Summer reshuffle for Tirana

Albanian champions KF Tirana have signed five players and released five more as they prepare to face the élite.

Wholesale changes
Nevil Dede, Alban Muça, Julian Amataj, Arian Pisha and Hamdi Salihi have all joined a Tirana side gearing up for a first qualifying round tie against Slovenia's NK Gorica, while Geri Cipi, Ardit Beqiri, Albert Duro, Ervin Fakaj and Fiodor Xhafa have moved on.

Starova stays on
With coach Sulejman Starova having decided to stay in charge, Tirana have snapped up the captains of First Division rivals KS Elbasani and KS Dinamo Tirana - the 26-year-old Amataj and 27-year-old Pisha, respectively - after neither could agree terms with their clubs.

'Good acquisitions'
"They are very good acquisitions," said Tirana general secretary Shkelqim Muça. "Both give us more strength and flexibility. We are very optimistic we will get positive results in the upcoming Champions League matches and in our future domestic competitions."

Dede returns
Former captain Dede rejoins Tirana on a one-year deal. The 30-year-old defender spent last season with Elbasan, having failed to sort out an extension with Tirana, but despite his impressive form over the 2004/05 campaign, he has opted to return to the champions.

Albanian nationals
Muça and ex-Panionios NFC player Salihi, both 21, have also been acquired with Cipi, Beqiri, Duro, Fakaj and Xhafa - who have 70 Albania caps between them - making way for the new men. The club are proud that all 22 members of their squad are Albanian nationals.

Rraklli contract
However, perhaps the key piece of transfer business was persuading 34-year-old striker Altin Rraklli to spend another season with the club, having won his first title last term.