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Ħamrun Spartans end D’Amato’s contract

Stephen D’Amato is no longer the coach of Ħamrun Spartans after his contract was terminated yesterday.

The club’s decision to relieve D’Amato of his duties was taken only four days after the Spartans slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Premier League rivals Valletta.

“We’ve decided to make a change as we have different plans for the remainder of the season,” Gejtu Debattista, the president of Ħamrun Spartans, said when contacted by Times of Malta.

“I take the opportunity to thank Stephen D’Amato for his contribution to Ħamrun Spartans.”

Having steered the Reds to back-to-back promotions, culminating in a long-awaited return to the top flight at the end of last season, D’Amato admitted that his dismissal took him by surprise.

“I’m very surprised by this decision,” a distraught D’Amato, whose deal with the Spartans was due to run out at the end of the season, said.

“I mean, we secured two promotions from Division Two straight up to the Premier League in the last two years and the team is currently in a good position in the table.

“The club’s target at the start of the season was to secure its top-flight status as early as possible and offer a stern challenge to all teams.

“I believe we were on course to reach our targets as we are in a mid-table position and played some positive football in the process.”

The Spartans, seventh in the Premier League table with 14 points from 11 games, have yet to appoint a new coach.

Winston Muscat, who lost his job as Pembroke Athleta coach last month, has been linked with the post while the name of Jesmond Zerafa has also been mooted.

Meanwhile, Ħamrun defender Jorginho was yesterday suspended for one game following his sending-off against Valletta on Saturday.

The Brazilian will miss the Spartans’ game against Hibernians on November 20.

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