Return-to-activity programme for national squadsPublished: 26-06-2020 16:55
The Technical Centre of the Malta Football Association has drawn up a return-to-activity programme for the national squads. The programme, which comprises physical and medical tests, training sessions and tactical and technical meetings, is intended to aid the teams’ preparations for their upcoming commitments, marking a return to footballing activity for the national sides after the matches and training during the March and June international windows were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Devis Mangia, the Head Coach of the National Teams who is assisted by Davide Mazzotta and Guillermo Giacomazzi, has named an extended squad for the pre-season build-up which gets underway on Sunday, 5 July, 2020. All players are expected at the Malta FA Ta’ Qali Complex on this date. Following discussions with local clubs, it has been agreed that the players whose teams will be participating in the 2020-21 UEFA Club Competitions will stay for the first week only of the return-to-activity programme which is spread over two weeks. The national team coaches will also be meeting with the respective club coaches in due course. The National A Team are preparing for their UEFA Nations League Group D1 campaign between September and November. The UNL fixtures away to the Faroe Islands (3 September) and at home to Latvia (6 September) are expected to be Malta’s first official outings in 2020 as the March friendlies against Gibraltar and Azerbaijan and the June training camp and friendly matches, including the one against Portugal on 9 June, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. UNDER-21 AND UNDER-19 TEAMS' PREPARATIONS The sessions of the Malta Under-21 squad, led by coach Silvio Vella, will also kick off on 5 July. The Under-21s will resume their UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign in September with home matches against Northern Ireland and Romania on the 4th and 8th of the month respectively. The Malta Under-19 squad, under the guidance of coach Andrea Tedesco, will begin their schedule on 12 July in preparation for the 2020/21 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualifying tournament between November 11 and 17, 2020. Malta have been drawn in Group 10 along with England, Slovenia and hosts Wales. HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL In preparation for the return-to-activity sessions, the shortlisted players will undergo a series of physical and medical tests, including the COVID-19 swab test, in accordance with the health protocol prepared by the Association’s Medical Department. The health protocol includes preventive and safety measures as recommended by the health authorities who had earmarked 1 July, 2020 as the return date for contact-sport training. SENIOR SQUAD GOALKEEPERSRashed Al-tumi (Casarano Calcio, Italy); Henry Bonello (Valletta FC), Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians FC); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers FC). DEFENDERSAndrei 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). MIDFIELDERSCain 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); Steven Pisani (Balzan FC); Zachary Scerri (Gżira United FC); Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians FC); Dexter Xuereb (Gżira United FC); Yannick Yankam (Birkirkara FC). FORWARDSShaun Dimech (Valletta FC); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians FC); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers FC); Mario Fontanella (Valletta FC); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara FC); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara FC); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta FC); Amadou Samb (Gżira United FC). UNDER-21 SQUAD – UPDATED GOALKEEPERSAndreas Vella (No Club); Timothy Aquilina (Sliema Wanderers FC); Amara Sylla (Birkirkara FC); Cain Formosa (San Ġwann). DEFENDERSGary Camilleri (Balzan FC); Conor Zammit (Hibernians FC); Dejan Debono (Senglea Athletic FC); James Scicluna (Pietà Hotspurs); Darren Borg (Ħamrun Spartans FC); Zachary Karl Grech (Pembroke Athleta); Christian Gauci (San Ġwann FC); Nicholas Pulis (Valletta FC); Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (N.K. Zrinski, Croatia). MIDFIELDERSAdam Magri Overend (Santa Lucia FC); Christian Sammut (Pietà Hotspurs FC); Neil Frendo (No Club); Jamie Zerafa (No Club); David Xuereb (Hibernians FC); Marcus Grima (Balzan FC); Michele Sansone (Sliema Wanderers FC); Adam Bradshaw (Balzan FC); Jan Busuttil (Floriana FC); Jan Tanti (Senglea Athletic FC); Nevin Portelli (Tarxien Rainbows FC); Ayrton Attard (Hibernians FC). FORWARDSAidan Jake Friggieri (Gudja United FC); Andrei Spiteri (Senglea Athletic FC); Omar Elouni (Sliema Wanderers FC); Zachary Brincat (Mosta FC); Alex Satariano (Sliema Wanderers FC). *Christian Sammut, of Pietà Hotspurs, has replaced Mark Fenech, of Naxxar Lions, as the latter is ruled out with injury.NOTE FOR MEDIAInformation on the media activities planned during the return-to-activity programme of the national squads will be communicated in due course.