RAPPORT SANDRO MICALLEF
Failure to qualify for European competition and finishing 30 points behind the season’s Premier League Champions is the assessment that Sliema Wanderers have made on reflecting on last season. The club has re-appointed coach Stephen Azzopardi for this season in an attempt to revive a side that last season showed no motivation or initiative. These factors have motivated the club’s management led by Keith Perry to adopt a more aggressive transfer policy and the side has now acquired veteran Luke Dimech, Raffael Ledesma and latest acquisition Gary Muir.
Additionally, Sliema have played more pre-season friendlies than other clubs.
Its nucleus of players will be based on its experienced players like Michael Mifsud, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Alex Muscat, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri and acquisition Luke Dimech. Calcado, Bianchardi and Potezica are the only foreign players to have been retained.
Despite all this, coach Azzopardi maintains the side will not be under any particular pressure this season as he maintains the side is still lacking the essential elements to provide a Premier Championship challenge.
Goalkeeper Glenn Zammit will face competition for his place in the side from Timmy Aquilina who has been upgraded to senior level and is seen as one of the most promising youth products, whilst efforts are being made to acquire the services of a young Albanian goalkeeper who holds an Italian passport and as a youth played for Juventus.
Meanwhile ex-player Andrea Pisanu has been appointed the club’s Team Manager.