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Ħamrun Spartans appoint Alessandro Zinnari as their new coach

Replaces Luciano Zauri at the helm of Malta champions

Ħamrun Spartans have appointed Alessandro Zinnari as their new first-team coach, the Times of Malta can confirm.

The Italian coach emerged as the Spartans top target to replace fellow countryman Luciano Zauri who decided not to extend his contract with the Malta champions.

Negotiations with the Spartans accelerated on Wednesday when the two parties reached a verbal agreement with the Italian coach.

On Thursday morning, Zinnari rescinded his contract with Santa Lucia and put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the Spartans.

During the past week, several reports on several news portals emerged on possible candidates for the top job at the Malta champions, linking the likes of Giovanni Tedesco and Gianluca Atzori with the Reds.

However, the Times of Malta can confirm that after failing to convince Zauri to stay on as coach, the Spartans had turned their sights on brining back to the club Branko Nisevic.

The Serbian has one year left on his contract with Hibernians and the two Premier League clubs failed to agree on a compensation fee for the experienced coach and the deal fell through.

This week, the Spartans opened talks with Zinnari, who was at the helm of Santa Lucia this season.

The Italian coach emerged as one of the top candidates for the Spartans who were impressed by his work with the Malta FA, where he formed part of former national coach Devis Mangia technical staff.

In fact, Zinnari worked for three years as Technical Coordinator with the Malta FA and had a short spell as coach of the Malta U-19 national team.

After he departed from the Malta FA, Zinnari was appointed as coach of Santa Lucia.

Although Santa Lucia failed to keep their top-flight status after suffering relegation on the final day of the season, Zinnari impressed with his work at the club, leading the team to a very strong run in the second round where they were one of the teams that picked up the highest number of points.

Contacted by the Times of Malta, Santa Lucia president has hailed the work carried out by Zinnari at his club and wished him well for the future.

“I would like to thank Alessandro Zinnari for his excellent work with our club,” Micallef told the Times of Malta.

“Amid the outcome of the season, it was the best campaign for Santa Lucia FC since being promoted to the top tier of Maltese football. Alessandro’s work with our players has not gone unnoticed, and to have Malta’s top team looking to secure his services is a testament to the great work he did with us.

“When Alessandro informed me that Ħamrun Spartans had approached him for the post of Head Coach, I told him that I would not stand in his way. It was a huge opportunity for him, and I am sure he will be an asset to the Malta champions.

“In a way, it is also satisfying for me and Santa Lucia FC and confirms that we have had the right set-up and plan. It happened two seasons ago when all our technical staff had joined Birkirkara at the end of the season, and it’s happening again now.

“I wish him nothing but the best for his future. He is the best coach I have ever worked with and, I am convinced, the best coach in Malta in all aspects.

“I wish Ħamrun Spartans a great season ahead.”

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