The Malta Rugby League national team is currently in Turkey when on Thursday they open their commitments at the European Championships with a match against the Czech Republic.
Coach Roderick Attard named a 19-man squad for the tournament that will see Malta also face the Netherlands and hosts Turkey.
This is the first time that Attard has been put in charge of the national team and he is looking forward to the challenge.
“For me personally I had to change the mentality of heading into the tournament as a coach and not as a player,” Attard said.
“I am now focusing on making sure the team is well prepared for the tournament and I have worked with my technical staff on the best playing strategy for the team.
“We also head to a tournament with one goal in mind that to win – something that we have done a lot in the past. The tournament will not be easy as we will be facing some very strong sides but we need to believe in our ability.
“Unfortunately, the preparation for this tournament was hampered by training restrictions due to COVID-19 but for the last 12 weeks the players had the chance to be together and prepare in the best possible way for this competition.”
Attard has named Gozo player Shan Francois Hussain as Malta captain for the tournament while Jean Pierre Zarb will act as vice-captain.
Alfie Jewitt (Ackworth Jaguars, England); Justin Barlogio (DC Slayers, USA); Dean Zammit (Hunslet, England); Christian Briffa (MRL Championship); Mark Camilleri (MRL Championship); Shaun Chircop (MRL Championship); Jeremy Dela (MRL Championship); Aidan Demicoli (MRL Championship); Shan Francois Hussain (MRL Championship); Cameron Brown (MRL Championship); Russell Bugeja (MRL Championship); Robin Cutajar (MRL Championship); Justin Farrugia (MRL Championship); James Grech (MRL Championship); Jean Scholey (MRL Championship); Jean Pierre Zarb (MRL Championship); Luke Musu (MRL Championship); Zarrin Galea (Redcliffe Dolphins, Australia); Karl Cassar (Shaw Cross Sharks, England).