Malta Under-21 coach Silvio Vella has selected a squad of 22 players for this month’s UEFA Under-21 European Championship home qualifiers against Ukraine and Finland.
A number of players are making a welcome return to the squad after injuries and COVID-19 issues seriously hampered the Malta U-21 team’s preparations for last month’s qualifiers against Denmark and Romania.
Goalkeeper Timothy Aquilina, Nicholas Pulis, Jamie Zerafa, Marcus Grima and Ayrton Attard, all experienced players at this level, are back in the frame for the Malta Under-21 team’s final Group 8 outings, both being played at the Centenary Stadium.
Goalkeeper Rashed Al-tumi and Carlo Zammit Lonardelli, who are based in Italy, are also back in the squad while San Ġwann striker Andrea Zammit, the youngest player in the squad at 17 years of age, has retained his place in the 22-strong group.
There are still some notable absentees asdefenders Michele Sansone and Dejan Debono and forward Zachary Brincat are recovering from injuries.
The Malta Under-21 team meet Ukraine on Friday with the match kicking off at 17.00 before rubbing shoulders with Finland in their final group match on Tuesday 17th November at 15.00.
Malta have one point in Group 8 while Ukraine and Finland are level on 10 points but out of the running for a top-two finish. Denmark have already secured top spot with 25 points, six clear Romania ahead of their direct clash on 17th November.
MALTA UNDER-21 SQUAD
Cain Formosa (San Ġwann);Timothy Aquilina (Sliema Wanderers); Rashed Al-Tumi (Arzachena, Italy).
Gary Camilleri (Balzan), Nicholas Pulis (Valletta), David Xuereb (Senglea Athletic), Matthew Ellul (Hibernians), Owen Spiteri (San Ġwann), Carlo Zammit Lonardelli (Fidelis Andria, Italy).
Zachary Grech (Hibernians), Darren Borg (Ħamrun Spartans), Liam McKay (Santa Lucia), Andreas Vella (Santa Lucia), Jamie Zerafa (Santa Lucia), Marcus Grima (Balzan), Ayrton Attard (Hibernians), Bradley Sciberras (Marsaxlokk).
Sebastian Grech (Sliema Wanderers), James Scicluna (Pietà Hotspurs), Omar Elouni (Gżira United), Andrea Zammit (San Ġwann), Andrei Spiteri (Mosta).