Under-21 face daunting task in Belgium

The Malta Under-21 national team faces Belgium at Den Dreef in Leuven in another match from the qualifying round of the UEFA European Championship Group B.

The team is still seeking its first points in this daunting cycle albeit progress has been noted since the the 0-6 defeat to Spain in the opening match.

Speaking ahead of this game, Under-21 coach Ivan Woods “This international window has been a short one and therefore rather problematic for us as technical staff to assess the overall condition of all our players.”

“I believe this is the best crop that at the moment is the most fitting to represent their country at the best of their abilities, we are trying to maximize this short period we have been together, to be well prepared for the 90 minutes ahead on Thursday.”

The squad includes the first-ever call-up for Australian-based Dylan Scicluna, one of the key figures for the Malta Under-19 team in the UEFA European Champions held last year.

“We have been following Dylan for quite some time, I believe his contribution can sustain the team in operating better and in our desire to keep growing and potentially chalk up a favorable result.”

“Our aim in every game is consistent, to perform at the best of our levels, be well prepared physically and mentally, possibly take full advantage when in ball possession and keep our tactical shape”.

At home against Belgium in October, the players showed good spirits, and confidence when in possession but Malta ultimately with two goals in quick succession late in the game.

”It’s been a lengthy period since we played Belgium at home, since then I am confident the team, and my players have improved, if we are well organized, committed, and show plenty of effort I have full confidence in this group of athletes, always keeping in mind our opponents on Thursday have also been relishing their progress over the season in domestic competitions with an elevated standard.”

“Being with the players for a short time, we must deliver brief and accurate messages to our players, important these messages are transmitted in the best possible way,” concluded Woods.