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FARRUGIA PREDICTS INTERESTING UNL OPENER

Malta national coach Ray Farrugia wants his players to go out at the Torsvollur Stadium against Faroes Island on Friday with a bold intent to perform to the best of their abilities, do their country proud and enjoy the game.

Malta kick off their UEFA Nations League Group D3 campaign with a match against the Faroe Islands in Torshavn and Farrugia has urged his players to enjoy the experience.

“I want my players to enjoy playing football and don’t feel under excessive pressure,” Farrugia said at the pre-match press conference where he was flanked by captain Michael Mifsud and Joseph Mbong.

“This should be an interesting match but we have prepared well for it. The players are looking very motivated, their commitment has been spot-on, and hopefully we will start this new competition on a good note.”

Farrugia and his coaching team, namely senior assistant Branko Nisevic, assistant coach Ronald Vella, Luca Pagani, the physical trainer, and goalkeepers’ coach Charles Sciberras, have been working around the clock to prepare the squad in the best way possible.

Faroe Islands are the top-ranked team on the FIFA list in Group D3 – they are currently 90th.

Farrugia said: “Faroe Islands are ranked 90th by FIFA but to be honest I don’t read much into the rankings.

“They have clearly come a long way as a footballing nation.

“From our side, since being appointed national team coach four months ago, we’ve tried to achieve a combination of experience and youth.

“On my right, I have Michael Mifsud, who is an icon of Maltese football with over 130 appearances for the national team and to my left, there is Joseph Mbong who is still a Malta Under-21 player. This shows what we’re trying to do in terms of introducing young players who are being helped by their more experienced counterparts.”

BALANCED ENCOUNTER

The Malta coach is expecting a balanced encounter.

“I think it will be a balanced game and we’re looking forward to it,” he said of the Group D3 opener against the Faroe Islands.

“We have great respect for Faroe Islands, they have improved a lot, but we believe in our chances.”

Michael Mifsud and Joseph Mbong echoed the coach’s sentiments.

“We are very eager to play this game,” Mifsud said.

“We know what we’re capable of and we’re determined to show this on the pitch.”

Mbong said: “We have some really good players in our squad. The senior players are helping me a lot and I’m very motivated and determined to give my all to help the team achieve a good result here.”

After Friday’s match against the Faroe Islands, Malta will host Azerbaijan in our first home game in this new competition on Monday.

The other team in Group D3 is Kosovo who kick off against Azerbaijan on Friday.
 
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