After winning the double last season, Luxol St. Andrews Futsal are set to take part in Group F of the Preliminary Round of the UEFA Futsal Champions league between August 26th and September 1st in Tromso, Norway.
In 2017, Luxol had managed to win the group which featured teams from Austria, Macedonia and Israel to secure a place in the Main Round of the competition and this is what they will be trying to do once again this year as they take on Fiorentino of San Marino on Wednesday 28, favourites Dinamo Chisinau of Moldova on Thursday 29 and hosts Sjarmtrollan of Norway on Saturday 31
Addessing the media on Thursday, president Mario Vella insisted that the club had a winning mentality and the team was not going to Norway just to participate but to win. He admitted that the second match against Dinamo Chisinau will probably determine which team would make it to the next round.
Club chairman Joseph Aquilina added that with the talent at the disposal of player coach Gabriel Dobre and his assistant Clint Cope, the club had what it takes to make it to the next round. The objective was to go there and qualify.
Coach Gabriel Dobre said he was glad to lead the team once again. He said that after five weeks of preparation, the team is ready to face these three games and is confident that they would make it to the next stage.
For these UEFA Futsal Champions League commitments, the squad has been strengthened with the signing of Norwegian national team goalkeeper Kenneth Rakvaag – a key element in the team’s success in 2017 and Slovenian international Dejan Bizjak who spent the last two years with Lazio in Italy.
The club has also signed Brazilian Everton da Silva Santos ‘Veve’ who established himself in Malta over the past years together with Jamaican Kemmu Degran Jackson who also played for St. Andrews FC and Mosta FC in the BOV Premier League and Serbian international Dragan Obradovic.
Vice-President Jose da Silva thanked the families of the players for their sacrifice, considering that they were training five to six times a week. He went also to thank the sponsors namely Holland & Barrett, Vella Bros (Bidnija) Ltd, Paradise Bay Resort, Dove Men + Care, Naxxar Motors, Shaggy’s Pub & Save Wise Supermarket.
The full squad at the disposal of Gabriel Dobre is made up of Celino Alves de Freitas, Matthew Attard, Carl Azzopardi, Dejan Bizjak, Maicon da Silva Gaieski, Everton da Silva Santos, Nicola Del Re, Gabriel Dobre, Kemmu Degran Jackson, Andy Mangion, Aidan Micallef, Dragan Obradovic, Emil Andrei Raducu, Kenneth Rakvaag, Gian Carlo Sammut, Leanderson Sant’Anna Coriolano, Marwan Telisi, Stefan Vella, Zvezdan Vukovic and Mark Zammit.