer. Debattista said the club was back in the Premier League after an absence of three years. He said this was the first time the club signed so many new players as the committee and technical staff worked hard together to strengthen the squad. Apart from a nucleus of foreign players and the addition of a number of experienced players, five players from the Under-17 and Under-19 teams were promoted to the senior squad. He added that he was proud that Jake Grech opted to stay with the Spartans despite the interest from top clubs. Debattista said the club will be aiming to give a challenge to all other teams but stressed on keeping their feet on the ground.
Coach Steve D’Amato said that after two consecutive promotions, the squad has been strengthened and the first objective will be that of retaining Premier League status. He said the club wanted to build a competitive side which would be able to stay in the top division and establish itself. With the Premier League no longer divided into two phases, D’Amato stressed that it was of utmost important to have a strong squad right from the start of the Premier League campaign.
Jonathan Holland joined the Spartans’ technical staff as assistant coach of the senior team and coach of the Youths. The other members of the technical staff are goalkeepers’ coach Reuben Debono, physiotherapist Jean Debattista, team manager Paul Galea, Bryan Degabriele, Jason Mangani and Clint Bonavia.