Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Players showing a very positive attitude – Mangia
Jul 9, 2020
Posted in:
General
National Team
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 2020
Devis Mangia during today's press conference. PHOTOS: Joe Bog/MFA
Devis Mangia during today's press conference. PHOTOS: Joe Bog/MFA

  • Devis Mangia during today's press conference. PHOTOS: Joe Bog/MFA
  • Senior coaching staff (from left): Mario Capece, Francesco Zanasi, Davide Mazzotta, Devis Mangia, Gulliermo Giacomazzi, Luca Pagani.

Devis Mangia, the Head Coach of the National Teams, met the media for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation or postponement of all the matches as well as the training plans in the March and June international windows.


The Italian coach, who was appointed at the helm of the national teams in December, and his coaching team are currently working with an extended group of players, having devised a return-to-activity programme for the national senior squad after the restrictions on contact-sport training were lifted on July 1.

 

“This training programme is very important for us as it’s the only opportunity to work together ahead of the UEFA Nations League competition,” Mangia said.

 

“I would like to thank the clubs for making their players available for us.

 

“Every coach loves to do as many training sessions with his players as possible. I’m positive and trying to make the most of this training period.”

 

Malta are preparing for their UEFA Nations League Group D1 campaign where they will face Andorra, Latvia and the Faroe Islands on home and away basis between September and November.

 

Mangia spoke very positively about the players’ attitude and commitment in the first four days of the training programme, a comment also shared by experienced defender Andrei Agius during the press conference.

 

“The players are showing a very good attitude and commitment, I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far,” Mangia said.

 

“They are very willing to learn and improve. Of course, you can’t expect to see results after a few days but we will continue working hard to move forward and make up for that gap caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Speaking about his first squad selection, which includes a number of young, up-and-coming players along with established ones, the Malta coach stressed that his decisions are based on technical merit and age is not a factor, adding that the doors of the national team are open.

 

“The doors are open to all players who can play for the national team,” Mangia said. “We have started this project after watching a lot of games between January and March, from the Premier League, First Division and also the Youth League. Based on this, we made our decisions.”

 

Mangia said that two players were unable to join as Luke Gambin is recovering from injury and Rowen Muscat could not report for duty on the first day of the return-to-activity programme for personal reasons.

 

The members of Mangia’s coaching staff were present for the press conference, namely Assistant Coaches Davide Mazzotta and Gulliermo Giacomazzi, Fitness Coaches Luca Pagani and Francesco Zanasi, and Goalkeeper Coach Mario Capece.

 

SENIOR SQUAD

 

GOALKEEPERS
Rashed Al-tumi (Casarano Calcio, Italy); Henry Bonello (Valletta FC), Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians FC); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers FC).

 

DEFENDERS
Andrei Agius (Hibernians FC); Jean Borg (Valletta FC); Steve Borg (Gżira United FC); Zach Muscat (SC Olhanense, Portugal); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara FC); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers FC).

 

MIDFIELDERS
Cain Attard (Birkirkara FC); Myles Beerman (Hibernians FC); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana FC); Triston Caruana (Valletta FC); Jake Grech (Hibernians FC); Matthew Guillaumier (Birkirkara FC); Joseph Essien Mbong (Hibernians FC); Zach Scerri (Gżira United FC); Stephen Pisani (Balzan FC) Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians FC); Dexter Xuereb (Gżira United FC); Yannick Yankam (Birkirkara FC).

 

FORWARDS
Shaun Dimech (Valletta FC); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians FC); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Mario Fontanella (Valletta FC); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara FC); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara FC); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta FC); Amadou Samb (Gżira United FC).  

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