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Farrugia names provisional squad for opening UNL matches

Posted By Sportinmalta On August 23, 2018 @ 5:25 pm In Featured,Football | No Comments

National coach Ray Farrugia has named a provisional squad of 26 players ahead of Malta’s opening UEFA Nations League Group D3 matches next month.

Malta launch their commitments in this new competition with a trip to the Faroe Islands on September 7 (kick-off 20.45) followed by the first home outing against Azerbaijan (kick-off 20.45) at the National Stadium three days later.

“I’m looking forward to this competition, especially after the positive training camp we had in Austria and the friendlies we played against Armenia and Georgia a few months ago,” Farrugia said during a live broadcast on the Malta FA Facebook page.

“We are eager to start the UEFA Nations League. The players are looking forward as well. I believe that, with the right preparation like we had in Austria, we can aspire to gain good results.”

The squad selected by Farrugia and his assistant Branko Nisevic is made up of experienced and up-and-coming players with Juan Corbalan, the versatile Gżira United midfielder, the only uncapped player in the provisional list.

Apollon Limassol forward Andrè Schembri, defender Zach Muscat, who this summer joined Italian club Pistoiese, striker Jean Paul Farrugia, who has rejoined Sliema Wanderers, and Hibernians midfielder Johann Bezzina are back in the fold after injuries forced them to miss the training camp in Austria at the end of last season.

Midfielders Rowen Muscat, of Valletta, and Ryan Fenech, who has returned to Sliema Wanderers, together with wing-back Clayton Failla, now playing for Floriana, have earned a recall.

Ivan Vella, the newly-appointed Director of the National Teams, spoke about the logistical preparations for the UEFA Nations League matches, highlighting the fact the the Malta FA is organising chartered flights to minimise the travelling time to Faroe Islands and the double-header against Kosovo and Azerbaijan in October.

The six group matches in all four leagues of the UEFA Nations League will be played between September and November.

The players in the provisional squad will report for training after this weekend’s fixtures from matchday two of the 2018-19 BOV Premier League.

Training will be under the guidance of Farrugia and his coaching team, namely Nisevic, assistant coach Ronald Vella, Luca Pagani, the national team’s physical trainer, and Charles Sciberras, the goalkeepers’ coach.

PROVISIONAL MALTA SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS

Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Balzan).

DEFENDERS

Ferdinando Apap (Victoria Hotspurs); Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Floriana); Michael Johnson (Balzan); Joseph Mbong (Hibernians); Zach Muscat (Pistoiese); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta).

MIDFIELDERS

Johann Bezzina (Hibernians); Roderick Briffa (Gżira United); Juan Corbalan (Gżira United); Paul Fenech (Birkirkara); Ryan Fenech (Sliema Wanderers); Jake Grech (Birkirkara); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Stephen Pisani (Floriana); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians).

FORWARDS

Andrew Cohen (Gżira United); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers); Michael Mifsud (Birkirkara); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus).


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