Jesmond Zerafa is back coaching in the BOV Premier League as yesterday he accepted the offer of Balzan FC.
Balzan were on the look-out for a new man at the helm after parting ways with Italian coach Ricardo Tumiatti on Monday following the team’s uninspiring start to the season.
Last weekend, Balzan suffered their fourth defeat from six outings after going down to Tarxien Rainbows 3-1. That upset left them fourth-bottom with a meagre tally of four points.
Zerafa was Balzan’s main candidate to fill the void left by Tumiatti and yesterday he concluded talks after agreeing terms to take charge of the team for the rest of the season, with an option to extend his stay for another year.
Team manager George Borg told Times of Malta yesterday that Balzan’s poor showings of late were the main factor behind their decision to change direction.
“We started badly and this was not what we were projecting,” Borg said.
“In summer, thanks to the support of Anton Tagliaferro, we invested heavily in our first-team squad and despite the early hiccups we still feel that Balzan can challenge for a top-six place.
“Results were rather disappointing so far and that made us act quickly and bring in a new man in charge, someone who we think can turn around the club’s fortunes.”
Borg reckons Zerafa has all cards in place to put Balzan back on track.
“Jesmond Zerafa was always at the top of our list,” Borg said.
“I have known him for several years and he has always done a very good job wherever he worked. He won the championship with Valletta and has led Qormi to two FA Trophy finals.
“I’m sure that he will be a great success at our club.”
Yesterday, Zerafa took charge of the team’s training session as Balzan started their preparations for Saturday’s clash against Floriana at the Tedesco Stadium.
Meanwhile, Zerafa’s decision to take the Balzan offer will bring to an end speculation linking him with a return to his hometown club Valletta.
Rumours were rife this week that under-fire coach Mark Miller could lose his job following City’s poor display and a 0-1 defeat to champions Birkirkara on Sunday. However, it is understood that the Englishman still has the backing of the committee who are not pressing the panic buttons so early in the season.