Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Coach Gatt hopes hard work pays off for Malta girls
Jul 11, 2019
Posted in:
General
UEFA Women's EURO 2021 Qualifiers
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA
  • Photos: Joe Borg/MFA

A new chapter beckons for the Malta women’s team with the start of a new competition, the qualifying campaign of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 kicking off next month.


Malta launch their Group B campaign with a difficult double header, away to Denmark on 29th August followed by another trip, this time to Bosnia & Herzegovina on 3rd September.

 

The other teams in Malta’s group are Italy, Israel and Georgia.

 

Training for the members of the Malta women’s squad, under the guidance of coach Mark Gatt, started in earnest late last month with a series of physical and fitness tests, led by physical trainer Karl Attard, as well as sessions on the pitch.

 

“Our objective for the opening two away matches against Denmark anbd Bosnia is to put on a solid performance and lift the team’s confidence and morale in the dressing room,” Gatt told www.mfa.com.mt.

 

Coach Gatt is banking on a squad made up of experienced and youth players, including some who are playing for foreign clubs, the likes of Rachel Cuschieri, who is on the books of PSV Vrouwen, Maria Farrugia who has just completed a succesful season with AFC Sunderland Ladies in England, and Nicole Sciberras, who last season played for Italian team Grifone Gialloverde.

 

Cuschieri is doing her pre-season with her Dutch team.

 

Gatt, who is also assisted by Frank Schembri and goalkeepers' coach Roger Camilleri, is aware of the strength of the other teams in group B but he believes that the improvement being made by his team augurs well for Malta ahead of this qualifying campaign.

 

“Our objective is to gain as many points as possible from this competition,” Gatt said.

 

“We are satisfied with the improvement being made by our players but others have also raised their game. Thus, it will always be a massive task for a team like ours to compete at this high level.”

 

TRAINING CAMP AND FRIENDLIES


In April, the Malta women’s team had a fruitful training camp and two friendlies in Romania while, a few weeks earlier, the squad took part in the Aphrodite Cup in Cyprus where the team finished second.

 

“It is always healthy to compete at this level and get used to the demands of playing on away soil in a professional environment,” the Malta women’s coach said.

 

“Our stay in Romania was very positive, the girls showed that they are willing to work hard and progress collectively. We are thankful to the Malta FA for giving us the opportunity to go for training camps abroad and play in overseas tournaments.”

 

Commenting on the team’s training schedule ahead of the start of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 qualifying campaign, Gatt said: “Our preparations started around two weeks ago.

 

“Gradually, we are raising the intensity of our sessions to improve the players’ sharpness prior to these two difficult matches.

 

“I’m pleased with the commitment and attitude of my players.

 

“Women’s football has been in the limelight over the past few weeks following the spectacular FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and this also has positive effects for women’s football in Malta.

 

“For us, this is the first time we are working together on a daily basis for an extended period of time in preparation for international matches.

 

“We hope to reap the rewards of the effort the girls are putting in despite the hot weather, and obtain some positive results in the upcoming qualifiers.”

 

The list of players called up for training:


Dorianne Theuma; Alishia Sultana; Amber Grech; Annemarie Said; Brenda Borg; Charlene Cassia; Charlene Zammit; Claudette Xuereb; Emma Xuereb; Gabriella Zahra; Haley Bugeja; Jade Flask; Jasmine Vella Turner; Kailey Willis; Kayleigh Chetcuti; Kim Parnis; Maria Farrugia; Martina Borg; Nicole Sciberras; Patricia Ebejer; Rachel Borg; Rebecca Bajada; Roxanne Micallef; Shona Zammit; Stephania Farrugia; Veronique Mifsud; Ylenia Carabott; Yolande Attard; Simone Buttigieg; Janice Xuereb.

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