Devis Mangia names his first squad as national teams return to activity

Devis Mangia, the Head Coach of the National Teams who is assisted by Davide Mazzotta and Guillermo Giacomazzi, has named an extended squad for the pre-season build-up which gets underway on Sunday, 5 July, 2020. All players are expected at the Malta FA Ta’ Qali Complex on this date.

These sessions are an opportunity for the national coach to work with these and all the players, thus evaluating their form and condition ahead of UEFA Nations League.

The squad includes Italian-born Enrico Pepe and Mario Fontanella and Senegalese-born Amadou Samb who are should be eligible to play for Malta as they are widely expected to be granted Maltese citizenship on sporting merit

The squad also includes new faces like goalkeepers Matthew Calleja Cremona and Jake Galea, Neil Tabone, Yannick Yankam and Shaun Dimech who were all promoted from the Under-21 national team and Paul Mbong. Ryan Camenzuli returns after a long absence from the national squad.

Following discussions with local clubs, it has been agreed that the players whose teams will be participating in the 2020-21 UEFA Club Competitions will stay for the first week only of the return-to-activity programme which is spread over two weeks. The national team coaches will also be meeting with the respective club coaches in due course.

The National A Team are preparing for their UEFA Nations League Group D1 campaign between September and November. The UNL fixtures away to the Faroe Islands (3 September) and at home to Latvia (6 September) are expected to be Malta’s first official outings in 2020 as the March friendlies against Gibraltar and Azerbaijan and the June training camp and friendly matches, including the one against Portugal on 9 June, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In preparation for the return-to-activity sessions, the shortlisted players will undergo a series of physical and medical tests, including the COVID-19 swab test, in accordance with the health protocol prepared by the Association’s Medical Department.

The health protocol includes preventive and safety measures as recommended by the health authorities who had earmarked 1 July, 2020 as the return date for contact-sport training.

SENIOR SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS
Rashed Al-tumi (Casarano Calcio, Italy); Henry Bonello (Valletta FC), Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians FC); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers FC).

DEFENDERS
Andrei Agius (Hibernians FC); Jean Borg (Valletta FC); Steve Borg (Gżira United FC); Zach Muscat (SC Olhanense, Portugal); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara FC); Kurt Shaw (Sliema Wanderers FC).

MIDFIELDERS
Cain Attard (Birkirkara FC); Myles Beerman (Hibernians FC); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana FC); Triston Caruana (Valletta FC); Jake Grech (Hibernians FC); Matthew Guillaumier (Birkirkara FC); Joseph Essien Mbong (Hibernians FC); Steven Pisani (Balzan FC); Zachary Scerri (Gżira United FC); Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians); Dunstan Vella (Hibernians FC); Dexter Xuereb (Gżira United FC); Yannick Yankam (Birkirkara FC).

FORWARDS
Shaun Dimech (Valletta FC); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians FC); Jean Paul Farrugia (Sliema Wanderers FC); Mario Fontanella (Valletta FC); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara FC); Luke Montebello (Birkirkara FC); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta FC); Amadou Samb (Gżira United FC).

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