Devis Mangia appointed national team head coach

Former Italian under 21 national team coach Devis Mangia appointed new head coach of Malta's national football team

Devis Mangia has been made head coach of Malta's national football team, a role he is expected to occupy for the coming three and half years.

He will be taking on the responsibility of coaching the Maltese team after two years with Romania's Universitatea Craiova.

Mangia’s 15-year experience in the area includes coaching the under 21 Italian national team, the Palermo 2011/12 Serie A team, and other teams in Italy such as Spezia, Bari and Ascoli.

The 45-year-old will succeed Ray ‘Zazu’ Farrugia at the helm of the national team, who was appointed after the sacking of Tom Saintfiet.

In his last two seasons in charge of Universitatea Craiova, Mangia led the team to win the Romanian Cup, and also managed to take it to the third round of the Europa League, playing against top tier teams A.C. Milan and Redbull Leipzig.

The change in national team coach come after recent lacklustre performances. In his time in charge of the national team, outgoing coach Farrugia only managed to get one win in a victory against the Faroe Islands during the Euro 2020 Group F qualifying campaign.

Devis Mangia
Devis Mangia

Mangia acquired his UEFA Pro coaching licence from the Coverciano technical centre in Italy, and his contract with the national team expiries in December 2023.

Reacting to the appointment, newly elected MFA President Bjorn Vassallo said that he was convinced that Mangia was the right man to take the national team forward, underscoring his confidence that the Italian's “vision and philosophy” will improve the team’s performance and results.

“Our discussions with Devis further strengthened our conviction that he is the right coach to manage our national team and to lead the technical overhaul which we are undertaking in the coming months,” Vassallo said.

Vassallo also said that the projected presented to him by Mangia was “ambitious”, and said he was sure of the hard work and dedication he would show towards the improving the quality of Maltese football.

“I am very happy to have reached this agreement with the Malta FA. The project presented to me is a very ambitious one and I am confident that with hard work and dedication together we can significantly improve the level of Maltese football,” Devis Mangia said in his first comments after his appointment.

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