Malta Football Association
Much-changed Malta U21 team eye positive display
Oct 12, 2020
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The Malta Under-21 team face Romania on Tuesday in a UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group 8 (kick-off 19.00).

Preparations for the game in Giurgiu, a town on the border with Bulgaria, have been hampered by the COVID situation with coach Silvio Vella having to make several changes from the squad for the home game with Denmark (1-3) on Friday.


Vella said: “We have never been in a more difficult situation as in two days I had to change the squad completely.


“This was necessary due to the complications encountered, entailing significant changes in the squad.”


The 22-man squad that has made the two-hour trip to Romania early on Monday morning is largely made up of new players with only Aidan Friggieri together with defenders Gary Camilleri and debutant Darren Borg having been in the starting XI for the Denmark match (1-3). Jan Tanti and Omar Elouni have earned a recall to the U-21 squad.


Vella has called on the newcomers to seize the opportunity.


“We have a lot of information about these players, this is their first experience at this level and I’m confident that they will gain from this,” the Malta U-21 coach said.


“We have one final training session in Bucharest before the match. We will be assessing the situation before deciding on the starting line-up.


“The match on Tuesday is important but we must think and work long term with these players, giving them more opportunities to gain experience ahead of the new competition.”




The Malta U21 team produced a commendable performance in the 3-1 defeat to Group 8 leaders Denmark with the result considered harsh with the latter prevailing with two late goals. 


“Considering that the situation was already difficult before Denmark match, the boys did well, keeping their discipline throughout the match,” Vella said.


“We had some new faces and debutants in the team but overall it was a truly encouraging performance where we shared play against very strong opponents for most of the 90 minutes.


“I was very pleased with the endeavour and determination shown by all players who are trying to play football, adapt to our football philosophy and try to win a regular spot in this U21 squad. 


“Even the Denmark coach had words of praise for our performance but we need to look ahead now.”


Romania will be going all out to get back to winning ways and bounce back from their their defeat  to Ukraine  which left them with almost no chance of winning Group 8.




Cain Formosa (San Ġwann); Duncan Formosa (St Andrews).


Darren Borg (Ħamrun Spartans); Gary Camilleri (Balzan); Mark Fenech (Naxxar Lions); Christian Gauci (San Ġwann); Owen Spiteri (San Ġwann); Matthew Spiteri (Tarxien Rainbows).



Keith Attard (Tarxien Rainbows); Matthew Farrugia (Hibernians); Mchael Gatt (Qrendi); Jake Ghio (Pietà Hotspurs); Rudy Jeffries (Hibernians); Luca Mallia (San Ġwann); Liam McKay (Santa Lucia); Jan Tanti (Senglea Athletic); Andreas Vella (Santa Lucia).



Omar Elouni (Gżira United); Aidan Friggieri (Gudja United); James Scicluna (Pietà Hotspurs); Andrei Spiteri (Mosta); Andrea Zammit (San Ġwann). 

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