Creating an identity at Gżira United FC is Paul Zammit’s blueprint to bring success to the Maroons.

The former Valletta and Birkirkara coach spoke about his philosophy when he was unveiled as the new Gżira coach, yesterday.

Zammit signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Maroons as he seeks to fulfil the long-term project that club have in their vision after replacing Italian tactician Giovanni Tedesco who was dismissed from his post last month.

“I am honoured that a club like Gżira United have offered me the chance to take over as a coach,” Zammit said.

“It was a not a straightforward decision for me as I based my choice on three different binaries – first, the club has grown financially and has a solid long-term plan therefore it fits my characteristics.

“Second, the club boasts a great bunch of talent in its squad, hence the team is competitive and finally I admire the respect that the president and the administration have towards the squad and that encouraged me to accept this offer.”

Zammit explained that the club does not necessarily need to change its objectives but is important that the team creates an identity to be consistent in their performances and eventually be successful.

“Before reviewing our objectives, it is crucial that this team has an identity and a stability in order to restore order,” Zammit said.

“Afterwards, we can sit down and discuss the club’s objectives – we are not anymore in the FA Trophy, therefore the Premier League is our primary aim.”

Asked about the environment he found, Zammit heaped praise on the technical staff and the players for making him feel welcome at the club.

“The players trained with the utmost professionalism during this week and they have understood what is required from them,” the former Birkirkara coach said.

“The technical staff were very welcoming and that helped me adapt as quickly as possible because it is never easy for a coach to join a club midway through the season.”

When it comes to transfers, Zammit had no urge in bringing in new players because he was satisfied with the players he found, including the January arrivals.

“I believe in the quality of the players in this team, therefore we decided to not to do a complete revamp of the squad,” he said.

“From the technical staff point of view, I believe that they have done a great job with this club and I think they can still continue to be a helping hand while I am here.

“In addition, I am also intrigued by the idea of involving captain Andrew Cohen. He is an experienced player and I am working hand in hand with him to provide guidance on the pitch. It is something that we discussed before I signed the contract.” 

President Sharlon Pace said that Zammit fitted perfectly with the club’s ambitions and announced that as from next season, the club will operating on a professional basis with the coach and technical staff to become full-timers.

The club already has a full-time team manager, kit manager and administrator.

Meanwhile, he thanked former coach Tedesco for his service towards the club, including in that famous European night in Split when Gżira dumped out Croatian giants Hajduk Split.

Gżira are currently fourth in the Premier League standings on 28 points after 15 games, six behind leaders Floriana. After losing to Sta Lucia 2-1, the Maroons will be looking to bounce back as Zammit will guide the team against neighbours Sliema Wanderers, today.

MFA projects

Before taking over at Gżira, Zammit revealed that he was contacted by the Malta Football Association (MFA) to be part of their future projects, namely the Football Foundation where he would taken a technical role in overseeing the categories from the U-15’s downwards.

“I appreciated the fact that the MFA had asked for my services – it was the first time that I had formal discussions with them.” Zammit said.

“However, I was more intrigued by the idea of being part of a club, absorbing the atmosphere of daily training and matchday - hence why I accepted the Gżira United offer.

“Speaking of the MFA projects though, I want to take the opportunity to highlight the fact that their plans look very ambitious including the Serie C one as this will help our young players to be part of competitive environment as from a young age.

“It is vital that we think about the best and not the rest.”

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