Futsal Champions Luxol St Andrews Futsal Club play their first match from Group F of the UEFA Futsal Champions League Preliminary Round against FC Fiorentino of San Marino at the Tromsøhallen in Tromso, Norway on Wednesday, kick-off at 17:00.
Luxol landed in Tromsø on Monday following tiring flights which saw the team leaving Malta at 02:00, destination Riga – Latvia Norway, a flight from Riga to Oslo and another trip from Oslo to their final destination. Coach Gabriel Dobre’s first task was therefore to assess the fitness of his 20-man squad following this exhausting trip.
On Tuesday, the team carried out physical drills overseen by trainer David Spiteri followed by a rigorous session in the morning and one more later propelled by head coach Gabriel Dobre and his assistant Clint Cope.
Dobre then named the final fourteen-man squad which will consist of Dragan Obradovic, Kenneth Rakvaag, Stefan Vella, Andy Mangion, GianCarlo Sammut, Nick Delre, Mark Zammit, Zvezdan Vukovic, Everton Vevé, Leanderson, Maicon, Dejan Bizjak, Celino Alves, Marwan Telisi and Emil Andrei Raducu.
Coach Gabri Dobre said, “We are a bit tired after the long trip bringing us to Norway, however the players are hungry to play these games, this is what every Futsal player aims for, to flourish and achieve on arena’s like this in the UEFA Futsal Champions League. “
“Today we had a double session and the physical condition of the boys is really good, they are also concentrated and sure they will be firing on all cylinders, come tomorrow against Fiorentino and hopefully get off to a winning start in this Group F.”
Asked about the different conditions and surface at the Tromsøhallen Arena compared to the playing venues back home, coach Dobre said the fact the court is not slippery enough does not bother him. “I know the players will adapt to the situation and we worked also on this aspect to avoid unwanted surprises in this first match coming up. It should not be a problem and the players worked their socks off today, have adapted very well and are looking forward for tomorrow and the game that follows.”
Regarding the final selection of players, the Luxol coach said “It is hard. I don’t like this part of my job, it’s very hard, but at the end not everybody can play. We have a big squad of players. All possess a good standard of Futsal. I hope I’ve made the right choice and we’ll see tomorrow.”
Carl Azzopardi, Matthew Attard, Kemmu Degran Jackson and Aidan Micallef were the players to be dropped from the squad. Micallef, however, was sick over the past two days.