Coach Mendez - " A unique chance for the boys to showcase their progress and talent"Published: 23-05-2023 11:10
As Malta Under 19 Team is nearing its final preparations ahead of the UEFA U19 European Championship held locally between the 3rd and 16th of July, we sat down with Malta U19 coach Tose Mendez for a brief chat.
Coach Mendez spoke about preparations carried out thus far for this group of players
“This European Championship here in Malta is not only a huge opportunity for the players, but regardless of the final outcome, this tournament will ensure growth for our players and Maltese football in general, which will surely benefit long term.
“Also in terms of hospitality and infrastructure, this tournament must showcase the efforts of the Association in the build-up to this prestigious event, which will hopefully leave a legacy for years to come.
“It’s a unique opportunity for all individuals connected to the Association to take full advantage of all benefits this event will create”, the Malta U19 coach highlighted.
Coach Mendez declared, “The players representing Malta should be the focus in all this as they pursue to seize this opportunity in trying to create history and leave their mark albeit at a young age on the international stage.
He also hailed the generation born in 1997 who represented Malta in a similar competition to this but at the U17 level back in 2014.
“Back then they have taken the bull by its horns in terms of their growth and international experience, enabling them to master a successful career, some of them among the most established current crop in the local scene”.
Coach Tose Mendez also conveyed his upbeat position that this group of U19 players currently under his watch will step up after this elite competition in July and with more hard work they will surely become regular in the Senior National Team, also stand a chance depending on their desire, to follow their dreams going forward in pursuing a career beyond our shores.
In view of the UEFA U19 tournament rolling, coach Mendez outlined the fact that preparations have been ongoing tirelessly for the last few months.
“We are currently using 28 players, eleven of them are still Under18 as one of our targets is not only to prepare our players for this European Championship but also we are working on the next Under 19 Team to compete at the highest level in the next Qualifying cycle”.
The group is scheduled to convene at the start of June when preparation will intensify and the Malta U19 players have the opportunity to spend more time together and relish the professional way, all this as part of the build-up and ahead of the first group match for Malta against daunting Italy.
“Working at a youth level is simply not easy, results will not come in a blink of an eye, but through the teamwork of other coaches, pointing out and lauding the magnificent job undertaken at the Association by our Technical Coordinator Alessandro Zinnari and others.
“In our build-up to this competition we have already played against Portal and Poland who have been pitted in our group, both sides together with Italy our opponents in the first match all have great potential, they all have countless players to select from also at this level, and the three teams possess remarkable technical abilities rendering them in a strong position to challenge for the top spot in the group.
“We are doing our best to arrive in our best possible shape ahead of this tournament, we will be firing on all cylinders in all three matches to try and dictate our style of play, take advantage in dead ball situations, and when in possession of the ball, and possibly get the very best out of our players, on top of it all we want to ensure we will make proud the Maltese public who will be heading to the venues and roar for the boys in Red in these three group matches.