Marsaxlokk aim at retaining Premier League status

Marsaxlokk will be aiming at retaining Premier League status as they return among the elite of local football after an absence of ten years having won promotion from the BOV Challenge League Group A as runners-up.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday at the Fornelli Restaurant in Baystreet, team manager Peter Agius thanked all those involved at Marsaxlokk last season which enabled the club to win promotion to the Premier League after several years. He said the last two months involved hard work in order for the club to be prepared for the upcoming Premier League campaign in the best way possible. The club worked hard to give coach Pablo Doffo a competitive squad for this difficult campaign.

Doffo was confirmed as coach and he will be assisted by Juan Cruz Gill, goalkeepers’ coach Ivo Rivera and goalkeepers’ coach Andres Quiroga. Michael Farrugia is the head coach of the nursery and Malcolm Tirchett coach of the Youths team. The rest of the technical staff is made up of kit managers Twanny Sciberras and Chris Abela and physiotherapists Karl Grima and Andre Caruana while Dr Marc Sant and Ivan Curmi join the administration team.

Although the club signed a number of new players, players who formed part of last season’s squad, namely Frerick Tabone, Emerson Vella, Walter Serrano, Ryan Tonna, Peter Xuereb, Terence Vella, Peter Paul Sammut, Gareth Barone and Jeremy Delmar are still with the club.

New signings included Dale Mifsud, Timothy Tabone Desira, Edafe Uzeh, Alfred Effiong, Daniel Agius and Conor Borg. Three of their new foreigners have already played in Malta – Oscar Carniello, Leandro Aguirre and Tiago Adan Fonseca. The other new foreigners are Santiago Ferraris, Santiago Moracci and goalkeeper Jose Maria Gobbi.

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Alamango – Marsaxlokk FC

“We believe that with this squad, we can reach our objective of retaining Premier League status. We believe that thanks to the players, the technical staff and the work by the club administration, we would reach our objective,” said the Marsaxlokk team manager, who did not rule out further signings in the coming days.

Coach Pablo Doffo, who had joined Marsaxlokk as a player in 2017 before eventually being appointed as coach, thanked president Frank Cachia, the committee and team manager Peter Agius for their trust. He said the players believed in their project and that he was more than happy with what the club was doing, both in terms of players and the necessary facilities to be able to do a good job in the Premier League, adding that he believes that Marsaxlokk could have a good season in the Premier League.

When asked what promotion from the Challenge League to the Premier League meant to him, Doffo said “It was a big achievement for the club. We were working really hard – technical staff, players and officials -to achieve this. Now is the time to consolidate our position in the Premier League. It will not be easy but the most important thing is that we are going to be prepared in the best way possible right from the first game and be competitive in each game.”

President Frank Cachia thanked all those involved at the club in the past seven years during which the club managed to rise from the bottom to being among the elite of local football. Cachia stressed on the need for the club to consolidate its position in the Premier League. He added that the club worked diligently for the past seven years and aimed for stability. In fact, the club is also investing in coaches for its nursery. He added that although there was still a lot of work to do, step by step, the club would eventually become self-sustainable in the coming years.

Meanwhile captain Fredrick Tabone thanked the players who formed part of last season’s squad as he said that it was thanks to them that Marsaxlokk will be playing in the Premier League. He said the team started pre-season earlier this week and were working hard to be fully prepared for this campaign. Tabone added that while keeping their feet on the ground, they would be aiming at retaining their Premier League status together with the help of the coach and the technical staff.