After establishing themselves in the Premier League in the past years, new Mosta FC technical director Mario Muscat said it was time for the club to aim higher in the coming years. The new players and technical staff were presented during a press conference on Monday.
Team Manager Jason Vella said the club signed players like Clayton Failla and Johann Bezzina whose experience will help younger ones like Dejan Debono and Andrei Spiteri – both members of the Malta Under-21 national team along with club products who form part of the Under-21 or the Under-19 national teams.
With regards to foreigners, the club retained Matias Muchardi, Rafael Morisco, Christ Ememe, Santiago Martinez and Gabon national team goalkeeper Yves Stephane Bitseki Moto. They signed Jeferson de Sousa Ferreira who played for Birkirkara, Nikola Braunovic who was on the books of Senglea Athletic and Brazilian forward Nixon Darlanio Reis Cardoso while Montenegrin striker Bojan Kaljevic agreed to return with the club after playing for Balzan and Valletta.
Mosta have also invested in a number of young foreign players like goalkeeper Jeanpiero Antonio Antequera, Nicolas Camilo Pabon Rodriguez, Watson Fabrice Hounkpe and Carlos Silvestri. These will be available for both the Under-19 and the senior squads.
Other foreigners are currently on trial and could join the club in the coming days.
The technical staff for this coming season is made up of technical director Mario Muscat, Head Coach Davor Filipovic, goalkeepers coach Simon Grech, physical trainer Matt Emerson and physio Jean Carl Azzopardi.
Muscat said that his first objective after being appointed as technical director was to appoint a professional technical staff and set-up a high-level structure at the club. He added that all coaching staff joined the club on a full-time basis.
Filipovic will also serve as coach of the Under-19 side as Muscat explained that he believed in this group of players which finished on top of Section A in the past two years. The former Hibernians goalkeeper and Qormi and Senglea technical director explained that during pre-season, he introduced six players from the Under-19 side into the senior side and stressed that in this coming season, these players will play an important role.
With regards to Simon Grech, Muscat said that he had been working closely with him for the past twenty years and that he had already worked for clubs like Birkirkara and Valletta. He said that Matthew Emerson was one of the top physical trainers on the island and had worked for around five years with Hibernians while Jean Carl Azzopardi will be working full time with the players, dealing with injuries and rehabilitation.
Pre-season was a bit different as training started off in the last week of June and for a whole month, pre-season only consisted of just physical training to make up for the three months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team played six friendly matches against other Premier League opponents and teams from the Challenge League. The Mosta FC technical director said that he felt they were superior in most matches although they needed a couple of players to complete the squad.
Mario Muscat said his short-term objective is for to have an organised and disciplines team who is able to secure its Premier League status as early as possible. He said that with four teams to be relegated at the end of this coming season and a fifth being involved in the play-off, apart from the fact that all clubs have strengthened their squad, this will definitely be a very difficult Premier League campaign.
On the other hand, in the long-term, Muscat plans to introduce more young players from the club’s academy into the senior squad. He said that currently the club as three Under-21 internationals and three Under-19 internationals.
In the past years, Mosta have established themselves in the Premier League but technical director Mario Muscat aims higher.
“It is the time to aim higher in a few years – challenge for honours and a place in the European competitions. The committee has been working hard and with the backing of sponsors, this dream could come true,” said Muscat.
“The club is on the right track to achieving success in the coming years. I wanted to bring the winning mentality to the club to help Mosta FC do what other smaller clubs managed to do.”
President George Galea agreed that this season would be even more difficult than previous seasons due to the fact that up to five teams could be relegated. He said the technical staff did a great job in building a team without big names and without particular pressure.
Team Manager Jason Vella said that together with the rest of the technical staff and committee, they worked hand in hand to strengthen the squad to reach their objectives.
Vella thanked the sponsors, namely Dimbros, Nilmar, High Ridge Mansion, Teamsport, Kluwp, Gustave Micallef Wines & Spirits, Noelco Limited, Rotceh Master Agency and Numero Uno.