Hamrun Spartans set to sign Montenegro international

Montenegro international defender Darko Bulatovic is expected to join Hamrun Spartans.

The thirty-year old centre back had started his career at FK Sutjeska Niksic but then moved to OFK Belgrade at youth level before returning back with Sutjeska. He moved to Poland where he played for Miedz Legnica and Czarni Zagan. Bulatovic moved back to Montenegro, spending two and a half years with FK Celik Niksic. In summer 2014, he joined Radnicki Nis in Serbia where he spent two years, followed by a spell with Cukaricki. In 2017, he joined KA in Iceland but in 2018, he joined Vozdovac in Serbia. However in summer 2018, he re-joined Sutjeska Niksic.

Bulatovic has so far made three appearances for the national team.

This should be a highly-intensive transfer campaign for the Spartans, now backed by Joseph Portelli.

The Spartans have appointed Mark Buttigieg as their new coach, replacing Andrea Ciaramella who joined the club mid-way through last season. Buttigieg had served as coach of SK Victoria Wanderers in Gozo and as Physical Trainer within the MFA Technical Sector, assistant coach and coach at Birkirkara, before joining Nadur Youngsters last season, leading them to the championship.

Juan Carlos Corbalan will be joining the club from Gzira United, goalkeeper Jonathan Debono from Gudja United and Argentine forward Imanol Iriberri is expected to join the Spartans after spending last season with Hibernians. On the other hand, Elkin Serrano Valero, Emerson Marcelina, Predrag Djordjevic, Marcelo Barbosa Junior and Luke Tabone will be following coach Mark Buttigieg by joining the club from Gozitan champions Nadur Youngsters.

Twenty-three year old Juan Carlos Corbalan spent the last four years with Gzira United. He started his career with Floriana, moving to Balzan in summer 2012. Corbolan had a short spell with Virtus Lanciano in Italy in the latter part of season 2014/15 before returning with Balzan, moving to Gzira in summer 2016.

Thirty-four year old Jonathan Debono joins the club from Gudja United after a long career with a number of clubs, namely Birkirkara, Mqabba, St. Andrews, Marsa, Mosta, Floriana, Tarxien Rainbows and Gudja United.

Thirty three year old Imanol Iriberri played for Independiente and CD Carapegua in Paraguay, Deportes Tolima, Estudiantes and Deportivo La Guaira in Ecuardor, Wilstermann in Bolivia, Boavista in Portugal, Crucero in Argentina, Mineros de Guayana in Ecuador, Sport Boys in Bolivia, once again with Deportivo La Guaira in Ecuador before moving to Europe last year, joining FK Sabail in Azerbaijan. He signed for the Paolites last September.

Twenty eight year old Marcelo Barbosa Junior was on the books of ABC and Vocem in Brazil and Vere Ltda in Spain before moving to Gozo in January 2018 to join Gharb Rangers. He joined Nadur Youngsters five months later.

Thirty year old Predrag Djordjevic played for FK Bane Râska in Serbia, before moving to Gozo in 2015 to join SK Victoria Wanderers. He joined Nadur Youngsters in summer 2019.

Twenty-nine year old midfielder Emerson Marcelina moved to Malta in 2014 to join Floriana. The following season, he joined Birkirkara but mid-way through the season, he joined Floriana on loan. In summer 2016, he moved to Tarxien Rainbows but the following season, he returned with Floriana. After spending two years with the Greens, he joined Nadur Youngsters in November 2019.

Thirty six year old Colombian central defender Elkin Serrano Valero moved to Malta in 2014 to join Balzan after playing for Alianza Petrolea in Colombia. He moved to Nadur Youngsters last summer.

Twenty two year old Australian-born Luke Tabone is a product of the Nadur Youngsters nursery. He moved to Burnley in England in 2016 where he played for the Burnley FC Shadow Youth Team and returned back to Gozo two years later to re-join Nadur.

Meanwhile the Spartans have confirmed goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo and Ivorian forward Ailton Jorge dos Santos Soares for another season.