Malta Football Association
Malta U-19s preparing for 'home' UEFA tournament
Nov 11, 2018
Posted in:
U19 - Qualifiers

  • Malta Under-10 coach Winston Muscat.

The Malta Under-19 squad, under the guidance of coach Winston Muscat and his assistant Charles Scerri, are in the final stages of their preparations for the UEFA Under-19 Championship Mini-Tournament, being held in Malta from November 14-20.

A stern test awaits our young players as their opponents in Group 6 are Belgium, France and Lithuania with all six matches being played at the Centenary Stadium.


The four-team tournament kicks off on Wednesday with Malta facing heavyweights France at 11.00 followed by the match between Lithuania and Belgium at 14.15.


As part of their build-up for this tournament, the Malta Under-19 side played two friendly matches against Luxembourg a few weeks ago. Muscat’s team beat Luxembourg 1-0 in the first match but lost 2-1 in the second.


A host of young players in Muscat’s squad are gradually gaining more first-team opportunities with the senior team at their respective clubs.


The likes of Alex Satariano and Marcus Grima are enjoying a positive season with St Andrews’ senior team in the BOV Premier League.


Midfielder Shaun Dimech has already made his senior debut for Valletta and was part of the squad that won the double last season.


Recently, Dimech and Hibernians defender Andreas Vella had a very positive four-week training experience with the renowned Marcet Academy in Spain.


There are two foreign-based players in the provisional Malta Under-19 squad, goalkeeper Rashed Al-Tumi, who is on the books of Palermo, and forward Andrei Spiteri who is enjoying a successful spell in Spain with Leganes.


Goalkeeper Amara Sylla is also making progress at Birkirkara and was recently included in the senior squad for the BOV Premier League match against Sliema Wanderers.



Meanwhile, France and Belgium, the two strongest sides in this group, can rely on players who are on the books of high-profile clubs across Europe.


AS Monaco have three players in the France Under-19 squad selected by coach Lionel Rouxel while Arthur Zagre and Yacine Adli have the incentive of reporting for training with the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Angel Di Maria, among others, at French giants Paris St Germain.


France Under-19 midfielder Claudio Gomes is on the books of English Premier League champions Manchester City.


This season Gomes has been rewarded with a squad number (81) in the senior team by manager Pep Guardiola who included the young midfielder in the recent 2-0 League Cup win over Fulham, coming on as a late substitute for Belgian star Kevin De Bruyne.


Interestingly, there is a player with a Maltese surname in the France U-19 squad – defender William Saliba who plays for AS St Etienne.


Looking at Belgium, their Under-19 squad is also very strong with the majority of the players selected for this tournament based at home.


Goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie and Keres Masangu are playing for the youth teams of Tottenham Hotspur and Roma respectively.


Lithuania’s squad is largely made up of home-based players but they can bank on three who play abroad – midfielders Edgaras Utkus, who plays for Monaco, and Vilius Piliutakis, of Blackburn Rovers, and forward Jonas Bickus who is registered with Spanish club Levante.


(Centenary Stadium)


14.11.2018 – 11.00 France vs Malta; 14.15 Lithuania vs Belgium


17.11.2018 – 11.00 France vs Lithuania; 14.15 Belgium vs Malta


20.11.2018 – 11.00 Belgium vs France; 14.15 Malta vs Lithuania

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