Lija Athletic will embark in women’s football after announcing their merge with Raiders FC to form Raiders Lija FC as part of a three-year project in bid to become Malta’s first semi-professional club in the women’s game, both clubs announced on their respective social media channels.
“The merger was carefully crafted with the purpose of developing every player to their highest potential,” the statement said.
“Raiders Lija FC is committed to a long-term project that aims to develop players in both recreational and competitive programmes while cultivating a lifelong passion for the game.”
Raiders have been based in Għargħur for the past four seasons after their long spell as Raiders Luxol.
Throughout the years, Raiders have established themselves as a hard-working and well-respected team in the women’s game, often producing positive results on the field in every category.
In the statement, Raiders added that the main reason behind the merge is to combine resources in order to provide the best environment and training facilities to the girls, given Lija’s recent investment in training equipment.
Prior to the premature end of the 2020/2021 season, a youthful Raiders side had 12 points after 13 outings under the guidance of coach Denis Guerra, who will once again be the coach of the senior team. Raiders will be competing also in next season’s U-20’s and U-16’s league alongside the U-13’s grassroots festival.
“Raiders Lija Football Club will be overseen by a joint committee as in previous years,” the statement continued.
“Raiders Lija FC are excited to see the evolution and result from pulling together two strong organisational cultures to provide a new unmatched framework for developing youth football at every level.”
Guerra will remain part of the setup as he has been named Technical Director. The rest of the committee, presided by club president Philip Ciantar will include Vanessa Bonnici as club secretary, Amanda La Rosa as Treasurer while Ronnie Caruana will be the team’s club official.
Colin Ciantar, Lija Athletic’s vice president and Team Manager, together with Benjamin Muscat who is Lija’s chairperson and Academy Coordinator will be also forming part of Raiders Lija’s new setup.