Under-19s gear up for UEFA Under-19 Championship

With two weeks to go for the UEFA Under-19 Championship, Malta Under-19 coach Toze Mendes spoke about the team’s preparations ahead of the tournament during a meeting with the media on Tuesday.

Mendes said the team has been engaged in extensive preparations over the past 18 months, playing twenty nine friendly matches. These matches have provided invaluable experience and allowed the players to refine their skills, strategy, and teamwork. The commitment and dedication displayed by the team throughout this period are commendable, demonstrating their unwavering focus on success.

The former Valletta coach explained that in an effort to not only prepare the current Under 19 team but also lay the foundation for future success, several Under 18 players were invited to join the preparatory training camp. He expressed his gratitude to the clubs that have been supporting the association in its endeavours. Mendez acknowledged the crucial role played by these clubs in the development and success of the Under-19 team.

The Malta Under-19 coach emphasised the sacrifices made by the players, acknowledging the personal commitments and challenges they had to overcome. These sacrifices encompassed numerous aspects of their lives, including time spent away from family and friends, as well as the dedication required to maintain their physical and mental well-being. The team’s commitment to their training regimen underscores their ambition to achieve excellence on the field and honuor their country’s name.

Captain Jake Micallef, who plays for Boavista in Portugal, conveyed the team’s unity and camaraderie during the past few weeks of intensive training. The players have bonded well, fostering a strong team spirit that will serve as a foundation for their upcoming commitments. The shared goal of representing Malta with pride has united the squad, allowing them to overcome challenges and work collaboratively towards victory.

Vice-captain Jake Vassallo, Mosta defender, expressed his gratitude for the tremendous opportunity he and his teammates were given. Recognizing the rarity of participating in such a prestigious tournament, he emphasized the significance of this event in their footballing careers. Vassallo’s ambition to make Malta proud reflects the determination shared by the entire team, propelling them to give their all on the field.

Toze Mendes will be announcing the final 20-man squad that will represent Malta in the UEFA Under 19 tournament on June 29. Malta face Italy at the National Stadium on July 3, Poland at the Centenary Stadium on July 6 and Portugal at the Gozo Stadium on July 9.

With the unwavering support of local fans, the Maltese squad aspires to make a lasting impression in these matches.