National coach Pietro Ghedin has announced a provisional squad of 31 players ahead of Malta’s two international games against Ukraine and Slovenia in June.
Malta will play a friendly match against Ukraine in Graz, Austria, on June 6 followed by the
2018 FIFA World Cup Group F qualifying match against Slovenia in Ljubljana four days later.
Ghedin has included Myles Beerman in his initial selection after the young wing-back
impressed with a series of positive performances for the senior team of Glasgow Rangers in
the Scottish Premier Division.
Beerman, 18, has represented Malta in every age-group at youth level but this is the first
time he has been called up to the senior squad.
Jurgen Degabriele, the young Hibernians FC forward who was instrumental in his club’s BOV Premier League success, has also been named in Ghedin’s provisional squad.
Like Beerman, Degabriele has played for Malta in every age category at youth level. The 20- year-old forward finished second in the top scorers list of the 2016/17 BOV Premier League with a total of 16 goals.
Four of the five candidates for the MFA Footballer of the Year award at the 2017 MFA
Awards, being held this coming Sunday at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, are on
Ghedin’s list. These are Hibs duo Andrei Agius and Bjorn Kristensen, Birkirkara left-back
Joseph Zerafa and Balzan midfielder Paul Fenech.
Gareth Sciberras, the other finalist for the coveted award, has ended his playing career.
Ghedin has also picked several players who were in his first Malta ‘B’ squad in March, the
likes of Xewkija Tigers goalkeeper Steve Sultana, Sacha Borg, of Tarxien Rainbows, St
Andrews duo Dale Camilleri and Michael Johnson, Hibernians midfielder Johann Bezzina,
and Balzan forward Lydon Micallef.
Steve Borg (Valletta), Clayton Failla (Hibernians), Alex Muscat (Sliema Wanderers), Ryan
Scicluna (Birkirkara) and Alfred Effiong (Balzan) are back in contention for a recall to the
final Malta squad for the June commitments after missing out on a place in Ghedin’s
selection for the 2018 World Cup qualifying defeat against Slovakia in March.
Missing from the squad is Sliema Wanderers forward Jean Paul Farrugia who is suspended
for the qualifier against Slovenia on June 10 after being sent off in the 3-1 defeat to Slovakia at the National Stadium.
The home loss to Slovakia was Malta’s fifth in as many 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
GHEDIN’S PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Henry Bonello (Birkirkara); Andrew Hogg (Hibernians); Steve Sultana (Xewkija Tigers).
Defenders: Andrei Agius (Hibernians); Samir Arab (Balzan); Myles Beerman (Glasgow
Rangers); Steve Borg (Valletta); Sacha Borg (Tarxien Rainbows); Jacob Borg (Gżira United);
Ryan Camilleri (Valletta); Clayton Failla (Hibernians); Clifford Gatt Baldacchino (Gżira
United); Michael Johnson (St Andrews); Sam Magri (Dover Athletic); Zach Muscat (US
Arezzo); Alex Muscat (Sliema Wanderers); Joseph Zerafa (Birkirkara).
Midfielders: Dale Camilleri (St Andrews); Johann Bezzina (Hibernians); Ryan Fenech (Balzan); Paul Fenech (Balzan); Bjorn Kristensen (Hibernians); Steve Pisani (Floriana); Ryan Scicluna (Birkirkara).
Forwards: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians); Alfred Effiong (Balzan); Luke Gambin (Luton
Town); Lydon Micallef (Balzan); Michael Mifsud (Valletta); Luke Montebello (Valletta); Andrè
Photo. Myles Beerman