Former Valletta FC coach Antonio Jose Cardoso Mendes has been appointed as the new Malta U-19 coach, the Malta FA announced in a statement.
The Portuguese coach arrived in Malta last season to take over the reins of Valletta FC. However, his experience at the capital club came to an end earlier this year when he was replaced by Serbian Danilo Doncic.
Here, the Malta FA set their sights on the former Vitoria Guimaraes coach to take charge one of his youth selections and decided to give him the reins of the U-19 team following the departure of Andrea Tedesco.
In a statement, Bjorn Vassallo, the Malta FA president, said: “When Andrea Tedesco decided to step down from the role, the Association started to look for his replacement. Following a shortlist of selected coaches, the decision was to offer the role to Mr Mendes since we believe he is the ideal candidate brining with him vast experience having worked for a number of years in the youth football sector in his native Portugal but also in the Asian continent.
“Mr Mendes, even through his previous role in Malta, has shown that he can align with the Malta FA Technical Centre’s football philosophy based on the development of youth players
“Whilst wishing Antonio Jose a valuable experience, we thank Andrea Tedesco for his stint at the Association and also Alessandro Zinnari who acted as interim coach for the U19 team during these last months and now returns to his full commitment as Technical Coordinator of the Youth National Teams.”
At the presentation in Ta’ Qali coach Mendes said, “It is a great honour to be appointed Malta U19 coach. After my first experience in Maltese football at Valletta FC, I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead and determined to deliver on the objectives as presented to me by Head Coach, Mr Devis Mangia.”
Prior to his experience at Valletta FC, the 43-year-old coached at Al Wehda FC and also Al Nassr in the youth sectors and had a longer spell with Vitória de Guimarães SC as Head Coach of their under 23s, 19s and 17s.
During season 2013/14 he won the Under-17 Portuguese National Championship with the club.