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Watch: Raising the benchmark remains the focus for Swieqi United

The new domestic season will bring more challenges to a club that is in a continuous journey to raise its benchmark while become a reference point in Maltese football.

Swieqi United’s identity as one club means that they put their equal efforts in both football and futsal, eyeing success that will be crucial for the growth of their brand.

Hard-work, commitment and dedication are all features that are used by the coaches to describe the people they found helping them at Swieqi, as the club makes sure to help the newcomers feel welcome in their environment.

In women’s football, Swieqi are looking to take their team to a new level and remove Birkirkara from the top of the perch.

Last season, the Owls failed in winning both the domestic title and the Super Cup but made amendments by lifting the Knock-Out trophy – their first major silverware in the women’s game.

This season, under coach Saviour Darmanin, they launched their campaign with a 7-1 rout of Mtarfa and will face Hibernians next weekend in their first big test of the season.

For Darmanin, this is his first spell as a coach in the women’s game, and has been impressed by the level he found both at his disposal but also across the other Maltese clubs.

Swieqi United women’s coach Saviour Darmanin. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

In accepting this role, the former Malta international is aware of the competitiveness of this year’s eight-team championship but is upbeat about his team’s chances of doing great things.

“I am familiar with Swieqi United’s methodology and that is why I accepted this offer,” he told the Times of Malta.

At the same time, Darmanin explained how he will be ready to push his players if they get the opportunity to ply their trade abroad as that is the only chance to really improve in this game.

“Abroad, they live football while in Malta we just play football, even though Swieqi are looking to provide such opportunities to our players through the collaborations and networks they have landed abroad.”

Meanwhile, the men’s team will commence their Challenge League with a tough match against Pieta’ Hotspurs, relegated from last season’s Premier League.

Swieqi United coach Pablo Doffo. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

The Owls will be led by former top-flight player Pablo Doffo who is at the back of an impressive coaching spell at Marsaxlokk, leading them to the FA Trophy final.

“Swieqi United has been a welcoming environment and I am really pleased to be working here, having provided me with all the tools to do my job in the best possible way,” he said.

“Our aim is to take this club as far as we can, helping them to improve on last season even though we are aware of the difficulty in this championship.”

Swieqi’s futsal team is driven by the same ambitions as they look to leave an impact in this young sport on our shores.

Coached by Dylan Micallef, the Owls will cross swords with champions Luxol St Andrew’s in their season opener.

Swieqi United futsal coach Dylan Micallef. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

“Swieqi United empowers you to work and that is a huge advantage for whoever is part of this club,” Micallef explained.

“It is a huge opportunity for me to be in this position and the club’s values and ambitions match my mentality, hence I am confident of our chances to progress in futsal.”

Speaking about the futsal landscape in Malta, Micallef has urged for more initiatives to help this movement grow on our shores such as having more coaches, providing more facilities and make sure to bring this game to the people.

Swieqi will be making sure to help improve the futsal image as well.

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