Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta women’s squad head to Cyprus for Aphrodite Cup
Feb 25, 2019
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General
Women's Friendlies

The Malta women’s squad will head to Cyprus on Monday afternoon ahead of their participation in the 2019 Aphrodite Cup.
 


The Aphrodite Cup is the first appointment for the national women’s side in what promises to be a very busy year.

 

Malta meet Estonia (kick-off 9am) in their opening match at the Aphrodite Cup on Wednesday. The next day, they face hosts Cyprus at 11.15am before wrapping up their commitments against Lithuania on Saturday (kick-off: 9am). 

 

Mark Gatt, the Malta women’s coach, is taking a squad of 20 players to Cyprus, most of whom are on the books of the leading three clubs in the BOV Women’s League – Birkirkara, Mġarr United and Hibernians.

 

There are three foreign-based players in his selection, namely Nicole Sciberras, of Grifone Gialloverde, Fortitudo Mozzecane’s Martina Borg and Maria Farrugia, who is turning out for Sunderland AFC Ladies’ team in England. 

 

Experienced midfielder Rachel Cuschieri, who is on the books of Dutch side PSV Vrouwen, is sidelined with injury. 

 

“This is another opportunity for us to be together,” coach Mark Gatt told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

“I think this tournament is important for the team as we need to step up our game ahead of a busy schedule this year.”

 

The Malta women’s team have been drawn against Italy, Denmark, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel and Georgia in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifiers.

 

After their participation in the Aphrodite Cup, Gatt’s side will be playing two friendly matches against Romania in April, and one against English side Bolton Wanderers in May. In August, Malta kick off their UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Group B campaign with an away match against Denmark followed by another trip to Bosnia four days later.

 

“At the Aphrodite Cup, we are playing against teams that are, more or less, on a par with us,” Gatt said.

 

“We need to show our quality and go into this tournament with confidence – these matches will give us an indication of where we are at the moment.”

 

Gatt hopes that the Aphrodite Cup will serve as a platform for the Malta women’s team to consolidate its identity, epitomising perseverance, work ethic and determination. 

 

“We want to approach the European qualifiers in the best way possible, so it’s important that we consider this tournament as a good starting point,” Gatt said. 

 

Malta are taking part in the Aphrodite Cup for the fourth time following their participation in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

 

SQUAD

 

GOALKEEPERS
Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Rachelle Lynn Borg (Mġarr United).

 

DEFENDERS
Stephania Farrugia, Rebecca Bajada, Alishia Sultana (all Birkirkara); Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit (both Hibernians); Nicole Sciberras (Grifone Gialloverde, Italy).

 

MIDFIELDERS
Simone Buttigieg, Yolande Attard (both Swieqi United); Dorianne Theuma, Shona Zammit, Kayleigh Chetcuti (all Hibernians); Claudette Xuereb, Brenda Borg, Amber Grech (all Mġarr United); Maria Farrugia (Sunderland AFC Ladies, England).

 

FORWARDS
Ylenia Carabott (Birkirkara); Martina Borg (Fortitudo Mozzecane, Italy); Roxanne Micallef (Mġarr United).


 

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