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Marinov steps down as Marsaxlokk coach

Atanas Marinov

Atanas Marinov

Atanas Marinov has resigned from his post as Marsaxlokk coach after 15 months in charge.

The Bulgarian's decision had been expected for some days after he became unsettled by the club's appointment of former Malta U-21 coach Ray 'Zazu' Farrugia as head of their technical staff.

Marinov communicated his decision to step down during a lengthy meeting with Victor Sciriha, Marsaxlokk's honorary president, yesterday evening.

Last week, Marsaxlokk an-nounced that Farrugia, who has been away from top-level coaching since the end of season 2003-2004, had agreed to become their technical director in a bid to boost their fortunes in the Premier League.

Victor Sciriha and his son Mark, the club's president, had told The Times that they had every intention to honour their contract with Marinov despite Farrugia's arrival.

Marinov, who has had coaching spells with a clutch of clubs in Malta in the past nine years, has stayed away from training since last Friday and was not on the bench for Marsaxlokk's 2-1 defeat to Sliema Wanderers on Saturday.

The Bulgarian clearly felt that Farrugia's arrival had undermined his position as Marsaxlokk coach and after several days of reflection, he decided to quit his post yesterday.

Contacted by The Times, Marinov confirmed that he will not continue to coach the team but would not elaborate on that decision.

Now that Marinov has officially declared his intention to quit, Marsaxlokk are expected to increase their efforts to employ a new coach or trainer to assist Farrugia with the running of the team.

Marsaxlokk will try to hire one of a handful of coaches who have been suggested to them by Farrugia himself.

Oliver Spiteri, the young coach of ambitious Division Two club Qormi, is thought to be the leading candidate to become Farrugia's right-hand man.

Farrugia was also interested in rekindling his successful partnership with Michael Molzahn, his assistant during the former's spell as Malta U-21 coach. But the German is bound to Division One club Marsa who are undefeated after four matches this season.

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