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NEWS:
Birkirkara girls in Lithuania for UWCL qualifiers
Aug 6, 2019
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BOV Women's League

  • PHOTO: Birkirkara FC

For the third consecutive season, Malta will be represented by Birkirkara in the 2019-20 UEFA Women’s Champions League.


The Stripes, who arrived in Lithuania on Monday, face hosts Gintra Universitetas, Vllaznia, of Albania, and Ireland’s Wexford Youths in Group 10 of the qualifying round.

 

Last year, the Stripes obtained their first ever point in this competition after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Welsh team Cardiff Met in their final qualifier, in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In so doing, they became the second Maltese team to earn a point in this prestigious competition after Hibernians in 2016.

 

Birkirkara opened their commitments against Lithuania champions Gintra on Wednesday. The Maltese champions produced a commendable performance against the group favourites, losing 1-0 after conceding a goal in the opening stages of the game.

 

Hosts Gintra are regarded as favourites to advance to the last 32 on the back of their European track record – they have qualified twice to the last 16, the most recent being last year where they met runners-up Barcelona. They have bolstered their roster with the signing of Thailand international Miranda Nild, one of the shining stars for the Asian side during the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France who was on the books of California Golden Bears.

 

The Stripes meet Vllaznia in their second match on Saturday (noon) before wrapping up their group commitments against Wexford Youths on Tuesday, 13th August (17.00).

 

Birkirkara coach Melania Bajada has named four youngsters in her 20-player list, namely Kailey Willis, Mariah Cardona, Kaycee Micallef and Veronique Mifsud. This will be their first experience in the Women’s Champions League after missing last year’s due to age eligibility issues.

 

There are only a few changes in a Birkirkara team that won the league and cup last season. Rebecca Bajada has not re-signed, Ylenia Carabott is set to make her loan move to the club a permanent one and Simone Buttigieg has also agreed to join the Stripes.

 

SQUAD
Janice Xuereb, Nina Dimech, Mariah Cardona, Stephania Farrugia, Michela Felice, Kaycee Micallef, Jelena Sakic, Mariah Sciberras, Yasmeen Vella, Samantha Zarb, Simone Buttigieg, Veronique Mifsud, Tracy Teuma, Ann-Marie Said, Alishia Sultana, Gabriella Zahra, Ylenia Carabott, Raina Giusti, Sarah Urpani, Kailey Willis.

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