Malta women’s team preparing for home tests against Hungary

Thursday, October 4, 2018, 10:59

The Malta women’s team will face Hungary in an international double header on Friday, October 5 and Monday, October 8, at the Centenary Stadium. Both friendly matches kick off at 3pm.

Led by coach Mark Gatt, the Maltese team, currently ranked 98th by FIFA, will be aiming to build on their performances in the two warm-up games they played during their Austria training camp in August.

The Maltese selection edged Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck 2-1 in their first friendly before producing a goal spree in a 9-0 victory over SV Angerberg in the second outing.

“The training camp in Austria was very useful as the players had the opportunity to train and spend time together. It also enabled me and the coaching staff to get to know the players better,” Gatt explained.

Gatt has had to make a few changes to his 21-strong squad as three young players who took part in the training camp in Austria, namely Maia Debono, Nicole Sciberras and Maria Farrugia, are currently playing for the Malta U-19s in the UEFA Women’s U-19 qualifying tournament in Croatia.

Rachel Cuschieri, now on the books of Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, is still unavailable.

On the plus side, Gatt can rely on experienced players such as Birkirkara trio Janice Xuereb, Stephania Farrugia and Ylenia Carabott, and Hibernians players Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit and Dorianne Theuma among others.

In addition, there is also a strong presence from Mġarr United who placed third in last season’s BOV Women’s League.

Martina Borg, currently playing for Italian Serie B side ASD Fortitudo Mozzecane, is also part of the squad for the Hungary tests.

Gatt has awarded a first call-up to Birkirkara player Tracy Theuma.

These friendlies are part of Malta’s preparations for the 2021 UEFA Women’s European Championship qualifiers, starting next year.

“Our objective at this moment in time is to try and increase our pool of players,” Gatt said.

“This helps to increase competition for team places while allowing us to try out and assess new players.”

HUNGARY SQUAD

For their part, Hungary, currently 45th in the FIFA women’s rankings, concluded their 2019 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in September, finishing fourth in Group 4.

Coach Edina Marko has named a squad of 23 players with the majority of them featuring for Ferencvaros.

Moreover, Marko can bank on the likes of Csiszár Henrietta and Jakabfi Zsnett who are on the books of Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg respectively.

MALTA WOMEN’S SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS
Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Rachelle Lynn Borg (Mġarr United); Maria Xuereb (Luxol Raiders).

DEFENDERS
Ann-Marie Said, Stephania Farrugia, Rebecca Bajada (all Birkirkara); Jade Flask, Charlene Zammit (both Hibernians).

MIDFIELDERS
Kimberly Parnis, Tracy Theuma (both Birkirkara); Dorianne Theuma, Shona Zammit, Emma Xuereb (all Hibernians); Yolande Attard, Simone Buttigieg (both Swieqi United); Amber Grech, Brenda Borg, Claudette Xuereb (all Mġarr United).

FORWARDS
Martina Borg (ASD Fortitudo Mozzecane); Ylenia-Ann Carabott (Birkirkara); Roxanne Micallef (Mġarr United).





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