As part of the preparations ahead of the UEFA Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Turkey on Tuesday, the Under-21 national team faces Switzerland Under-20 in a friendly match at the Centenary Stadium on Friday, kick-off at 13:00.
Malta are still with zero points and bottom of the table following five defeats so far in the group, however the spirits are high as the players are gearing up for this Turkey away trip, four months after an unlucky 1-0 home defeat against the same Turks in their last outing.
On Monday, the squad under the guidance of coach Silvio Vella, his assistant Noel Turner and Team Manager Jason Vella had its first training session prior to this double header.
The squad is made up of established players at this level who have been together since representing Malta at U17 level in the UEFA European Championship Final Phase held in Malta four years ago. The likes of Jean Borg – fresh from his senior national team debut on Thursday, Conor Borg, Jake Grech, Jurgen Degabriele, Joseph Mbong and Kyrian Nwoko might still be young, but their rapid progress is seeing them establishing themselves and playing on a regular basis with their respective clubs in the domestic league.
Meanwhile, this squad also includes a number of fresh faces. Goalkeeper Andreas Vella who has been superb in goal for Mosta this season has earned his first call up. Other newcomers in this squad are Sliema Wanderers defender Kurt Shaw, Pieta Hotspurs hot prospect Dylan Agius, together with foreign based Andrea Borg.
Malta Provisional Under-21 Squad:
Goalkeepers – Jake Galea (Ħamrun Spartans), Andreas Vella (Mosta).
Defenders – Jean Borg (Valletta), Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers), Karl Micallef (Ħamrun Spartans), Dunstan Vella (Hibernians), Kurt Zammit (Birkirkara), Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians), Michele Sansone (Sliema Wanderers).
Midfielders – Conor Borg (AS Roma), Dexter Xuereb (Mosta), Nikolai Muscat (Gżira United), Jake Grech (Birkirkara), Dylan Agius (Pietà Hotspurs), Zachary Scerri (Gżira United), Juan Corbalan (Gżira United).
Forwards – Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians), Joseph Mbong (Hibernians), Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta), Andrea Borg (Peterborough United).