`Consistency plays a key role` - Darren Abdilla

Gżira’s coach, Darren Abdilla, believes that consistency is essential for the Maroons in order to reach their targets for this season.

Gżira's coach Darren Abdilla
Gżira's coach Darren Abdilla

Gżira were promoted to the Premier League in 2016. Despite leading them to this promotion, the newly promoted side at that time decided to appoint Branko Nisevic as their first team coach, while Abdilla was assigned as his assistant.

However, Gżira found it tough in the first part of the season as they lied third from bottom with just nine points from eleven games and thus Nisevic decided to resign.

Following this resignation, Abdilla was asked to take charge of the team once more. His side was also strengthened with a number of new signings.

During that same reason, Gżira’s players fought their way up the table and finished the season seventh with a total of thirty-seven points. At the end, it was quite satisfying considering their poor form during the early stages of the season.

Gżira were eager to do better during season 2017 / 2018 and strengthened their squad again. They decided to go for foreigners who had already played in Malta and know the Maltese Premier League well together with established local players such as Roderick Briffa and Andrew Cohen who had joined them during the second half of the previous season.

Such players definitely lifted the whole squad up as Abdilla’s side had a remarkable campaign and finished third. This led to their participation in the Europa League following a long spell. Abdilla was also voted as the MFA Coach of the Year for his efforts.

During the Summer, Gżira also wrote history as they went past the Preliminary round for the first time in their history, but suffered elimination during the first round against FK Radnicki Nis of Serbia.

With regards to the current season, Gżira’s board wanted to strengthen their squad further. It was decided to keep to their policy in relation to the foreigners and only opted for foreign players who had played for other sides in the Premier League. In fact, they signed Brazilian duo Rodolfo Soares and Jorginho alongside Italian wingback, Thomas Veronese. Furthermore, the club is aiming to turn professional in the coming years.

Together with Ħamrun Spartans, Gżira are still unbeaten as they secured two wins and a draw against Tedesco’s Spartans. Such scenario encourages Abdilla as although the Premier League is still in its early stages, Gżira’s coach believes that the current squad is stronger than the previous squad. Despite this, when speaking to Malta Today, Abdilla insisted that that this is irrelevant unless they remain consistent:

“It’s too early to say. I believe that we have a better squad than last year’s but that doesn’t mean that we can go further. If we can keep the momentum and stay consistent throughout the season, then we will reach our target.”

When asked about who the best team is according to him, Abdilla also stated that there is a balance between the teams. In fact, according to him, there are eight teams who have what it takes to fight for a place within the top four. Again, he made it clear that consistency will play a key role:

“Once again you cannot judge the potential of a team after just 4 matches. I saw all the teams playing and I can notice the balance which exist between almost all the teams. Consistency plays a key role. I believe that there are 8 teams which will fight for a top 4 positions.”

To know whether Gżira will do better than last season, supporters need to wait until April; however, the future look bright for the ambitious Gżira United who will be in action again against Hibernians on Sunday.