Futsal national team off to Northern Ireland for friendly matches ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Malta futsal coach Vic Hermans has named a squad of 13 players for this week’s friendly matches against Northern Ireland.

The friendlies and training camp in Newry are intended to aid Malta’s preparations for the upcoming 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup preliminary round tournament, being played in Sweden between January 29 and February 3, 2019. Sweden, Belgium and Armenia are Malta’s opponents in Group E.

Malta, who depart for Belfast on Thursday, will play their back-to-back friendly matches against Northern Ireland on Friday and Saturday at the Newry Leisure Centre. Both matches kick off at 19.30 (Malta time).

In October, the Malta futsal team met Northern Ireland in two friendlies at the National Sport School. After a narrow 2-1 defeat in the opening match, Malta bounced back to win the second encounter 4-1.

Hermans’s squad for the Northern Ireland friendlies is a mix of experience and youth.

The Dutch coach is relying on experienced players, the likes of Luxol goalkeeper Clint Mifsud and fellow club-mates Mark Zammit, Giancarlo Sammut, Andy Mangion and George Frendo, Valletta duo Stefan Vella (goalkeeper) and Jovica Milijic plus Birkirkara’s Rennie Tanti.

The squad also comprises some interesting youngsters, including Luxol duo Matthew Attard and Shataizan Zarb, University Of Malta’s Lee Grech and Neil Cauchi, and Andrè Ciancio, of Swieqi United.

Photo: Copyright Joe Borg


Stefan Vella (Valletta), Clint Mifsud (Luxol).

Mark Zammit (Luxol), Jovica Milijic (Valletta), Matthew Attard (Luxol), Giancarlo Sammut (Luxol), Andy Mangion (Luxol), Shataizan Zarb (Luxol), Lee Grech (University Of Malta), George Frendo (Luxol), Neil Cauchi (University Of Malta), Rennie Tanti (Birkirkara), Andrè Ciancio (Swieqi United).