Under-19 side travels to Italy to take part in UEFA mini-tournament

The Malta Under-19 squad headed to Italy on Monday ahead of their participation in Group 6 of the UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifying round.

Winston Muscat, the Malta Under-19 coach, has selected a squad of 20 players for the four-team tournament, being hosted by Italy. The other teams in Malta’s group are Cyprus and Slovakia.

The Malta Under-19s open their commitments against Italy at the Misano Adriatico Stadio Nuovo on Wednesday, with the match kicking off at 15.00. Their second group match is against Slovakia on Saturday, November 16, at noon, also at the Misano Adriatico Stadio Nuovo.

Malta will conclude their schedule with a match against Cyprus on November 19 (kick-off 15.00) at the Stadio Valentino Mazzola in Santarcangelo di Romagna.

Muscat, who is assisted by Stefano Grima, has retained most of the players who were part of the squad for the friendly matches against Luxembourg in September but also brought in some new faces.

The friendlies in Luxembourg – Malta won the first match 1-0 but lost the second by the same scoreline – were part of a strong build-up for the Under-19 team which also included two warm-up games against Azerbaijan at the MFA Training Grounds, both ending in a draw, and a summer training camp in Austria.

The Malta U-19s will be looking to emulate their performance at last year’s UEFA U-19 Championship Qualifying Tournament at the Centenary Stadium. Muscat’s team obtained four points after a 2-1 win over Lithuania and a 1-1 draw against Belgium, losing only to eventual group winners France 1-0 in the opening match.

Christopher Farrugia (Sheffield United, England); Amara Sylla (Birkirkara).

Glenn Attard (Birkirkara); Ismael Borg (Lija Athletic); Matthew Ellul (Hibernians); Christian Gauci (San Ġwann); Liam McKay (Pietà Hotspurs); Karl Mohnani (Melita); Owen Spiteri (San Ġwann); Andreas Vella (Hibernians).

Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Jake Ghio (Pietà Hotspurs); Sebastian Grech (SC Fortuna Koln, Germany); Matthew Portelli (Melita); Jamie Sixsmith (St Andrews); Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (Birkirkara).

Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Alexander Satariano (Sliema Wanderers); Ryan Tonna (Valletta); Mattia Veselji (St Andrews).