Newly crowned Malta champions Ħamrun Spartans are on the hunt for a new coach after letting go of title-winning mentor Branko Nisevic. Reports on Tuesday suggest former Pescara coach Luciano Zauri may be the man to take his place.
Negotiations with the former Italy international are said to be in advanced stages, yet nothing is confirmed as the Spartans continue to search for the coach who will be tasked with the ambitious task of fighting for a European spot with the side making their debut in the Champions League next season having last played in this competition back in 1991 when it was still referred to as the European Cup.
Ħamrun Spartans CEO Marcel Bonnici confirmed that the club was in contact with several coaches.
“At the moment we are in contact with several coaches… but so far no decisions have been made,” Bonnici told the Times of Malta
Were Ħamrun to bring in Zauri, one would expect a style of play similar to that of Serie C side Pescara.
The Italian spent the final stages of his playing career as a Pescara fullback before retiring back in 2014. He then joined the side’s youth ranks as a coach, heading up to the Under-19s in 2018. After a stint with the Bologna U19s, he rejoined Pescara, this time as the senior side’s head coach in 2022, managing the team for seven matches.
Ħamrun will be looking to push further their ambitions after president Joseph Portelli insisted he wants to achieve an unbeaten season. The Spartans finished the season on 69 points, 19 points ahead of second place Birkirkara, falling only once to now-relegated side Żebbuġ Rangers under coach Nisevic.
Nisevic, who unloaded the news of him facing the sack despite having just won the Premier League, also led the team to a historic qualification to the Play-Off round of the UEFA Conference League, the best result ever attained by a Maltese club in a Euro competition.
Nisevic had joined the Spartans during the second part of the 2021-22 season when he replaced Mark Buttigieg.
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