Saintfiet names provisional squad for Estonia friendly

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 9:37

New Malta coach Tom Saintfiet has named a provisional 25-strong squad for the home friendly match against Estonia on November 12, 2017.

The friendly at the National Stadium (kick-off 3pm) will mark Saintfiet’s debut as Malta coach after the Belgian succeeded Pietro Ghedin earlier this month.

Saintfiet has kept faith with most of the established players who formed the backbone of the squad that featured in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign but has also introduced some new faces.

Myles Beerman, who is on the books of Scottish Premiership club Glasgow Rangers, and Valletta FC striker Kyrian Nwoko have been named in Saintfiet’s first squad. They are expected to join the senior squad after the Malta U-21 team’s UEFA U-21 Championship qualifier against Turkey on November 10 at the Centenary Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

Beerman, 18, made his first appearance for Malta in the friendly win over Ukraine in June but for the 20-year-old Nwoko, this is his first senior call-up.

Saintfiet has also awarded a first call-up to Ħamrun Spartans midfielder Triston Caruana while midfielders Ryan Scicluna, of Birkirkara, and Valletta’s Rowen Muscat, who recently made his comeback from injury, are back in the frame.

Gżira United defender Clifford Gatt Baldacchino has also earned a recall.

Striker Jean Paul Farrugia, who plays for Swiss side FC Chiasso, is also set to return after a foot problem ruled him out of Malta’s last two 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the 1-1 draw against Lithuania at the National Stadium and the 3-0 defeat to Slovakia in Trnava.

There are five foreign-based players in Saintfiet’s selection as Beerman and Farrugia are joined by Andrè Schembri, who was among the scorers for Cypriot club Apollon Limassol last weekend, Arezzo defender Zach Muscat and Luton Town winger Luke Gambin.

The players in Saintfiet’s squad will report for international duty on Monday, November 6.

The friendly match against Estonia will wrap up Malta’s commitments for 2017. Entrance is free.

Estonia finished fourth in Group H of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with 11 points from 10 matches.

MALTA’S PROVISIONAL SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS

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

DEFENDERS

Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Hibernians); Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Gżira United); Zach Muscat (US Arezzo); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta).

MIDFIELDERS

Myles Beerman (Glasgow Rangers); Triston Caruana (Ħamrun Spartans); Ryan Fenech (Balzan); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Luton Town);  Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Steve Pisani (Floriana); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol); Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara).

FORWARDS

Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (FC Chiasso); Lydon Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).





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