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Portuguese coach Joao Janeiro takes over at Premier League side Żabbar St Patrick

Żabbar St Patrick have appointed Joao Janeiro as their new first-team coach, the newly-promoted side announced on Thursday.

The 42-year-old Portuguese coach fills in the void left by Argentine Emil Cornago who had steered the Saints to the Premier League this season but decided to step down with two matches to spare.

Janeiro have been identified by the Żabbar top hierarchy as the right man to lead the team to Premier League football this season.  

“Joao Janeiro has been appointed as the new Head Coach of Żabbar St Patrick,” the club said in a statement.

“Coach Janeiro, 42 years old and hailing from Portugal, brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise to our football club.

“A UEFA PRO licensed coach, Janeiro’s coaching journey has taken him across continents, with notable stints in Portugal, the United States, Hungary, and Slovakia. His tenure includes guiding various clubs to European qualification, showcasing his tactical acumen and leadership skills.”

The Lisbon-born coach had a lot of experiences in football. In season 2011-12 was part of the technical set-up at Spanish giants Athletic Bilbao where he worked as a match analyst with Argentine great Marcelo Bielsa.

His first experience as first-team coach was with American side FC Tulsa before a three-year spell in Eastern European.

In 2020, he took over at Hungarian top-flight side FC Kisvarda before moving to Slovakian side Dunajska Streda.

In season 2022-23 he had a short spell with Hungarian team Debrecen where he only lasted six matches.

Zabbar SP added: “In his first official comments, coach Janeiro expressed his excitement and readiness to embark on this new chapter with Żabbar St Patrick Football Club.

“He eagerly anticipates engaging with the vibrant Żabbar community and supporters, aiming to foster a strong bond between the club and its local roots.

“As the club prepares for its return to the Maltese Premier League after a 20-year hiatus, Coach Janeiro will hit the ground running, commencing his duties immediately to steer the team towards success and help the Club reach its targets for Season 2024-25.”

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