Melita FC announced a new partnership with technology company Hub 88 on Friday ahead of their return to the BOV Challenge League next season.
Speaking during a press conference at the club’s premises, Melita president Andrew Naudi explained that the partnership is “more than just a sponsorship”, adding that the club is set to work with Hub 88 on “enhancing the delivery of our coaching and technique to our players”.
“The newly elected committee has great plans and ambitions both on and off the field of play, and through this strategic partnership, we feel that our ambitions and targets can be achieved,” Naudi told the press conference.
“We both share the same vision – to foster and nurture talent even through the use of technological advancement. Our aim is to make use of performance data through the use of technology, thus providing our technical staff with data that allows them to engage performance better, understand and rectify technical and tactical issues and possibly better football relations.”
Hub 88, a group of companies that also sponsors clubs like Watford, Southampton, and Arsenal, echoed these aims.
“From our perspective, we are not looking at this as a simple t-shirt sponsorship or a financial transaction, we’re really keen to do something digital and technological because Hub 88 is first and foremost a technology company and this is where we would like to utilise our strength as a company to see how Melita can benefit, whether that is analysis or data,” a representative for the company said.
The press briefing also served as an introduction to new player acquisitions the club has made.
Melita have already announced the signing of former Malta international Edward Herrera, who returns to the club after leaving initially for Pietà Hotspurs back in 2007, as well as former Sta Lucia goalkeeper Ryan Caruana.
Despite this, coach Saviour Debono Grech told the Times of Malta that the 2021-22 season will be based on last season where most of the players will be the ones that featured in their promotion-winning season.
“Last season was a successful season and we were unlucky to miss the championship spot. But when we look back, all the season was based on homegrown players – most of the games we had 17/18 players who came through our club which is something you don’t find easily in our country,” Debono Grech said.
“Obviously we need to include some additions to the squad. We have to keep working because some of them (players) are still youngsters and we have to help them approach a different league and we move from there.”
With a need for adapting to a tougher division, Debono Grech explained that the side has planned its pre-season friendlies based on “the fact that players need to push up the level” but insists they will respond well to the challenge.
“One thing I believe in is that if you have young players who are promising, they will adapt to the level they play in according to what you put in front of them – this is a plus for us,” he said.