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Coach Gilbert Agius talks up importance of U-21 training camp

New Malta U-21 coach Gilbert Agius is looking forward to stepping up his team’s preparations for next September’s UEFA Championship qualifiers when today he leads his players to a training camp in Slovenia.

Agius has named a 25-man squad for the camp in Slovenia where they will be playing two friendly matches against the Qatar U-23 Olympic team on Sunday before taking on Bosnia-Herzegovina five days later.

The games will be played during a 12-day training camp in Slovenia, that will provide the U21 head coach an opportunity to take a closer look at his players and helped them to familiarise more with the playing system the team will be using during the 2023 UEFA European U21 Group C qualifying campaign.

“We are heading for this training camp with almost a new group of players and for us it’s the perfect opportunity to have a close look at them and see whether they have what it takes to form part of the squad in the upcoming UEFA qualifying campaign,” Agius told the Times of Malta.

“Unfortunately, I was forced to leave out a number of players from my squad due to a number of reasons. Some of them were recovering from injury while others were forced to sit out due to academical duties as at the moment they are sitting for exams.

“But I want to make it clear that the door of the U-21 national team will remain open for every player who shows that he deserves to be part of this set-up.”

Agius said that he was very pleased with the effort and application shown by his players so far.

“In the last two weeks I was really pleased with the effort and commitment of the players,” the former Valletta FC coach said

“We are doing a lot of work with these youngsters to help them get more familiar with the playing system adopted by all national teams. There are some players who never played the tactical system we are adopting so obviously they need time and this camp will surely be beneficial for them.

“But I am really looking forward to it as it will be a great opportunity to gel the team together and it will be a valuable experience not only for the players but also for the coaching staff.”

The Malta Under-21 squad will depart for Slovenia on Thursday. 

MALTA UNDER 21 SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS

Rashed Al-Tumi (Arzachena FC), Cain Formosa (San Ġwann FC), Amara Sylla (Birkirkara FC).

DEFENDERS

Glenn Attard (Pembroke FC), Cain Cutajar (Swieqi FC), Christian Gauci (Valletta FC), Karl Mohnani (Melita FC), Kenley Scerri (Valletta FC), Kurt Theuma (Floriana FC).

MIDFIELDERS

Aleandro Garzia (Floriana FC), Adam Magri Overend (Santa Lucija FC), Liam Portelli (Mosta FC), Zak Grech (Balzan FC), Zak Muscat (St Andrews FC), Andreas Vella (Santa Lucija FC), Ayrton Attard (Hibernians FC), Marcus Grima (Balzan FC), Bradley Sciberras (Floriana FC), Gianluca Sciberras (Mosta FC).

FORWARDS

Jean Borg (Sliema Wanderers FC), Jamie Carbone (Żebbuġ Rangers FC), Victor Degiorgio (MaryVille University), Jeremy Micallef (Swieqi FC), Jamie Sixmith (St Andrews FC), Ryan Tonna (Valletta FC).

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