National coach Pietro Ghedin has named a provisional squad of 31 players ahead of Malta’s two international games against Ukraine and Slovenia in June. Malta will play a friendly game against Ukraine in Graz, Austria, on June 6 followed by the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F qualifying match against Slovenia in Ljubljana four days later.
Ghedin has included Myles Beerman in his initial selection after the young wing-back impressed with a series of positive performances for the senior team of Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Premier Division. Beerman, 18, has represented Malta in every age-group at youth level but this is the first time he has been promoted to the senior squad.
Jurgen Degabriele, the young Hibernians FC forward who played a key role in his club’s BOV Premier League success, has also been named in Ghedin’s provisional squad. Like Beerman, Degabriele has played for Malta in every age category at youth level. The 20-year-old forward finished second in the top scorers list of the 2016/17 BOV Premier League with a total of 16 goals.
The national coach has also picked several players who were in his first Malta ‘B’ squad in March, the likes of Xewkija Tigers goalkeeper Steve Sultana, Sacha Borg, of Tarxien Rainbows, St Andrews duo Dale Camilleri and Michael Johnson, Hibernians midfielder Johann Bezzina, and Balzan forward Lydon Micallef.
Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina
Steve Borg (Valletta), Clayton Failla (Hibernians), Alex Muscat (Sliema Wanderers), Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara) and Alfred Effiong (Balzan) are back in contention for a recall to final Malta squad for the June commitments after missing out on a place in Ghedin’s selection for the 2018 World Cup qualifying defeat against Slovakia in March.
Missing from the squad is Sliema Wanderers forward Jean Paul Farrugia who is suspended for the qualifier against Slovenia on June 10 after being sent off in the 3-1 defeat to Slovakia at the National Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Henry Bonello (Birkirkara); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Xewkija Tigers).
Defenders: Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Samir Arab (Balzan); Myles Beerman (Glasgow Rangers); Steve Borg (Valletta); Sacha Borg (Tarxien Rainbows); Jacob Borg (Gżira United); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Hibernians); Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Gżira United); Michael Johnson (St Andrews); Sam Magri (Dover Athletic); Zach Muscat (US Arezzo); Alex Muscat (Sliema Wanderers); Joseph Zerafa (Birkirkara).
Midfielders: Dale Camilleri (St Andrews); Johann Bezzina (Hibernians); Ryan Fenech (Balzan); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Steve Pisani (Floriana); Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara).
Forwards: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Luton Town); Lydon Micallef (Balzan); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Luke Montebello (Valletta); Andrè Schembri (Boavista).