New Gudja United coach eyes qualification for UEFA competition

New Gudja United coach Andrea Agostinelli aims at leading the club to a historic first participation in a UEFA competition. Agostinelli was addressing the media during his presentation at the Hunters Tower Restaurant in Marsaxlokk on Tuesday.

Following the departure of coach Thane Micallef, Gudja had appointed Paolo Favaretto as their new coach but a few days later, they had to search for a new coach as Favaretto could not make it for personal reasons.

Gudja United president Dr Duncan Borg Myatt explained that the club was aiming for a foreign coach in their bid to help them move a step further. He stressed that the sixth place obtained last season was no guarantee for the future but this achievement, together the good placings in the previous two years, should serve as a basis for the future growth of the club.

Dr Borg Myatt said that thanks to M. Global S. Agency, Gudja entered negotiations with Andrea Agostinelli and the two parties were quick to reach an agreement on a one-year deal with an option for another year.

As a player, Agostinelli started his career with Lazio but played for a number of clubs including Napoli, Pistoiese, Modena, Atalanta, Avellino, Lecce, Genoa, Mantova and Lodigiani. He started his coaching career at Cisco Lodigiani as assistant coach but then went on to lead Latina, Astrea, Mantova, Pistoiese, Ternana, Piacenza, Crotone, Triestina, Salernitana, Portosummaga and Varese before moving to Albania where he coached FK Partizani Tirana and KF Skenderbeu. Later, he had a spell at Daring Club Motema Pemba in Congo before returning to Italy where he served as technical director at Livorno.

Dr Duncan Borg Myatt said that the new coach’s experience speaks for itself but the club was impressed by the fact that Agostinelli stressed that on his arrival, he would be starting from zero and that he was eager to help the club continue to improve as his predecessors did.

The Gudja president said he was glad the club has a coach with a high reputation which could give the players new opportunities which could be of added value for the local game.

Andrea Agostinelli thanked Dr Borg Myatt, team manager Stuart Abdilla and the club for having faith in him and said that he was looking forward to repay this faith on the pitch.

Agostinelli said that this was a new experience for him and that it was the first time he was visiting Malta but is convinced that this could be a positive experience.

“I love this job and this is why I came here. Together with the players, who are the true protagonists, I would like to lead the club further, and why not, participate in the European competitions. This is my true objective.”

“We will work hard and try to do better and hopefully secure a place in Europe which would be a great achievement for the club. I am putting myself at the club’s disposal with all the enthusiasm I have for this job which led me to have a long career. I hope that I will meet the club’s expectations and that we will be able to give fans something to cheer about,” added Agostinelli.

When asked about the club’s objectives for this coming season, Dr Duncan Borg Myatt said “To be ambitious, one has to aim higher. Since we finished sixth last season, at least, we should aim for the fifth place. What we achieved last year is no guarantee … we need to work hard. However the sixth place obtained last season and the performance in the previous two campaigns fills us with courage. We achieved a lot and with the support of more people and with the new coach, we could look forward to do better.”

The club is expected to strengthen the squad with a number of new players in the coming weeks.