New Malta coach Tom Saintfiet has named a provisional 25-strong squad for the home friendly match against Estonia at the National Stadium on Sunday November 12.
The friendly will mark Saintfiet’s debut as Malta coach after the Belgian succeeded Pietro Ghedin earlier this month. Saintfiet has kept faith with most of the established players who formed the backbone of the squad that featured in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign but has also introduced some new faces.
Myles Beerman, who is on the books of Scottish Premiership club Glasgow Rangers, and Valletta FC striker Kyrian Nwoko have been named in Saintfiet’s first squad. They are expected to join the senior squad after the Malta U-21 team’s UEFA U-21 Championship qualifier against Turkey on November 10 at the Centenary Stadium.
Beerman, 18, made his first appearance for Malta in the friendly win over Ukraine in June but for Nwoko, this is his first senior call-up.
Saintfiet has also awarded a first call-up to Ħamrun Spartans midfielder Triston Caruana while midfielders Ryan Scicluna, of Birkirkara, and Valletta’s Rowen Muscat, who recently made his comeback following a long-term injury, are back in the frame. Gżira United defender Clifford Gatt Baldacchino has also earned a recall.
Striker Jean Paul Farrugia, who plays for Swiss side FC Chiasso, is also set to return after a foot problem ruled him out of Malta’s last two 2018 World Cup qualifiers, the 1-1 draw against Lithuania and the 3-0 defeat to Slovakia.
There are five foreign-based players in Saintfiet’s selection as Beerman and Farrugia are joined by Andrè Schembri, who plays for Cypriot club Apollon Limassol, Arezzo defender Zach Muscat and Luton Town winger Luke Gambin.
The players in Saintfiet’s squad will report for international duty on Monday, November 6.
The friendly match against Estonia will wrap up Malta’s commitments for 2017. Entrance is free with the game kicking-off at 15:00.
Estonia finished fourth in Group H of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with 11 points from 10 matches.
MALTA’S PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Ħamrun Spartans).
Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Hibernians); Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Gżira United); Zach Muscat (US Arezzo); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta).
Myles Beerman (Glasgow Rangers); Triston Caruana (Ħamrun Spartans); Ryan Fenech (Balzan); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Luton Town); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Steve Pisani (Floriana); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol); Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara).
Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (FC Chiasso); Lydon Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).