Malta Football Association
I'm honoured to be the new Malta coach – Saintfiet
Oct 13, 2017
Posted in:
National Team

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

Tom Saintfiet was officially unveiled as the new Malta coach at a well-attended press conference, held on Friday evening at the Malta FA Executive Committee Boardroom.

The 44-year-old Belgian, who holds a UEFA Pro Licence and has a wealth of experience in international football, was flanked by Malta FA President Norman Darmanin Demajo, Dr Angelo Chetcuti, the MFA General Secretary, and Robert Gatt, the Association’s Technical Director.


Opening his speech by saying ‘grazzi’ to the media representatives, Saintfiet said he was proud and honoured to be the new national team coach of Malta and expressed his gratitude to his predecessor Pietro Ghedin for his work over the past five-and-a-half years.


“This is a long-term ambition for me, it’s not something that came up in the last weeks or the last months,” the former Namibia and Togo national coach said.


Saintfiet said his first personal contact with Maltese football was back in 2005 and since that moment he had one goal... to lead the Maltese national team.


“I’m looking forward to this task but again it’s not me who will bring or deliver, it’s teamwork,” Saintfiet said.


“My first impression of Maltese football is that the last six years, Pietro Ghedin has donea fantastic job.”


Saintfiet said Malta is a small football nation, in size and ranking, but in the last years, a lot of small nations have developed very well and obtained some good results.


“Now everyone is looking at Iceland but their work didn’t start in the last years, it maybe started 20 to 25 years ago,” he said.


“I think Maltese football also started to do a good job since a few years ago.




“I see that the technical department, under the guidance of Robert Gatt and also people like Stephen Grima (director of coach education), are doing a great job. I get a lot of good feedback from the Belgian FA about the Malta FA and the development.


“I hope to play my role in it not only at national team level but also in youth development, coaching development and scouting anjd all the parts related to the development of Maltese football.”


Asked whether his ambition was to become one of the most successful coaches in the history of the national team, Saintfiet said: “I can’t say that as I’m just starting but I’m here to deliver... I hope to be one of the best coaches in the history of the Maltese national team.”




Norman Darmanin Demajo, the Malta FA President, said that Saintfiet has been appointed national team coach on a two-year contract and will start the job with immediate effect.


Darmanin Demajo said there were a number of factors that were taken into account by the Malta FA during the selection process of a new national coach.


“What we were specifically looking for was a more ‘hands-on, full-time job appointment that would also include a number of additional duties and responsibilities,” he said.


Saintfiet’s duties include:

• The scouting of all players in all age-groups, eligible to play for our national teams, both local and abroad;


• The collaboration with the technical director regarding all issues involving the Technical Centre, including the delivery of lectures within the coach education and UEFA licensing courses;


• Supervision of the sessions carried out by the MFA Technical Staff at the National School of Sport


• To establish stronger relations with the presidents and technical staff of the clubs with whom out national team players


To call up, conduct training sessions and prepare our national team for all their UEFA/FIFA commitments


“Under these circumstances, the MFA decided that Mr Saintfiet was the preferred candidate mainly because he has the qualifications, and among other things, vast experience of managing small countries in international football,” Darmanin Demajo said.


Saintfiet’s first game in charge will be the friendly match against Estonia at the National Stadium, on November 12, 2017.


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