Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Borg, Busuttil eye further improvement with U21 team
Nov 15, 2018
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General
Jean Borg (left) and Jan Busuttil.
Jean Borg (left) and Jan Busuttil.

Valletta defender Jean Borg and Pietà Hotspurs forward Jan Busuttil are two established players in the Malta Under-21 Team as they pursue further improvement in their bid for more positive results after concluding the last competition with a win over Hungary (2-1) followed by the 1-1 draw with Cyprus.


 

Jean Borg is enjoying the experience with the Under-21s. The young centre-half had short spell at senior level (earlier this year) but, with the benefit of hindsight, he thinks that that the step-up may have come too early and for the time being, he's determined to show his worth at U-21 level.

 

“Playing at senior level was a great experience but maybe it came a bit too early for me," Borg said. 

 

"Now I’m just looking to improve further and, as one of the established players in this Malta U-21 squad, I want to help the newcomers settle down quickly."

 

For his part, Jan Busuttil has emerged as one of the most influential players for Pietà Hotspurs on their return to the top flight.

 

His performances have caught the attention of Maltese football followers as Busuttil was instrumental in some fine performances and results for last season’s Division One runners-up who beat Floriana (2-1), and attained two respectable draws against Gżira United (1-1), and more recently an entertaining 3-3 scoreline against St Andrews.

 

“I’m enjoying every minute in this first experience at the top level," Busuttil said.

 

"The club is helping me in terms of development and so far we are reaching our targets and reaping dividends of all the hard work we’ve done so far.

 

"There is still a long way to go but I’m optimistic that together, we can reach the target set at the start of the season.

 

“As for the national team, it's always a great experience playing for my country,.

 

"I will give my all to continue growing with this group of new players and grateful to coach Silvio Vella for believing in me.

 

"We have to keep working hard to maintain this momentum and build on the last two positive results obtained last month in the final Group matches.”

 

On the eve of the first Albania friendly in Durres, the Malta Under-21 team did some activation exercises after arriving in Albania on Wednesday night.

 

Following the promotion to the senior team for some key players in the competition just over, it’s a fresh start for this Malta Under-21 team who is made up of young players who will be vying to do well during this Albania trip and show coach Vella that they can be relied upon to represent the Malta U-21 team with honour in the next competition.

 

Hibernians wing-back Connor Zammit and Ħamrun Spartans forward Bradley Schembri will use this Albania stage to extend their positive start to the season as they are also establishing themselves and swiftly attaining some continuity in the first team with their respective clubs at the highest level of Maltese football.

 

The Malta Under-21 squad also includes two foreign-based who are trying to follow a career away from home as Jamie Zerafa is settling well in his new Serbia experience with FK Indjija and Andrea Borg is doing his part with Kettering Town FC in English football.

 

VELLA'S COMMENTS

 

Coach Silvio Vella said: “All these players and others have this opportunity to shine. There are others who didn’t make this trip but it's worth pointing out that in the competition just finished, we used in total 33 players, meaning that their chance will come as well.

 

"It’s a matter of how much playing time they have with their respective clubs and the willingness to keep improving and raising the standards in their game."

 

The Malta Under-21 side play two friendlies against Albania, the first on Friday at the Niko Dovana Stadium in Durres before moving to Shkodër for the second friendly at the Loro Boriçi Stadium on Monday.

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