Ray Farrugia names provisional squad ahead of opening UEFA Nations League commitments

National coach Ray Farrugia named a provisional twenty-six man squad ahead of the first two matches from League D3 of the UEFA Nations League against the Faroe Islands and Azerbaijan.

Malta faces the Faroe Islands at the Torsvallur in Torshavn on September 7 before hosting Azerbaijan at the National Stadium on September 10.

Zach Muscat, who plays for Pistoiese in Italy, and Andre Schembri of Apollon Limassol are the only foreign-based players in the squad. Muscat and Schembri, along with Johann Bezzina and Jean Paul Farrugia are back after missing the training camp in May.

Jurgen Pisani, Myles Beerman, Luke Gambin, Jurgen Degabriele and Kyrian Nwoko who featured for the team in the last two friendly matches are all missing. Also missing are Sam Magri and Bjorn Kristensen.

The squad is made up of:
goalkeepers Henry Bonello (Valletta), Andrew Hogg (Hibs), Steve Sultana (Balzan);
defenders Ferdinando Apap (Victoria Hotspurs), Andrei Agius (Hibs), Steve Borg (Valletta), Ryan Camilleri (Valletta), Clayton Failla (Floriana), Michael Johnson (Balzan), Joseph Mbong (Hibs), Zach Muscat (Pistoiese), Joseph Zerafa (Valletta);
midfielders Johann Bezzina (Hibs), Roderick Briffa (Gzira), Juan Corbalan (Gzira), Paul Fenech (Birkirkara), Ryan Fenech (Sliema), Jake Grech (Birkirkara), Rowen Muscat (Valletta), Steve Pisani (Floriana), Dunstan Vella (Hibs);
forwards Andrew Cohen (Gzira), Alfred Effiong (Balzan), Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema), Michael Mifsud (Birkirkara), Andre Schembri (Apollon).

Photo: Copyright domenic aquilina

Farrugia took over as Malta coach in May. He led the team in two friendly matches in Austria. Malta and Armenia shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw and then Malta suffered a 0-1 defeat to Georgia.

Speaking ahead of the announcement of the squad, Farrugia said: “I am looking forward for these games after the training camp in Austria and the friendlies against Armenia and Georgia.”

“The players know what is expected of them and with good preparation as we had in Austria, we can achieve positive results.”

“We have a good mixture of experience and youth in our squad. The experienced players should take the younger ones under their wings in order to have a a better future for the national team,” added the Malta coach.