Ghedin, Vella name provisional squads for September qualifiers

National coach Pietro Ghedin and Under-21 national coach Silvio Vella named the provisional squads ahead of the qualifying matches from the European Qualifiers and the UEFA Under-21 Championship in programme early next month.

The senior national team faces Italy at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Firenze on Thursday 3rd September and three days later, hosts Azerbaijan at Ta’ Qali. The Under-21 national team, on the other hand, will be engaged in two qualifiers away from home to the Czech Republic and Montenegro on September 4 and 8.

There were a handful of relatively new players in the senior squad as Ghedin included Alex Cini of Pembroke Athleta, Dylan Grima of Balzan and Ayrton Azzopardi of Tarxien Rainbows. Birkirkara captain Gareth Sciberras is back after a long-term injury.

On the other hand, for the first time in the Under-21 squad is former Portsmouth midfielder Sam Magri who is now playing for Dover Athletic. Magri, who was also on the books of QPR, played for the England Under-16, Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 sides.

The players selected by Ghedin are:
goalkeepers Henry Bonello (Valletta), Justin Haber (Birkirkara), Andrew Hogg (Kalloni), Glenn Zammit (Sliema);
defenders Andrei Agius (Hibs), Steve Borg (Aris Limassol), Ryan Camilleri (Valletta), Alex Cini (Pembroke), Alex Muscat (Sliema), Zach Muscat (Birkirkara), Joseph Zerafa (Birkirkara), Clayton Failla (Hibs);
midfielders Ayrton Azzopardi (Tarxien), Roderick Briffa (Valletta), Andrew Cohen (Hibs), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Dylan Grima (Balzan), Bjorn Kristensen (Hibs), Rowen Muscat (Birkirkara), Steve Pisani (Floriana), Gareth Sciberras (Birkirkara);
forwards Alfred Effiong (Balzan), Michael Mifsud (Sliema), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (Valletta), Andre Schembri (Omonia Nicosia), Terence Vella (Birkirkara).

The Under-21 squad is made up of:
goalkeepers Jurgen Borg (Hibs), Matthew Calleja Cremona (Floriana);
defenders Samir Arab (Balzan), Cain Attard (Birkirkara), Emanuel Briffa (Floriana), Sam Magri (Dover Athletic), Karl Micallef (Pietà), Michael Johnson (St. Andrews), Daniel Zerafa (Tarxien);
midfielders Terence Agius (Balzan), Johann Bezzina (Hibs), Conor Borg (Floriana), Ryan Camenzuli (Birkirkara), Kyle Cesare (Pietà), Llywelyn Cremona (Valletta), Brandon Muscat (Tarxien);
forwards Jurgen Degabriele (Hibs), Joseph Mbong (Hibs), Luke Montebello (Tarxien), Kurt Zammit (Birkirkara).