UEFA Under-21 Qualifying: Malta drawn in Group 6Sunday, January 29, 2017, 14:57
Malta has been drawn in Group 6 in the 2019 UEFA Under-21 qualifying campaign.
The other teams in Malta’s group are Sweden, Belgium, who were in the same section as the Maltese U-21 side in the last Euro U-21 qualifying competition, Turkey, Hungary and Cyprus.
Holders Sweden, who will be defending their title at the 2017 finals in Poland, were also in Malta’s group in the qualifying round for both the 2013 and 2015 UEFA U-21 Championships.
Malta U-21 coach Silvio Vella, who attended today’s draw in Nyon along with team manager Jesmond Abela, told www.mfa.com.mt: “Malta is always at a disadvantage at these draws as we are in pot six.
“It’s a difficult draw for us, the same as the last one.
“It’s true that we’re playing Belgium again, but if it was not Belgium we could have drawn another strong team.
“On the plus side, we know Belgium quite well, even though the players at this level of international football change constantly, eithert because of the age limit or because they are promoted to the senior side.”
Vella’s team travel to Belgium for their first qualifier, scheduled for March 27, 2017.
In the last UEFA U-21 qualifying campaign, the Maltese U-21 team scaled new heights after collecting a total of 11 points, a record haul for a national team selection.
Last week, the Malta Football Association nominated the Malta U-21 team and coach Vella for the SportMalta Awards L-Għażliet Sportivi Nazzjonali.
MALTA’S FIXTURE SCHEDULE
Belgium vs Malta – March 27, 2017
Cyprus vs Malta – September 1, 2017
Hungary vs Malta – September 5, 2017
Sweden vs Malta – October 10, 2017
Malta vs Turkey – November 10, 2017
Turkey vs Malta – March 27, 2018
Malta vs Sweden – June 7, 2018
Malta vs Belgium – September 7, 2018
Malta vs Hungary – October 12, 2018
Malta vs Cyprus – October 16, 2018