Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Luxembourg friendly useful test for us, says U-21 coach Vella
Mar 22, 2017
Posted in:
General
U/21 Qualifiers
U21 - Friendlies
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA
  • Photos: Domenic Aquilina/MFA

The Malta U-21 team launch their commitments for 2017 on Thursday with a friendly match against Luxembourg at the Stade Albert Berchem in Kehlen (kick-off 6.30pm). This warm-up is intended to pep up the Malta U-21 squad’s preparations for their opening 2019 European U-21 Group Six qualifier, a daunting match away to Belgium on Monday.


The Maltese contingent, headed by Robert Gatt, the Malta FA Technical Director and U-21 coach Silvio Vella, travelled to Luxembourg on Tuesday.

 

Vella’s 18-strong squad is a mix of up-and-coming and experienced players as the likes of Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Joseph Mbong, Matthew Guillaumier and Jean Borg have been joined by younger players like Juan Corbalan and Myles Beerman.

 

“This friendly is very useful for us to see the players but also for the players themselves, especially for the new ones, to start gaining experience at U-21 international level which is very high,” Vella told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

“It’s an important test for everyone.

 

“We’re trying to make use of all the substitutions during the game as we can’t forget that we will play a second game in the space of three days.”

 

There are two foreign-based players in Vella’s 18-strong squad, namely Mbong who is playing on loan with NK Inter Zapresic in Croatia, and Beerman who turns out for the youth side of the Rangers Academy in Scotland.

 

Beerman is the youngest member of the Malta U-21 squad which features several players who formed part of the national U-17 squad that took part in the UEFA U-17 European Championship in 2014.

 

“Myles Beerman is training on a professional basis, which helps a lot, but we should not lose sight of the fact that this (U-21 qualifying competition) is for players born in 1996 and he (Beerman) was born in 1999,” the Malta U-21 coach said.

 

“It’s difficult for us when we play against teams that have players of a certain age. We have several players who were born in 1997 and 1998, and these are younger than most of the members of opposing teams.

 

“They will field players born in 1996, they even look at the month, between January and March, but we need to keep building on these players. They have already acquired a lot of international experience and we need to keep this going as, at the end of the day, our main objective is to supply players for the senior national side.”

 

MALTA U-21 SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Jake Galea (St Andrews); Philip Schranz (Tarxien Rainbows).
Defenders: Jean Borg (Valletta); Michele Sansone (Sliema Wanderers); Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Nikolai Muscat (San Ġwann); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians); Kurt Zammit (Tarxien Rainbows).
Midfielders: Myles Beerman (Rangers, Scotland); Jurgen Suda (Pietà Hotspurs); Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Jake Grech (Ħamrun Spartans); Matthew Guillaumier (Birkirkara); Zachary Scerri (Gżira United).
Forwards: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Aidan Friggieri (St Andrews); Joseph Mbong (NK Inter Zapresic, Croatia); Kyran Nwoko (St Andrews).

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