Birkirkara FC unveiled their new Nike kits following a three-year partnership agreement between the club and Hudson Group through their Intersport franchise. The kit, made with Nike Dri-FIT technology and lightweight breathable mesh on the back, is of the same quality as kits worn by some of the top clubs around Europe and national teams.
The kits were presented during a press conference which was addressed by president Michael Valenzia, coach Andre Paus, Hudson Group brand director Felice Ilacqua and senior merchandising and product specialist Etienne Camenzuli.
Michael Valenzia said the club has been working hard over the past week as they prepare for their first game this season – the UEFA Europa Conference League first qualifying round first leg clash against La Fiorita of San Marino at the Centenary Stadium on Thursday, kick-off at 20:00.
When asked with regards to the club’s objectives for this coming season, Valenzia said that the main target would be to do better than the season before. With regards to the changes in the squad, he said that in some cases, it was the choice of the club while some of the players decided to leave.
“We brought on new players but we are not finished yet. The squad which you will see next week will not be the same which we will have in August. We wanted to keep the nucleus of our squad while respecting the budgets that we have. We are aware that there are other clubs who are financially much stronger than us but we believe that we have our own capabilities. We will not do anything we cannot afford. All the players who will join us will be an addition to an already strong group of players and the technical staff who will help us have a good season.”
“There are many teams out there who are very competitive and I believe that with twelve teams, this will be even more competitive. But we believe in what we have. The team has been growing and if we are all in it together, then we can give a good run for their money to any other team.”
Since last season, the team went through a number of changes as goalkeepers Alessandro Guarnone and Andrew Hogg, Caio Henrique Prado, Alex da Paixao Alves and Reginald Mbu Alidor. New arrivals include Portuguese goalkeeper Daniel Fernandes, Brazilian midfielder Diego Silva Venancio and the young Jed Valletta. Ryan Scicluna returns with the club after moving to Sirens last season.
Considering that the team has played its last competitive match four months ago, coach Andre Paus admitted that the condition of the players would not be at its maximum. However he stressed that the players will be doing their best and although it would be a difficult tie, he will field the right players in these two games and is confident, Birkirkara would make it to the next round.
With regards to the women’s team, who is one of the unseeded teams in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round 1 draw which will be held on Friday, Michael Valenzia said that he was confident Birkirkara would remain the top team in Malta.
Hudson Group brand director Felice Ilacqua said they were proud to support on the top clubs in Malta with one of the top brands in their portfolio, in this case, Nike.
Senior merchandising and product specialist Etienne Camenzuli added that the company’s involvement was one that came easy as they believes that both Birkirkara FC and Intersport have the same philosophy of Nike which not only focuses on the first team but also the women’s teams and the youth sector. He added that as technical sponsor, we are offering one of the top kits with Dri-FIT material which helps the players perform better.