National Teams Head Coach Michele Marcolini insisted that he is using this four-day mini training camp to get to know better the players, rather than to prepare tactics, while addressing the media on Tuesday.
The training camp is taking place at the MFA Training Grounds ahead of the two matches from the European Qualifiers in programme in March. Malta plays North Macedonia in Skopje on March 23, hosting Italy at Ta’ Qali three days later.
Marcolini stressed that despite following most of the Premier League games since he was appointed, this was the first experience whereas he could meet the players and work with them rather than just watch them play.
Photos courtesy of Mark Zammit Cordina
According to Marcolini, he has observed a group of players that have demonstrated passion and determination and who will give their best, both physically and emotionally. He said that he is not a carbon copy of his predecessor and that, while recognising the enormous strides forward achieved under Devis Mangia, he will try to build on the good work already done while making adjustments to improve the team and its results. Marcolini added that the way one approaches problems and the solutions chosen to better adapt to the game, in his opinion, are equally as significant as the tactic and formation.
The new Malta coach explained that although the foreign-based players are not present for this training camp, he has spoken to them and has been following their performances.
Marcolini explained that he is adapting to the new reality and despite being a positive experience he knows that the future includes a mountain to climb.
The Malta coach thanked the Premier League clubs and Challenge League leaders Sliema Wanderers for allowing their players to join the national team for this mini camp outside the international window. He added that he wants to maintain strong relations with the clubs because he believes both parties will benefit from such.