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Five coaches in the running for ASA post

Five coaches, including Sergio Afric whose contract with the national team expired late in summer, have submitted appli-cations to take over as Malta coach for the next two years as the Aquatic Sport Association (ASA) will soon be interviewing the can-didates with a view of appointing a new man in charge by the end of the month.

Afric, who first took over in 2008, is not the only foreigner vying for the post as Italian Marco Risso, who coached Sirens in the national championship this year, is again showing interest having also been in the running two years ago when Afric’s contract was renewed by another term.

The other three coaches in contention are all Maltese – Karl Izzo, Joe Caruana Dingli and Anthony Farrugia.

Izzo, who last season steered San Ġiljan to the semi-final play-offs, already has experience at national team level as he was Afric’s no.2 for the last two years while doubling as Malta Under-17 coach.

Farrugia is another member of the ASA youth technical set-up and an experienced coach at club level as well having been responsible for various teams in both divisions of the national championship.

Caruana Dingli, a former Malta goalkeeper who was on the Exiles bench in the summer league, is a relative newcomer to the local coaching scene.

He did exceptionally well when transforming Exiles into a solid outfit and a team to reckon with in the top division last season.

Selection committee

ASA president Joe Caruana Curran told The Times the ASA will appoint a selection committee this week with the task of holding interviews with all five applicants before naming the new coach.

“The appointment of a new national coach is high on the ASA agenda due to our impending commitments in the European Championship qualifiers,” Caruana Curran said.

“It’s a common procedure for the association that once the contract of the national coach expires we issue a call for applications so those interested have the opportunity to put their name for the job.

“All candidates are valid contenders and a decision will be made in the next fortnight. We are hoping to conclude this process as quickly as possible.”

As a first task, the prospective Malta coach will have to prepare the team for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers.

Malta were first drawn to feature in a tough-looking qualifying group against Spain and Ukraine in a series of matches between December and next July.

However, following objections by various other countries in the tournament, European governing body LEN have decided to scrap the fixtures and revise the format of the tournament.

The draws and module of the new qualifying process have yet to be announced.

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