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Floriana, Oliveira part ways

Luis Oliveira... ‘positive spell’.

Luis Oliveira... ‘positive spell’.

Floriana FC and coach Luis Oliveira have decided not to extend their association beyond the 2015-16 season, the Premier League club announced yesterday.

“Floriana FC would like to thank Luis Oliveira for his professional service as coach of our team during the past season,” the club statement, signed by secretary Dione Borg, said.

“Apart from leading the team with his vast experience, Oliveira was a clear example of professionalism for all the players in the squad. He helped them develop their talents and become better players.

“Floriana FC wishes Oliveira the best for the future.”

Contacted by Times of Malta, Oliveira described his experience with Floriana as positive.

“It was an enriching experience and I’m very happy with what I’ve done during my time as coach of Floriana,” Oliveira said.

Oliveira was appointed Floriana coach at the start of the season, taking over from Italian Giovanni Tedesco who left the Greens to join Birkirkara.

For Oliveira, this was his first managerial job outside Italy. He is keen to continue his coaching career in Malta.

“I’m out of contract and free to discuss with other clubs,” the former Belgium and Fiorentina striker said.

“I’m due to fly back to Italy with my family on June 21 after my daughter finishes her scholastic year.

“I’d certainly consider coaching another club in Malta if the right opportunity comes along because we are settled here and I really enjoyed my first experience in the Maltese league.”

Under Oliveira’s charge, Floriana stayed in the hunt for a top-four position, which could have meant a place in the Europa League, until the final weeks of the championship but a 3-2 upset to Pembroke Athleta ended their hopes as they finished the season in fifth place.

Oliveira’s highest point in the league came last month when he helped Floriana end a nine-year league wait for a win over rivals Valletta as the Greens beat the champions 2-0. In the FA Trophy, Floriana were ousted by Birkirkara at the quarter-final stage.

Tedesco and Maurizio Pellegrino are believed to be the leading candidates to succeed Oliveira.

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