The Malta women’s squad are on their way to Romania for a training camp between April 1 and 7. During the week-long training camp, Malta, under the guidance of coach Mark Gatt, will play two friendly matches against their Romanian counterparts with the first match scheduled for this Thursday (kick-off 5pm, Malta time) while the second match will be played on Sunday, April 7 (kick-off 10am).
This training camp comes a few weeks after the Malta women’s team took part in the 2019 Aphrodite Cup. The Maltese girls drew against Estonia (0-0) and Lithuania (2-2) and defeated hosts Cyprus 1-0 to finish second in the Aphrodite Cup.
The training camp in Romania is part of Malta’s preparations for the 2021 Women’s Euro qualifying campaign. Malta meet Denmark in their opening qualifier on August 29 before facing Bosnia-Herzegovina on September 3. The other teams in Group B are Italy, Israel and Georgia.
Gatt has awarded a first-call up to Birkirkara duo Samantha Zarb and Veronique Mifsud and Haley Bugeja, the leading scorer for Mġarr United in both the senior and U-19 leagues.
Gatt has selected three foreign-based players in his squad – defender Nicole Sciberras, of Italy’s Grifone Gialloverde, Maria Farrugia, currently playing for Sunderland AFC Ladies in England, and Martina Borg, who is on the books of Italian club Fortitudo Mozzecane.
Romania will be difficult opponents for the Maltese girls in this week’s friendlies at the FRF Football Centre in Mogosoaia.
In the latest FIFA Rankings, Romania were 41st while Malta remained 101st.
Romania have been involved in six international matches this year, winning three, including a 13-0 victory over Turkmenistan.
Their roster includes several foreign-based players, including goalkeeper Andrea Paraluta, of Spain’s Levante, defender Stefania Vatafu, who is on the books of Belgian club Anderlecht, Apollon Ladies midfielder Andreea Voicu, and forward Florentina Olar who plays for Denmark’s Fortuna Hjorring.
Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Rachelle Lynn Borg (Mġarr United).
Stephania Farrugia, Samantha Zarb, Rebecca Bajada, Alishia Sultana (all Birkirkara); Jade Flask (Hibernians); Jasmine Vella Turner (Mġarr United); Nicole Sciberras (Grifone Gialloverde, Italy).
Simone Buttigieg (Swieqi United); Dorianne Theuma, Shona Zammit (both Hibernians); Veronique Mifsud (Birkirkara); Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Maria Farrugia (Sunderland AFC Ladies, England).
Ylenia Carabott (Birkirkara); Martina Borg (Fortitudo Mozzecane, Italy); Haley Bugeja (Mġarr United).