A tough week awaits the Malta Under-21 national team, starting with the home match against Denmark at the Centenary Stadium on Friday, kick-off at 18:00, before a clash away from home with Romania on Tuesday.
The players in Silvio Vella’s squad will be striving to give a good account of themselves against strong opponents.
Injuries have hampered Vella’s preparations but a host of young, promising players are being given the opportunity to gain experience and show their qualities as they replace established players.
Captain Jean Borg and vice-captain Michele Sansone are ruled out injured along with Zachary Brincat and Andrei Spiteri, the latter having left a positive impression on his Malta U-21 debut last month against Northern Ireland followed by another fine performance against Romania.
Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, Nicholas Pulis and Dejan Debono are also absent from the squad for Friday’s game against Denmark. Kurt Shaw, Matthew Guillaumier, Myles Beerman, Shaun Dimech and Paul Mbong, who are still eligible to play for the U-21 team, are part of the senior squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League matches away to Andorra and Latvia.
The home match against Denmark will lead up to another daunting task, an away test against Romania on Tuesday in Giurgiu with both matches kicking off at 6pm Malta time.
Malta Under-21 Squad
Goalkeepers – Rashed Al-Tumi (Arzachena, Italy), Timmy Aquilina (Sliema Wanderers), Andreas Vella (Santa Lucia).
Defenders – Jean Paul Attard (Fgura United), Darren Borg (Ħamrun Spartans), Gary Camilleri (Balzan), Matthew Ellul (Hibernians), Sebastian Grech (Sliema Wanderers), Zachary Grech (Hibernians), Marcus Grima (Balzan), Liam McKay (Santa Lucia), Alexander Satariano (Sliema Wanderers), Owen Spiteri (San Gwann)
Midfielders – Ayrton Attard (Hibernians), Christian Gauci (San Gwann), Bradley Sciberras (Marsaxlokk), James Scicluna (Pieta’ Hotspurs), Matthew Spiteri (Tarxien Rainbows), David Xuereb (Senglea Athletic), Andrea Zammit (San Gwann), Jamie Zerafa (Santa Lucia).
Forwards – Jan Busuttil (Floriana), Calvin Camilleri (Qrendi), Aidan Friggieri (Gudja United), Nevin Portelli (Gzira United).