Local Football > National Teams > GHEDIN TO LEAVE MALTA POST AFTER SLOVAKIA MATCH

GHEDIN TO LEAVE MALTA POST AFTER SLOVAKIA MATCH

Pietro Ghedin will leave his post as Malta coach at the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Italian coach, who holds the record for most matches in charge of the national team, made the announcement during a press conference held on Thursday evening.

“The World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Slovakia will be my last matches as Malta coach,” an emotional Ghedin told reporters.

“I’ve been coach of Malta for almost six years now, my second spell as national coach, and it’s been a fantastic experience.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done in the last six years. I’ve done my best to help the national team and Maltese football grow, and I must say that I’ve received a lot in return.

“We still have two important matches coming up and it’s very important that we remain fully focused and motivated to try and gain positive results, especially in the home qualifier against Lithuania.

“We need to change a few things and do better than we’ve done so far.”

Malta host Lithuania in their final home qualifier at the National Stadium on Thursday, October 5, before wrapping up their World Cup commitments with a trip to Slovakia on October 8.

Ghedin had returned for a second spell as Malta coach in May 2012, succeeding John Buttigieg. His contract was due to expire in December but Ghedin said the decision to leave his post after the Slovakia qualifier was taken in agreement with the Malta FA.

Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the Malta FA General Secretary, paid tribute to Ghedin, describing him as an excellent and professional coach, and a gentleman.

“The Malta FA is grateful to Pietro Ghedin for his excellent contribution as national team coach over the past five-and-a-half years,” Dr Chetcuti said.

“When Pietro took over as Malta coach back in the mid-nineties, I was still a young football fan.

“When he began his second spell, I was still a fan and an official but my role as MFA General Secretary over the past year has given me the opportunity to get to know Pietro better. He always has a good advice to share. I will always treasure the conversations I had with him.”

Ghedin has overseen 70 matches as coach of Malta and this record is testament to the special relationship, built on mutual respect, between Mr Ghedin and the Malta Football Association.

“As the coach has pointed out, the most important thing is for everyone to focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Lithuania next Thursday. I have no doubt that our coach, his staff and the players will be doing their utmost to do the nation proud.”

Also present for the news conference was Robert Gatt, the Malta FA Technical Director.
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