Melita FC are not just interested in winning the Challenge League or gaining promotion to Premier Division at all cost, but want to do that in a financially responsible manner and with a technical structure across the whole club that promotes the development of players, which is at the core of the Melita FC philosophy.
Melita FC newly-appointed President Matthew Naudi said this while addressing a press conference organised on Wednesday at the Hyatt Hotel, St Julians, to launch the club’s upcoming football season and to introduce the new technical staff and players who will make up the senior team squad.
Looking ahead to the new season that kicks off this weekend, Naudi emphasised the fact that the Challenge League has become very competitive, yet he feels the technical committee has put up a strong squad that can challenge and compete for honours this year.
He went on to mention the appointment of Neil Zarb Cousin as overall technical director, responsible for all strategic football matters from senior squad down to the U4s, and the appointment of the new senior squad technical team headed by Clive Mizzi.
“What convinced us to recruit Mizzi was not just his coaching abilities but also his coaching philosophy, which I believe aligns perfectly with our Club’s values and ambitions. Clive has a commitment to player development, to tactical innovation, whilst also having a winning mentality, which makes him and his team the perfect fit for our squad”, Naudi said.
Melita FC will field a senior squad of 29 players, 22 of whom are all home-grown products of the Melita FC nursery. Among them are players like Julian Galea and Jean Pierre Attard who have amassed close to 500 Melita appearances between themselves, and others who have over 100 appearances each for the club. Sixteen of the players are aged under 22. The club has a total of eight new signings, including two goalkeepers and four non-home-grown players.
President Naudi concluded his address by mentioning the strategic partnership Melita FC has formed with Palermo FC. “This is another great milestone for the club and I dare say unprecedented in Maltese football. They have great ambitions like us to be among the elite of football clubs. Together we hope to share technical knowledge and technical experiences for our coaches and players alike which will help both our clubs to achieve our objectives.”
He went on to explain the significance of the club’s international friendly played a few weeks ago against Palermo FC at the Renzo Barbera Stadium in front of a crowd of around 10,000 Palermo supporters, describing it as the ‘experience of a lifetime’ for the players and club officials.
Naudi then introduced coach Clive Mizzi, who began by saying he was delighted to have been entrusted with this new role at a club like Melita FC. Having gone up against the club on multiple occasions in the past, he was always impressed with the club’s image and ability to produce top local talents.
Having now worked at the club, this image was more than justified, as he found an organised and hard-working club that is among the very best on the island. Mizzi was clear in his message that the squad will take this season one game at a time, treating each encounter as an opportunity to give their maximum and fight for all three points. He was also thankful for the support received from technical director Neil Zarb Cousin, the club’s hard-working committee, and also his technical staff who have been just as important over the pre-season. Mizzi concluded by underlining his belief in the squad and his excitement for the new season to finally kick off in a few days’ time.
Among those present at the conference were Andrew Naudi and Anton Naudi, brother and father of the current club president, respectively, who both occupied the role of President with the Club. Also present were members of the main committee, players of the senior team squad and representatives of the sponsors including Atlas Insurance, Eurosport, Burger King, NOUV, Vibe FM, Hub88 and Planet Pay.