Malta Football Association
Coach Silvio Vella backs team to rise to challenge – VIDEO
Nov 9, 2017
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National Team
U/21 Qualifiers

Malta U-21 coach Silvio Vella is hoping that his team open their account in Group Six of the UEFA U-21 Championship Qualifying campaign when they meet Turkey in their first home outing on Friday at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off 3pm).


The opening four qualifiers, all away from home, have resulted in four defeats but Vella is heartened by the team’s performances.


“Although we have lost our opening four matches, the team’s performances have been good,” Vella said.


“In the opener against Belgium, we had a goal disallowed in the closing minutes. We then suffered two last-gasp defeats against Cyprus and Hungary, games where we should have taken a point. The most difficult match was the last one against Sweden.


“Now we are preparing for our first home match against Turkey. It will be another difficult match as Turkey are also a strong team. We have watched their matches, they have lost one and drawn two qualifiers. We go into every match with the intent of playing well and gain something.”


Vella said the physical condition of the players in his 18-strong squad is good and the atmosphere is upbeat.


The Malta U-21 coach has made two changes from the initial squad as St Andrews winger Jacob Walker and Michele Sansone, the Sliema Wanderers midfielder, have replaced Birkirkara midfielder Matthew Guillaumier and Myles Beerman, who is on the books of Glasgow Rangers.


Striker Kyrian Nwoko will be joining the senior squad ahead of Sunday’s friendly match against Estonia at the National Stadium with Vella saying that national coach Tom Saintfiet might promote more players from the Under-21 squad after the Turkey.

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