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Watch: ‘We are building a team for the future’ – Floriana FC president Johann Said

Floriana FC president Johann Said said that the club has embarked on a very ambitious project aimed at building a very competitive side that aims to challenge for the main honours in Maltese football in the next five years.

This summer, Floriana have been one of the most active teams in the summer transfer window as the Greens have rejuvenated their squad, bringing in no less than 15 new players.

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

The club has parted ways with some established players such as Diego Venancio, Jurgen Pisani and Enzo Ruiz just to name a few and they have brought in several new players, mostly young talented players whom they hope they can build a very competitive squad for the future.

Floriana FC’s rejuvenation is being led by a new committee spearheaded by Said who is back at the helm at the club after almost an absence of ten years.

“This is a new start for Floriana FC as the club is being led by a new administration, technical staff and a squad of players that has seen the arrival of several new players,” Said told a news conference.

“Our objective is to help the club to continue to grow, keeping all the good work that was done by our predecessors. Since we started our work, our aim has been to put the club on a stronger foundation, and it is for this reason that we are aiming to turn the club into a professional set-up.

“At the moment we have Ivan Curmi who is the club’s new administrator and our team manager Anthony Gafa who are operating on full-time basis at the club. Added to that every member of our committee has an area to focus on so that hopefully together we can lead this club back at the top of Maltese football.”

Said told reporters that the appointment of technical director Nereo Omero and coach Gianluca Aztori were central to the club’s aspirations to build a team for the future.

“Technical Director Nereo Omero has done a great job since he arrived at the club,” Said commented.

“He brought in 15 new players to the club to boost not only the first team squad but also our youth set-up. This project is not aimed at building a competitive team for this season, but our goal is to be able to groom these players to challenge for honours inside the next five years.

“Still, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to see this team   this season. I still expect every player to go out and give everything they have to win every match we play irrespective of our opponents.”

New Floriana coach Atzori is a new face in Maltese football but despite his lack of knowledge of the game here, he is determined to lead the team to a top placing in the Premier League this season.

“I am very happy to be at Floriana FC,” the former Catania and Sampdoria coach said.

“We have done a lot of work in the last two months and I am so proud that this club has managed to fulfil all my demands. Now it’s up to us to help this group of players to become a very strong team.

New challenge

“I may have only took charge of two matches in Maltese football so far but it’s clear that the Maltese Premier League is a very competitive championship. From what I have seen so far, there is not one team that can be seen as a dominant force as all sides are at the same level.

“We may have a lot of young players in the squad but I am confident they will develop into top-quality players for the club. Our goal is very clear this season, I want Floriana to be the surprise team in the Premier League and my aim is to see the team finish just behind the leading title challengers.”

On his part, Omero said that he is really looking forward to this new challenge in Maltese football and is excited to see how Floriana FC can perform in the Premier League this season.

“I am honoured and excited to start this new chapter at Floriana FC,” Omero said.

“This is a completely new football culture here in Malta but for me it’s a very exciting challenge. We have worked hard in the last few months to bring in 15 new players. The team has changed a lot from last season as we had to part ways with some established players to ensure we have the right balance in the team.

“I am happy to see that the average age of the squad is 24-years-old and every player in the squad has been given a contract that is longer than one year as our goal is to see this team grow and develop together.

“Watching this team train every day and the spirit that exists among the players fills me with certainty that there is a bright future in store for Floriana FC.”

The Floriana FC squad has a new captain this season in midfielder Matias Garcia.

The 25-year-old Argentine midfielder said that he is proud to have been given the armband of such a glorious club.

“To be the captain of Floriana FC is something that fills me with pride,” Garcia said.

“This is a very important role for me and although I know it can be complicated to skipper a team, I am determined to lead this group of players to a successful season.

“The club has done a fantastic job this summer and we are keen to repay their faith in us by playing at our best on the pitch.

“On Saturday, we have a very important match coming up, the derby against Valletta and it’s more than a normal match for us. We are going out to get the three points and nothing less will satisfy us.” 

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