Malta arrive in Armenia

Thursday, June 6, 2013, 10:23

The Malta FA National team left Malta late yesterday at 11:30 p.m. and flew to Yerevan on a chartered flight which arrived in the Armenian Capital at 5:30 a.m. local time. Pietro Ghedin, the national coach, took 22 players , 3 of which have never donned the national ‘red’ jersey, and are yet to make their international debut. They are Sliema Wds. goalkeeper Glenn Zammit, central defender Clifford Gatt Baldacchino who also plays for Sliema Wds, and Tarxien R. right-back Justin Grioli.

It is worth noting that there four notable absentees from the national squad, namely goalkeeper Andrew Hogg and striker Daniel Bogdanovic who are both injured, defender Andrei Agius who is unavailable due to the fact that he is still involved in an important play-off final with his club Latina against Pisa, and Valletta’s midfielder Ryan Fenech who will be getting married in the coming days. The 22 players called by Pietro Ghedin are the following:

Goalkeepers: Justin Haber [B’Kara] Mario Muscat [Hibernians] and Glenn Zammit [Sliema Wds]

Difensuri: Jonathan Caruana and Luke Dimech [Valletta] Ryan Camilleri [Hibernians] Alex Muscat and Clifford Gatt Baldacchino [Sliema Wds] Jacob Portelli [Balzan Y.] and Justin Grioli [Tarxien R]

Midfielders: Edward Herrera, Gareth Sciberras, Rowen Muscat and Paul Fenech [B’Kara] Roderick Briffa [Valletta] Clayton Failla [Hibernians] and Shaun Bajada [Sliema Wds]

Attakkanti: Michael Mifsud [Valletta] Andre Schembri [O. Nicosia] Andrew Cohen [Hibernians] Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza [B’Kara] and Terence Vella [Hamrun S]

The players could be suffering from lack of proper and enough rest, having taken a night journey, and adding to that the fact that Armenia is 2-hours ahead. Nevertheless the first training session took place today at the Barant Stadium at 6:00 p.m. local time. It was an intense training session, initiated by the physical trainer Luca Pagani. The national team coach, Pietro Ghdein together with his assistant Branko Nisevic followed with their tactical preparation during the ninety minute session. At one point Ghedin had a lengthy conversation giving instructions to midfielder Gareth Sciberras, and later also to Edward Herrera. Both players are expected to be prominent figures in Friday’s match, especially at counterattacking the opponents, as Malta will be doing its best to put a positive performance.

Indications are that Ghedin will probably field the following players in his initial formation:

Justin Haber, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Caruana, Luke Dimech, Alex Muscat, Edward Herrera, Gareth Sciberras, Roderick Briffa, Clayton Failla, Andre Schembri and Michael Mifsud.

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