Malta Football Association
Malta U21 team cautiously upbeat ahead of final qualifiers
Oct 10, 2018
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers

A difficult European Championship Qualification group for the Malta Under-21 team is coming to a close with the final two matches during this international week.


This Friday, the Malta Under-21s face Hungary followed by the last qualifier against Cyprus next Tuesday as our young players will be vying to finally get some good results after a long run of defeats, some harsh decisions against, and a strong dose of bad luck. Both matches kick off at 5pm at the Centenary Stadium.

The team has been training relentlessly for the past few days and there are no fresh injuries in the 20-man squad seelcted by coach Silvio Vella, albeit three important players, Joseph Mbong, Juan Corbalan and Jake Grech have earned a deserved call-up to the senior squad. spoke to three Malta U-21 players ahead of Friday's encounter with Hungary.


Hibernians forward Jurgen Degabriele believes that the team spirit and positive vibe in the dressing room could be vital in these final two group matches.


“We know it's very hard, the group has been very difficult but this is part of the learning curve," Degabriele said.


"Nevertheless, with better luck, we could have obtained some points. Now it's time for us to finally reap the rewards of the hard work and bring home some good results to end this qualifying group on a high note."


Midfielder Zack Scerri hopes the positive start he has enjoyed with his club Gżira United this season will translate into solid performances as he bids to help the Under-21 team end their drought.


“We are all delighted at Gżira with how things are going so far, but at the moment I’m focused on doing well for my country and try to get positive results in these final two matches of the group," Scerri said.


“Team building is very important. We have a united squad and the all the players want to learn more from coach Silvio (Vella) and the rest of the coaching staff.


"I’m confident that if we avoid stupid mistakes, keep our composure and stay focused throughout the whole 90 minutes, we can definitely get something from these matches."


Matthew Guillaumier has only just returned at the start of this new campaign following being sidelined for several months due to injury.


“Notwithstanding my situation at Birkirkara where I’m working really hard to get more playing time, these two international matches give us players the right platform to shine for our country and at the same time impress our coaches at club level," Guillaumier said.


“Hungary and Cyprus remind us of what happened against them away from home, twice we deserved to get a result, twice we conceded at the very end, hence this is the right opportunity for all of us to regroup and show our real strength.


“We have played six matches now domestically with our clubs thus physically we are feeling better and ready for this double header.


"Nevertheless, we have to be cautious, aim for a plucky performance and, with some good luck, we can get some positive results”.

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