Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Malta U21 team in positive mood ahead of stern test
Oct 8, 2019
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General

Tuesday was MD-2 for the Malta Under-21 team who have settled well in the Finnish city of Turku despite the cold temperatures following a long journey propelling the boys to this location ahead of their third UEFA European Championship Group 8 Qualifier against Finland at the Veritas Stadion.


The stadium has a capacity of 9,000 but around 2,000 fans are expected to atten for this game on Thursday at 1800HRS (Malta time).

 

The team led by coach Silvio Vella will be looking to bounce back from the 4-0 setback in their last outing only a month ago against Ukraine.

 

In their sights the players have the opening group match and the 0-0 draw obtained in Ballymena also a month ago against Northern Ireland as they prepare for their third away commitment on the trot for the boys in this difficult group that also includes Romania and Denmark.

 

The team had limited time together prior to this match in Turku with domestic action back home not over until Sunday evening.

 

Following the trip to Finland on Monday, the team did some activation on Tuesday morning, carried out by fitness coach Karl Attard and overseen by head coach Silvio Vella and his assistant Noel Turner, before taking to the training pitch in the evening in a high-intensity session where the boys worked on tactical shape prior to the game in 48 hours' time.

 

A session that gave the coaching staff a clearer picture of the condition of his players prior to more preparation on MD-1 with a double session lined up for Wednesday.

 

Meanwhile Senglea Athletic defender Dejan Debono, Shaun Dimech, who is thriving with Valletta, and Pietà Hotspurs midfielder Nicholas Pisani are the new faces in this 20-man squad that travelled to Finland and will be pushing for their international debut at this level.

 

At the moment, Malta's opponents on Thursday, led by coach Juha Malinen, are leading Group 8 following their remarkable 2-0 away win over Ukraine, and a 1-1 draw that followed for Finland at home against Northern Ireland, both opening matches for them also played last month.

 

It is to be noted that this UEFA U-21 qualifying competition allows coaches to use a maximum of five substitutes, either at half-time or in three separate slots during the 90 minutes.

 

GOALKEEPERS

Timothy Aquilina (Gudja United); Andreas Vella (Mosta).

 

DEFENDERS

Jean Borg (Valletta); Zachary Cassar (Gudja United); Dejan Debono (Senglea Athletic); Michele Sansone (Sliema Wanderers); Nicholas Pulis (Valletta); Zachary Grech (Balzan); Gary Camilleri (Tarxien Rainbows).

 

MIDFIELDERS

Myles Beerman (Hibernians); Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Marcus Grima (Balzan); Jamie Zerafa (Santa Lucia); David Xuereb (Senglea Athletic); Nicholas Pisani (Pietà Hotspurs); Jan Tanti (Senglea Athletic); Ayrton Attard (Hibernians).

 

FORWARDS

Jan Busuttil (Floriana); Zachary Brincat (Mosta); Omar Elouni (Santa Lucia).

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