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MALTA IN FRIENDLY AND EURO QUALIFIER AS COMPETITIVE CYCLE OPENS

Published: 23-03-2015 09:40
image1 (102)
image1 (102)
 On Saturday 28 March Malta will have the first competitive outing of the year when the team travels to Azerbaijan to play their fifth qualifying match in Group H of the Euro 2016 edition of the continental championship. That clash will be followed by another five over the next seven months, against Bulgaria, Italy, again Azerbaijan, Norway and at home to Croatia on 13 October.  With Pietro Ghedin’s team having broken their duck in terms of points after their notable 1-1 away draw against Bulgaria late last year, the expectations of our team gaining further momentum to eventually avoid bottom place by maintaining their present position in front of our hosts, could be fulfilled if the team plays as a unit and functions well as they did particularly against the Bulgarians, Italy and up to a certain extent against Croatia. Ghedin has chosen a wide group of players which will be trimmed down after he makes the necessary assessment and decides on functional and flexible teamwork. With this in mind, on Wednesday 25 March he will put his lads to a test away from home against Georgia. He will then have a better idea of the team to pick against Azerbaijan and the game-plan to deploy. Caution, especially when we play in unfamiliar conditions and against a team that still has to pick its first spoils, will be uppermost in our coach’s mind. Nevertheless, Ghedin will not forego the team’s offensive possibilities. Concentration is paramount and if our units can produce some of the form shown against Bulgaria, they can well obtain a positive result.         The FInal squad called up by Ghedin is as follows:  GoalkeepersJustin Haber 09/06/1981Birkirkara MaltaHenry Bonello13/10/1988Hibernians MaltaAndrew Hogg 02/03/1985AEL KalloniGreece    Defenders   Andrei Agius 12/08/1986HiberniansMaltaSteve Bezzina 05/01/1987BalzanMaltaSteve Borg15/05/1988Valletta MaltaJonathan Caruana24/07/1986Valletta MaltaRyan Camenzuli08/09/1994BirkirkaraMaltaRyan Camilleri 22/05/1988VallettaMaltaZach Muscat22/08/1993              BirkirkaraMaltaJurgen Pisani03/19/1992Pieta' H.Malta    Midfielders   Conor Borg 13/05/1997FlorianaMaltaRoderick Briffa 24/08/1981Valletta MaltaPaul Fenech 20/12/1986Birkirkara MaltaRyan Fenech 20/04/1986Valletta MaltaBjorn Kristensen05/04/1993Hibernians MaltaRowen Muscat 05/06/1991Birkirkara MaltaSteve Pisani07/08/1992Floriana MaltaMark Scerri 16/01/1990Sliema Malta Attackers   Andrew Cohen 13/05/1981HiberniansMaltaAlfred Effiong29/11/1984Qormi MaltaJean Paul Farrugia 21/03/1992Hibernians MaltaAndre' Schembri27/05/1986Omonia NicosiaCyprus