Alfred Effiong among five new faces in provisional squad for Georgia friendly, Azerbaijan qualifier

Nigerian-born striker Alfred Effiong, Floriana midfielder Conor Borg, Ryan Camenzuli of Birkirkara, Pietà’s Jurgen Pisani and Hibernians winger Joseph Essien Mbong all feature in the provisional squad named by national coach Pietro Ghedin ahead of the international friendly match against Georgia in Tbilisi on March 25 and the EURO qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku on March 28.

Effiong, who has been living in Malta since 2005, was granted Maltese citizenship last month, therefore rendering him eligible to play for the national team.

Ryan Camenzuli and Jurgen Pisani were prominent members of the Malta Under-21 squad while Conor Borg, who seems on the verge of joining Roma this summer, and Joseph Essien Mbong were members of the Malta Under-17 side which hosted the UEFA Under-17 Championship finals last May.

Meanwhile Steve Borg will be back after serving a suspension but Michael Mifsud is still ruled out after being sent off in the game against Italy.

The players selected by Ghedin are:
goalkeepers Justin Haber (Birkirkara), Henry Bonello (Hibernians), Andrew Hogg (Kalloni), Glenn Zammit (Sliema);
defenders Andrei Agius (Hibernians), Steve Bezzina (Balzan), Steve Borg (Valletta), Jonathan Caruana (Valletta), Ryan Camenzuli (Birkirkara), Ryan Camilleri (Valletta), Clayton Failla (Hibs), Jurgen Pisani (Pietà), Zach Muscat (Birkirkara);
midfielders Conor Borg (Floriana), Roderick Briffa (Valletta), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Valletta), Bjorn Kristensen (Hibs), Rowen Muscat (Birkirkara), Steve Pisani (Floriana), Mark Scerri (Sliema);
forwards Andrew Cohen (Hibs), Alfred Effiong (Qormi), Jean Paul Farrugia (Hibs), Joseph Mbong (Hibs), Andre Schembri (Omonia Nicosia).