From the website www.mfa.com.mt: The Malta futsal team take on Armenia on Thursday evening in the first of two home friendly matches that are intended to give the players some much-needed match practice at international level in preparation for the next competitive assignments in the January-February period.
On Wednesday, the Maltese squad had their final training session on the eve of their first test against Armenia with the two teams having featured in a balanced and hard-fought FIFA World Cup qualifying match in Sweden last February. Armenia won 3-1.
Malta futsal coach Vic Hermans is looking forward to these two matches as these friendlies are important for the team’s progress. “Although it’s early in the season as the players have only had two games in the domestic league, these games are always useful,” the Dutch coach said.
“These matches will be tough. We hope to have more opportunities to test ourselves against foreign opponents to improve this group of players and adapt to the international level before the tournament early next year.”
Hermans has named a squad of 14 players for the friendlies against Armenia, calling up a host of newcomers, the likes of Valletta goalkeeper Brandon Debono and club-mate Kurt Bartolo, Carl Azzopardi and Aidan Micallef from Luxol, and the Swieqi trio of Firas Aboulezz, Aaron Montebello and Armando Gjepali.
“Our players always give their best,” Hermans said. “Tomorrow and the day after, the players will be giving their maximum, they will move forward, I have no doubt about that. “We will also do our best and try to gain a positive result. This would also help the Maltese players when they go back with their clubs.”
The Malta-Armenia friendly matches will take place at the National Sport School in Pembroke. Both games kick off at 20.00hrs.
MALTA FUTSAL SQUAD:
Brandon Debono (Valletta); Clint Mifsud (Luxol St Andrews)
Karl Sciortino (University of Malta); Carl Azzopardi, Giancarlo Sammut (both Luxol); Jovica Milijic (Valletta).
Andrè Ciancio, Kurt Bartolo (both Valletta); Firas Aboulezz (Swieqi United); Mark Zammit (Luxol St Andrews).
Armando Gjepali, Aaron Montebello (both Swieqi United); Neil Cauchi (University of Malta); Aidan Micallef (Luxol)
Photo: Rodney Pisani