Malta Football Association
Several players preparing for final U21 bow in Cyprus game
Oct 16, 2018
Posted in:
U/21 Qualifiers

The Malta Under-21 team on Tuesday take on Cyprus in their final UEFA U-21 Championship Group 6 qualifying match at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off 17.00).

An emotional game for most of the players who will be representing Malta at Under-21 level for the very last time.


Goalkeeper Jake Galea, Kurt Zammit, Karl Micallef, Dunstan Vella, Jurgen Degabriele, Kyrian Nwoko, Chris Mercieca and Yannick Yankam will be making their final bow at Under-level while the likes of Joseph Mbong, Juan Corbalan and Jake Grech have already made the step-up to the senior squad and were part of national coach Ray Farrugia's roster for the last two UEFA Nations League games against Kosovo and Azerbaijan.


On the eve of this final group match against Cyprus, Malta Under-21 coach Silvio Vella said this group of players deserve credit for their efforts, moreso after they managed to open their account last Friday with a 2-1 home win over Hungary.


“This group of players will be missed but this is an on-going process," Vella said.


"We know we have nurtured their talents well and put them on the right path. I wish them the best of luck for the future.


“We need to keep looking ahead. Following last Friday's win over Hungary and the first three points gained, we have this game against Cyprus before heading to Albania for two friendly matches next month with a relatively new squad.


"Some new faces will be given the opportunity to represent Malta at Under-21 level in Albania."


Vella and his young players are focusing on today's match with the Malta Under-21 coach warning against complacency.


“It would be wrong on our part if we underestimate Cyprus," Vella said.


"This evening's game will be very tough and the worse thing that we can do is think that we're facing an easy match just because we had a great performance and win last Friday.


“We prepare for each and every game in the same manner, the Hungary win doesn't change anything.


"We must stay mentally strong, keep our composure, avoid mistakes and try to be more clinical in front of goal.


"Notwithstanding the good result, on Friday we created a lot of chances but, at this level, our finishing must be more accurate”.


Sliema Wanderers goalkeeper Jake Galea is one of the players who will be playing for the last time at Under-21 level.


“I’m grateful to have formed part of this group of players and despite, some negative results we’ve learned a lot," Galea said.


"I would like to thank head coach Silvio (Vella), goalkeepers coach Simon (Agius), and the rest of the technical staff for their excellent work.


"We just hope to end this positive adventure on a high note, build on the Hungary win and try to finish this group on a high with a good result against Cyprus.”

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