As expected, the Malta U-19’s women’s national team were handed a tough draw in Round 1 of the UEFA European qualifications, that will be hosted by Belgium in the summer of 2023.
Frank Schembri’s side, who were in Pot 4, will be facing Norway (Pot 1), Belgium (Pot 2) and Portugal (Pot 3) in Group A7 of the 2022/2023 competition.
Malta’s campaign will be held in Portugal during the October international window (October 4-October 11).
Norway will be one of the eight teams that will be participating in the upcoming U-19’s 2022 finals, starting on June 26.
Meanwhile, Belgium will take part although their finals place is assured as hosts.
This will be Malta’s first-ever appearance in League A after securing promotion in April when they placed as the best runners-up in League B during the second stage of the 2021/2022 competition qualifications.
During that mini-tournament, hosted in the Northern Ireland, Malta drew 1-1 with the hosts before scoring two comeback wins against Azerbaijan (2-1) and Faroe Islands (3-2).
In this new edition, League A will consist of 28 teams who were drawn into seven groups. The teams finishing fourth will be relegated to League B for round 2 while the remaining three from each League A group will advance to round 2 and will be just three games away from a potential qualification to the finals of next year.
The seven teams joining Belgium in the 2023 finals will be decided by round 2 League A.
Meanwhile, the U-19’s tournament will return this year following a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic with France the last winners back in 2019.