Futsal champions Luxol St Andrews Futsal Club are undergoing final preparations ahead of their fourth UEFA Futsal Champions League participation against Austrian side 1. FC Murexin Allstars Wiener Neustadt on Saturday 28.
Following rigorous COVID checks, swab tests and other procedures tied with UEFA’s Return to Play Protocol, on Thursday 26, the restricted Luxol contingent jet off to Wiener Neustadt, Austria, a city less than 50km south of Vienna.
The side led by coach Gabriel Dobre has been working tirelessly ahead of this important fixture as they pursue further international success, following the UEFA Futsal Champions League Preliminary Round triumph and qualification in 2017, also in Austria, tournament played in Linz, followed by similar success last year far north of the continent in Norwegian city of Tromso.
Meanwhile, Luxol chairman Joseph Karl Aquilina, President Mario Vella, Vice President Jose da Silva and Technical Director Nathaniel Jones have all been working round the clock to enhance this already powerful group of players, capturing Georgian International Futsal player Gia Nikvashvili who until recently played for arch-rivals Valletta, Brazilian with Portuguese passport Evandro Vieira De Souza, and Malta National Team player Dylan Musu.
A welcome return also and for the third time running defending Luxol’s goal in this European challenge is Norwegian top keeper Kenito Rakvaag known as the Yellow Hulk, always stealing the show with his colourful and unique style, outstanding in goal, deemed as an assurance in Luxol’s endless chase for glory once again representing Malta in this glamorous European Futsal competition.
Goalkeeper Bernard Camilleri has also been recently signed to form part of Luxol squad in this current domestic season.
While all new signings will surely enhance an already powerful side, coach Dobre will also firmly rely on the valuable experience of established players in the team.
The likes of Stefan Vella, Dragan Obradovic, Celino Alves, Leandersson sant’anna, Everton Vevé, Maicon Silva, Emil Raducu, Andy Mangion, Gian Carlo Sammut, Matthew Attard and Carl Azzopardi will all be vying to make full use of their European experience, spearheaded by influential captain Mark Zammit.
With the quality in this squad of players Luxol should be heavily upbeat in chances of Qualification through this one match hurdle at the Landessportzentrum Viva SportsArena on Saturday 28th November, KO time 14:00h local time.
After qualifying from the preliminary round last year, Luxol had a daunting task in Prague, seeing them lose 3-1 to Polish champions Bielsko-Biała, crumbled to a 5-1 defeat by powerful hosts Sparta Praha, before a resilient effort in their final match earning the Maltese champions a positive 2-2 draw against Romanian champions Imperial Wet.