The Malta Under-19 squad, under the guidance of coach Wayne Attard, will head to Italy on Sunday ahead of their participation in the annual Roma Caput Mundi tournament which kicks off on Monday.
Albania, Italy’s Lega Nazionale Dilettanti selection and the England Schools team are Malta’s opponents in Group B.
For the Malta U-19 squad, this tournament, now in its 11th edition, is an important part of their build-up for the UEFA U-19 Championship qualifying round commitments later this year.
A massive challenge awaits the Maltese youngsters in October as they will be facing three strong nations in the Netherlands, who will be hosting the tournament, Slovenia and Hungary.
Malta U-19 coach Wayne Attard said: “The main objective is to prepare for the UEFA qualifiers. This is a new squad and we will use this tournament to try all the players in the group.
“In our squad for this tournament, we have selected several players aged 17 or under as we also have an eye on the future.
“This tournament will also double as a training camp for us which is always very fruitful.”
The opening game for the Malta U-19s at the Caput Mundi is against Albania on Monday at the Roberto Abbafati Stadium in Lariano.
The following day, Attard’s team meet the Italian LND selection, this time in the small town of Collefero, and on Thursday they face the England schools team at the Gianni Fraiegari Stadium in Piglio. All group fixtures kick off at 3pm.
Group A comprises the Lazio regional youth selection, the Welsh Schools team, Greece and Romania.
The first-placed teams in the two groups progress to the final, scheduled for Friday at 10.30am.
MALTA U-19 SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Rashed Al Tumi (ASD Katane Soccer); Duncan Formosa (St Andrews).
Defenders: Jeremy Busuttil (Ħamrun Spartans); Gary Camilleri (Balzan); Romario Camilleri (Frosinone); Zachary Grech (Pembroke); Mark Fenech (Naxxar Lions); Dejan Debono (St Andrews).
Midfielders: Jurgen Grech (Mosta); Jan Busuttil (Pietà Hotspurs); Mark Desira (Sliema Wanderers); Neil Frendo (Mosta); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers);
Forwards: Omar Elouni (Sliema Wanderers); Kyle Mifsud (Birkirkara); Andrei Spiteri (ASD Katane Soccer); Malcolm Vella Vidal (St Andrews); Mattia Zarb (Floriana).
Robert Gatt – Technical Director
Jesmond Abela – Team Manager
Wayne Attard – Head Coach
Peter Pullicino – Assistant Coach
Charles Sciberras – Goalkeepers Coach