Women’s national team faces Northern Ireland in opening match from European Qualifiers

Preparations are in full swing in Belfast as Malta Women’s Team Coach Manuela Tesse is fine-tuning its final preparations with her players ahead of the opening European Qualifiers match against Northern Ireland in Belfast on Friday.

UWNL Qualification to League B means that now Malta will face better-ranked opponents, with Northern Ireland, Portugal, and Bosnia Herzegovina all pitted in the same group with Malta.

Coach Manuela Tesse will be looking to maximize the team’s potential and there is a spirited mood within the camp, albeit due to face quite a daunting group ahead.

However, this new competition will serve as the perfect opportunity for the team to analyze exactly where we lie in terms of progress generated in recent months.

Tesse shared insight into the team’s growth in the past months both during the Nations League Campaign but also during the February Friendlies. 

She believes that football nowadays requires full mental preparation to face such important matches, all this plays a fundamental part in our run-up to matches like the 90 minutes ahead on Friday.

The Malta Women’s Team has been gearing up for this encounter since last week, ramping up preparations in the Northern Irish capital since touching down on Tuesday afternoon.

The players are looking forward to setting the ball rolling at this iconic National Stadium in Belfast, as Windsor Park is also the home of the Men’s Senior National Team.

Coach Tesse also believes that the players are in a positive mood and fully confident in their potential, whilst ready for all situations they could face on the field of play over the 90 minutes ahead.

All 23 players in the Malta Women’s Team squad that traveled to Northern Ireland are available for Friday, physically they are looking in good shape, a few tactical modules ahead of tomorrow, and the team is ready to fight on the pitch and possibly pull out a favourable result.

In terms of our opponents, Northern Ireland’s physical standards and their power going forward are two areas of concern for Tesse as she will be looking to capitalize on their weaknesses by creating spaces and being brave in ball possession, both attributes essential in our task of creating goal-scoring opportunities.

Finally, coach Tesse compared Friday’s game with a recent friendly Malta played against Belarus last February. The team needs therefore to remain compact, avoid mistakes, be tactically disciplined, and give their all on the pitch. 

This is the first time Malta WNT will face Northern Ireland which occupies the 46th place in the FIFA rankings, making them the second-best-ranked side in the group.