Spartans Register First Win of the Season

The much awaited first win and first points of the season have arrived in this match against Mosta. Nevertheless, it was no easy feat and once again the Spartans had to fight hard for every ball. The Spartan faithful filled the stands and their singing and shouting created a marvellous atmosphere notwithstanding the fact that this encounter following two consecutive defeats.

Contrary to what was expected, Mosta dictated the opening exchanges with our lads finding it difficult to keep possession of the ball and move beyond our defensive half. Mosta made sure to press us high up while not allowing us to build up play from our defensive department. Such ongoing pressure led to a nightmare goal on the 12-minute mark. Micallef passed the ball from the right side of the pitch to Bonello who mistimed the ball which ended at the back of the net. The Spartan fans could not believe what they were seeing and for a moment you could hear a pin drop. But our Spartans acted as true warriors and immediately went out to recover from such a setback. In less than 60 seconds, our debutant Gambin equalised sending the Spartan fans into ruptures.

Throughout the remainder of the first half, play was rather balanced with both teams trying to surge forward, with the best chance for Hamrun to move ahead falling to Gambin whose shot was excellently saved by Jovicic from close range. At the other end, Bonello performed an excellent save from a Mosta long range effort. In the second half, the Spartan players took to the pitch with renewed determination. Our midfield players were continuously creating space and chances and on a couple of occasions Soares had the opportunity to put us ahead but he either found Jovicic well placed or the finish was off target. On the 56th minute Gambin had an excellent effort miss the target by a whisker. On the 63rd minute, Soares was creating space for a shot with his fine dribbling, but he was brought down with a tackle to his ankle. The match official had no option but to award a penalty which Soares decided to convert himself with a cheeky but risky chip.

After going behind, Mosta gradually started increasing the pressure on the Spartan rear guard with presumably their greatest chance at equalising coming in the 68th minute when Bonello made an excellent save with his outstretched arms. Nearing the end of the match, the affair grew tense with a couple of scuffles breaking out between the opposing players on the field, with the match officials being able to control things without letting them escalate further. As true warriors, the Spartans held on to bring home the three points. This win might start reducing some of the pressure that has been building up in the past few weeks.

Line-Up

  • Bonello
  • N’Tow
  • Gojkovic
  • Dielna
  • Micallef (68’ Lagzir)
  • Marcelina
  • Gambin
  • Corbalan
  • Mbong
  • Soares (85’ Oyama)
  • Sasere

Spartans Face Defeat Again

It seemed as if we were witnessing a repeat of last week’s match. Dubious penalty decisions, Hamrun hitting the crossbar, the Spartans dominating the game for long stretches of time without really offering a threat to the opposing goalkeeper, going in front, and ultimately succumbing to our opponents and losing 2-1.

Although a hard pill to swallow, there is a lot that can be learned from this game. First and foremost, you can be technically superior but this can be easily outdone through tactical discipline. The Euro 2020 played this summer is a clear example of this. Unfortunately, that brisk passing and one touch fast football that saw us break through defences last year was somewhat inexistent in the first 120 minutes of league football this year. The international break can be a blessing in disguise for us to sharpen our blades as they are somewhat blunt.

Similar to last week, the Spartans took the upper hand of proceedings dominating possession and pressing forward in the early minutes. In the 8th minute we witnessed a scandalous decision not to award Hamrun a penalty for a clear handball. Unfortunately, this was the 2nd unfair penalty decision that goes against us in as many games. Nevertheless, Hamrun continued going forward and El Bakhtaoui, who was replacing Lagzir in the starting line-up, was unlucky to hit the crossbar in the 19th minute following a well-taken long range shot which Fernandes managed to deviate onto the crossbar. However, the Spartans were awarded for their efforts when Joseph Mbong provided an inch perfect assist to Soares who hit low past Fernandes to throw the Spartan fans into euphoria. This happiness only lasted eight minutes though as Birkirkara managed to equalise through Montebello, whose header gave no chance to Bonello. At the end of the 1st half we could easily conclude that although Hamrun had the majority of the ball, Birkirkara were much more threatening in front of goal considering that had created three 1v1 situations of which only one was converted.

The plot in the 2 nd half did not change. Hamrun kept possession but found it difficult to penetrate and be of any threat while Birkirkara scored the all-important goal in the 58th minute. Diego Venancio took a powerful low freekick which Bonello partially parried but Falcone was quick to pounce on the loose ball and easily converted to put Birkirkara ahead. The rest of the 2nd half was again a constant attempt by Hamrun to create threats though the flanks with Djordjevic and Sasere going closest through a parried header and a shot that went wide respectively. However, Birkirkara were tactically disciplined to take home the three points.

As fans we want our boys to fight like Spartans, but as fans we also need to show that we are true Spartans. Those of us who have been to the stadia even at the worst of times in the 3rd tier of Maltese football know well enough the heartbreak of losing matches. Those fans will be behind the team no matter what. Those are the 300 Spartans. For others who have approached in the past few years it is now time to be true Spartans and never surrender. Heartbreaks are a part of football, but so are comebacks and a 6-point deficit with 25 games to go is not unsurmountable. Remember that the Spartans bow down to nobody.

Line-Up
Bonello
Corbalan
Gojkovic
Dielna
Micallef (74’ Mercieca)
Marcelina (86’ Lagzir)
Djordjevic (80’ Oyama)
Mbong
Soares
El Bakhtaoui
Sasere

Hamrun S – Valletta (1-2) Match Report

Moments of inattention prove costly.

It was the first time in over 17 months that fans were allowed into the stadium. The atmosphere was full of enthusiasm and expectation, especially when considering that this was our first official game as reigning champions.

The game started off as a rather balanced affair and it seemed that both teams were trying to get accustomed to competitive football, bearing in mind that both teams did not partake in a competitive match for over 5 months. However, the Spartans started edging forward more convincingly after the initial period and went close on various occasions. As fans, we were sure that the opening goal was to be witnessed shortly. After missing a handful of goal scoring opportunities, the time for us to roar with excitement came in the 42nd minute, when Gojkovic headed the ball into the net following a well taken free-kick by Soares. The scenes of jubilation on and off the field were incredible. The first half ended shortly afterwards with the Spartan advantage being a true reflection of what was witnessed on the field of play.

The second half started in the same way as the first half had ended; with evident Spartan superiority. The game was played in the half-pitch defended by Valletta. Nevertheless, some slow decision making and lack of brisk team passing meant that the Spartans were not making the best of their territorial superiority. However, in the 58th minute, Soares was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a long-range shot. The territorial advantage continued although Valletta started coming out from their half more prominently. In the 69th minute, a very generous and dubious penalty was awarded to our opponents and after considerable protests from our players, Fontanella converted to equalise the proceedings. This seems to destabilise our team members as the Spartans suddenly seemed to lose the plot and Valletta were taking the upper hand. However, it was Hamrun who squandered an incredible goal scoring opportunity. Mbong won a contrast in midfield and immediately passed the ball to Soares, who advanced by dribbling through two defenders before chipping the ball narrowly wide from very close range with Guarnone visibly beaten. Evidently, this was not going to be the Spartans’ day as Fontanella scored once again in the 74th minute. Micallef committed a foul and our opponents took a quick free-kick which caught our entire rear guard off balance and distracted. Curjuric quickly delivered to Caio Prado who advanced and gave a low cross to Fontanella who put the ball at the back of the net. This was a 5-minute spell that turned the match on its head.

 

The remaining 15 minutes were a constant attack by the Spartans with the Valletta players trying to minimise the pressure and quickly clearing the ball up-field when given the slightest opportunity. However, the Spartans were never really dangerous in the closing stages as most of the play was confused and direct towards the opponent’s penalty area without much creativity in midfield.

 

People learn from mistakes and the Spartans are no different. Let us take what we can from this defeat and move forward with courage and determination. After all, the Spartans never ask who or how many the enemies are, but where they are.

 

Line-Up

Bonello

Corbalan

Gojkovic

Dielna

Micallef

Marcelina           (85’ Oyama)

Djordjevic

Mbong

Soares

Lagzir                  (70’ El Bakhtaoui)

Sasere

 

Photo Credit – Mark Mangion

Spartans, let’s 𝙩𝙞𝙠 𝙩𝙤𝙠

Hamrun Spartans launch TikTok account

Hamrun Spartans have today announced the launch of a brand-new TikTok account, thereby expanding its presence on the social media space.

TikTok is a video-sharing focused social networking service which has massively grown in popularity in the past couple of years particularly among the younger generation.

The Club is already present on a multitude of social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

TikTok is used by more than 700 million users internationally and has gained significant popularity in Malta in recent months. Since it caters for a young, dynamic audience, it is also an excellent opportunity to connect with a new generation of users, who are moving away from traditional channels to new, vibrant social media platforms.

Follow us on @hamrunspartansfc.

#DareToDream

When we look back we can all feel proud by what has been achieved both on and off the pitch.

On the pitch we’ve won the league after decades of drought … off the pitch we’ve built an efficient organization made up of more than 120 individuals who contributed and helped the club reach unprecedented levels of management. Our #strongertogether was never so meaningful and significant!!!

Albeit all this, like any good organization, we must always look forward and deliver what has been achieved to the annals of history… what counts is the present and the future…

However considering what we were able to achieve together in such a short period, surely allows us to dream of an even better future full of results and new ideas and innovative firsts in Maltese Football…

With this courage and belief it is therefore legitimate for ALL HAMRUN to dream… and thus our new hashtag for the coming season 2021/2022

Marcel Bonnici (CEO)
#daretodream

Two further signings as Hamrun Spartans bolster squad

Hamrun Spartans have significantly bolstered their squad in their bid to retain the Premier League title this coming season.

Throughout the past week, the Club announced two major signings, including Malta international goalkeeper Henry Bonello and Nigerian striker Franklin Sasere.

Henry Bonello joins the Spartans following his four-season stay at Valletta, where he took his Premier League tally to five championships. He also defended the National Team’s goalposts 27 times playing a crucial role in the recent string of positive results registered by the Maltese team.

Bonello is joined  by Nigerian striker Franklin Sasere who will be returning with the Malta Champions on loan for a second successive season. He joins the team from Swiss Super League squad FC Lugano. Sasere was the most profilic player in the title-winning Spartans squad, netting 16 goals in 23 matches, an impressive contribution during his first season in Malta.

Although the 23-year old striker was in the upcoming season’s plans for the Swiss side, having already featured in the team’s pre-season friendlies, even scoring a hat-trick in one of the matches, Hamrun Spartans continued with their efforts to lure the strong striker back to Malta.

The two signings join Estonian international defender Nikita Baranov who was the first post-season signing for the Spartans.

2021-2022 Membership Campaign launched

Fresh from securing the Eighth Premier League in its history, Hamrun Spartans FC has launched its membership campaign for the upcoming season.

For the first time in its history, the club is offering a number of different packages to its loyal supporters. These packages target Red and Black fans of all ages, including toddlers, younger children, teenagers and adults. These packages include various gifts and exclusive offerings ensuring value-for-money alongside the commitment of tying one’s name to the fortunes of the club during the upcoming season.

Speaking during the presentation of the league trophy, both Club President, Mr Joseph Portelli and Club Administrator, Mr Marcel Bonnici, said that despite the setback of the UEFA and CAS decisions, the club will continue to work hard to strengthen both the administrative and the technical foundations, but in doing so the support of its loyal fan base was of more than ever crucial.

Supports can secure or renew their membership at the newly inaugurated Merchandise shop in St Joseph High Road, Ħamrun, or through the website via the link: Store

Ħamrun Spartans finally receive Premier League trophy

After what was probably one of the longest delays in Maltese football history, Ħamrun Spartans – players, technical staff, committee members and its dedicated and passionate fan base were finally able to get their hands on the coveted Premier League trophy, won for the eight time in the Club’s history.

In a spectacular ceremony, a first of its kind, held at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, MFA President Bjorn Vassallo handed the trophy to club captain Manuel Bartolo, with his teammates joining in for a well-deserved celebration.

The Spartans had concluded the previous season five points clear of nearest-rivals Hibernians, having beaten the same Paola outfit in the very last match played by the team prior to the season being brought to an abrupt end. During the previous weeks, they has also beaten Gżira and Birkirkara, the other teams in top positions, confirming their dominance in the league. The Spartans lost just one of their games during last season.

Club appeals UEFA decision at CAS

The club confirms that it has instituted proceedings against its exclusion from the new season’s UEFA Champions League at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

This decision follows UEFA’s decision to reject the appeal launched against the one-year exclusion relating to a situation taking place more than eight years ago.

Club Administrator Marcel Bonnici said the club was positive that justice would prevail, calling on members to express their support the club at this challenging moment.

Spartans in one-week training camp in Austria

Ħamrun Spartans continued their pre-season preparations with a week-long training camp in Windischgarsten, Austria under the directions of coach Mark Buttigieg, assisted by Stefan Sultana. During these sessions in the cooler Austrian climate, the Spartans worked hard to improve their fitness levels, match strategies and team bonding in view of the upcoming seasonal commitments.

During their stay, the Spartans played two friendly matches, against regional league side Union Gurten and Second Division side SK Vorwarts Steyr. New signing Nikita Baranov made his debut for the Reds.

In the first encounter, the two teams shared the spoils, with Dodo grabbing the equaliser. In the second match, the Cape Verde player was on target again, together with defender Darren Borg, as the Reds earned a prestigious 2-1 victory.

At the end of the training camp, Hamrun coach Mark Buttigieg said: “this was a very ueseful training camp, which has certainly strengthened the bond between the members of the squad. I am sure that we will be reaping the benefits of this training camp in the future”.