Ħamrun Spartans have announced a series of new signings as the Malta champions look to step up their preparations for their participation in the UEFA Champions League.
On Monday, the Spartans have announced the arrival of six new players in their first-team squad which will be guided for the first time by Italian coach Luciano Zauri, who has filled the void left by Branko Nisevic, who was removed from his duties by the club at the end of last season.
The Times of Malta had already reported last month that the Spartans had reached an agreement to sign Bulgarian winger Yuliyan Nenov and Brazilian midfielder Elionay Freitas.
These two deals are now official after the Spartans unveiled these two players as new signings for the club.
Nenov spent the majority of his career in Bulgaria. He came through the youth ranks of CSKA Sofia before he donned the colours of Chavdar, Botev Vratsa and Lokomotiv GO.
In January 2019, he left his country for a short spell with Moroccan club Difaa El Jadida before returning to Bulgaria the following summer when he joined Beroe and then Botev Vratsa.
Last summer, Nenov made his big move to Lokomotiv Sofia where he made 24 appearances and scored three goals.
On the other hand, Elionay is a 25-year-old defensive midfielder who also spent the majority of his career in his homeland, Brazil.
He played with Vitoria, Doce Mel, Linense and Joinville SC before moving to Betim FC.
The Spartans have strengthened their forward line with the capture of Ghana forward Seth Paintsil.
The 26-year-old, who is also capable of playing on the wing, has spent the majority of his career in Austria after leaving his country and enjoying a short spell in Finland.
In Austria, Paintsil played for some top sides such as Admira Wacker and SV Ried in teh Austrian Super League.
Last season he was on the books of TSV Hartberg where he made 11 appearances in 2022-23 campaign.
Ħamrun have also concluded a deal to sign Serbian midfielder Nemanja Krstic.
The 28-year-old played the majority of his career in his home country with FK Indjija, Kolubara and Zlatibor among others.
For the last two seasons he was on the books of Napredak and last term he made 23 appearances with the club, scoring three goals.
In defence, Ħamrun Spartans have yesterday announced two additions. The first is a familiar name in former Malta defender Joseph Zerafa who joined the Spartans after he parted ways with Hibernians last week.
Zerafa’s arrival at the Spartans will bring bags of experience, both with the Malta national team as well as some of top teams in Malta, particularly Valletta and Birkirkara with whom he won several honours.
At Ħamrun, he will reunite with his former team-mates at Valletta, goalkeeper Henry Bonello and defender Steve Borg.
The other defensive reinforcement is Croatian defender Karlo Bilic.
The 29-year-old defender moves to the Malta champions from FC Koper, of Slovenia, where he spent the second part of the 2022-23 season, where he made 11 appearances.
During his career, Bilic played in Kosovo, Croatia and Serbia among others.
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