Malta coach Devis Mangia has named a 25-man squad for the UEFA Nations League Group D1 matches against the Faroe Islands and Latvia. The national team kick off their campaign with an away match against the Faroe Islands on September 3 followed by a home match against Latvia on September 6 with both games being played behind closed doors.
Mangia, who was appointed Head Coach of the National Teams towards the end of last year, has included several newcomers in his first squad selection for competitive matches.
Emerging talents like Birkirkara forward Paul Mbong and Valletta midfielder Shaun Dimech together with Żejtun Corinthians flank defender Neil Tabone have been awarded their first senior call-ups after the three of them formed part of the squad for the return-to-activity training programme in July.
Birkirkara defender Enrico Pepe and midfielder Teddy Teuma, who is on the books of Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, have also been selected for the first time.
The away match against the Faroe Islands, on Thursday September 3, will be Malta’s first outing since November as the March and June international windows were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UEFA Nations League Group D1 opener will also be the first match for Malta under Mangia’s guidance as the friendly matches against Gibraltar and Azerbaijan, which were scheduled to take place in March, as well as the friendlies planned for June, including one against Portugal, were all cancelled.
Mangia has not made many changes from the squad he selected for the training programme in July.
Forward Luke Gambin, who plays for Colchester United, and Valletta midfielder Rowen Muscat are back in the frame along with Ħamrun Spartans player Juan Corbalan.
Mangia will trim his squad to 23 players before the departure for the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
The matches against Faroe Islands (September 3) and Latvia (September 6) will kick off at 20.45.
Henry Bonello (Valletta); Matthew Calleja Cremona (Hibernians); Jake Galea (Sliema Wanderers).
Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Jean Borg (Valletta); Steve Borg (Gżira United); Zach Muscat (No Club); Enrico Pepe (Birkirkara)
Cain Attard (Birkirkara); Ryan Camenzuli (Floriana); Triston Caruana (Valletta); Juan Corbalan (Ħamrun Spartans); Jake Grech (Hibernians); Matthew Guillaumier (Birkirkara); Joseph Mbong (Ħamrun Spartans); Rowen Muscat (Valletta); Steven Pisani (Balzan); Neil Tabone (Żejtun Corinthians); Teddy Teuma (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise – Belgium).
Myles Beerman (Hibernians); Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Shaun Dimech (Valletta); Luke Gambin (Colchester United – England); Paul Mbong (Birkirkara); Kyrian Nwoko (Valletta).