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DUO THRILLED TO BE PART OF MALTA SQUAD

Ħamrun Spartans goalkeeper Steve Sultana and Ferdinando Apap, the Victoria Hotspurs defender, are thrilled to be part of the Malta squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Armenia on Tuesday and Georgia on Friday.

While the uncapped Sultana has earned regular call-ups in recent months to provide cover for Andrew Hogg and Henry Bonello, Apap, who also hails from Gozo, was invited to join the squad following the withdrawal of Arezzo defender Zach Muscat due to injury.

The Gozitan duo acknowledged that their inclusion in the final squad named by new Malta coach Ray Farrugia has added significance for them.

“As a Gozitan, it’s a nice thing to be part of the national squad,” Apap, who helped Victoria Hotspurs to a league and KO double in Gozo, told www.mfa.com.mt.

“Every player aspires to wear the national team’s shirt.”

Sultana, who like Apap had represented the country at U-21 level under Farrugia, echoed his team-mate’s sentiments.

“It’s something every player strives to achieve,” Sultana said of his inclusion on the national squad for the Austria training camp.

“Being from Gozo, it’s added motivation as you need to work harder and make a lot of sacrifices to reach this objective.”

Apap, is enthusiastic about the training camp in Austria which is an integral part of Malta’s preparations for the UEFA Nations League.

“I’m looking forward to the trainig camp in Austira,” the 25-year-old said.

“For me, this is a very positive step and I think it’s the same for my team-mates who are travelling to Austria for this training camp which will help us to prepare and to get to know each better.”

GRECH DELIGHTED

Meanwhile, Birkirkara midfielder Jake Grech has also earned his first call-up to the Malta senior squad after a positive first season with the Stripes.

The 20-year-old midfielder is delighted.

“It’s every player’s dream to play for the national team,” Grech, who is also the captain of the Malta U-21 team, said.

“After a positive season, thanks to the coach I’ve been selected to be part of the senior squad.

“Training is very good, there is a united group of players, we’re working very well with the technical staff and preparing for these two friendlies (Armenia and Georgia) in the best way possible.”

Grech is one of six Malta U-21 players in the final squad selected by Farrugia and his assistant Branko Nisevic.

Valletta striker Kyrian Nwoko made his debut for Malta in the 3-0 friendly defeat to Estonia last November but Hibs trio Jurgen Degabriele, Joseph Mbong and Dunstan Vella and Grech are still uncapped.

Rangers winger Myles Beerman is already capped at senior level.

The Maltese squad checked in at their hotel in the Tyrol region on Saturday evening.

Farrugia and his assistant Branko Nisevic have brought 23 players to Austria where Malta will play two friendly matches against Armenia in Wattens on Tuesday and against Georgia in the Austrian town of Schwaz on Friday. Both matches kick off at 19.00.

Copyright: www.mfa.com.mt
 
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