Newly-appointed Malta coach Ray Farrugia has named a provisional squad of 26 players for the national team’s training camp.
The first squad selected by Farrugia since his appointment as Malta coach last week is a mix of experience and youth.
Farrugia has picked four players from the Malta U-21 squad. Joseph Mbong, the Hibernians wing player, Birkirkara midfielder Jake Grech and Valletta forward Kyrian Nwoko, all aged 20, have been included in the provisional squad alongside Myles Beerman who is on the books of Scottish club Rangers. The 19-year-old Beerman had also been included in the senior squad for the friendly matches against Luxembourg (0-1) and Finland (0-5) in March.
Experienced midfielder Andrew Cohen has been rewarded for his positive season with Gżira United with a recall to the national squad, joining fellow club-mate Roderick Briffa.
Hibernians midfielders Johann Bezzina and Bjorn Kristensen, and Floriana left-back Jurgen Pisani have also earned a recall.
The training schedule for the national squad kicks off on Monday.
Farrugia and his assistant Branko Nisevic will trim the squad to 23 players for the training camp and friendly matches Malta will play in Austria later this month.
The other foreign-based players, namely Arezzo defender Zach Muscat, Luton Town winger Luke Gambin, and forwards Andrè Schembri, of Apollon Limassol, and Jean Paul Farrugia, of FC Chiasso, are due to join up with their international team-mates in the second week of the training camp.
The training camp is part of Malta’s preparations for the UEFA Nations League which kicks off in September.
Malta has been drawn in Group D3 along with Azerbaijan, the Faroe Islands and Kosovo.
MALTA PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Henry Bonello (Valletta); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Ħamrun Spartans).
Defenders: Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Steve Borg (Valletta); Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Michael Johnson (Balzan); Zach Muscat (US Arezzo, Italy); Jurgen Pisani (Floriana); Joseph Zerafa (Valletta).
Midfielders: Myles Beerman (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland); Johann Bezzina (Hibernians); Roderick Briffa (Gżira United); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Luton Town, England); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Joseph Mbong (Hibernians); Stephen Pisani (Floriana).
Forwards: Andrew Cohen (Gżira United); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Jean Paul Farrugia (FC Chiasso, Switzerland); Jake Grech (Birkirkara); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta); Andrè Schembri (Apollon Limassol, Cyprus).