Malta women’s coach Mark Gatt has selected a squad of 20 players for the final UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Group B qualifiers away to Georgia and Israel. The Maltese side face Georgia this Thursday (kick-off noon – Malta time) before heading to Israel for their 10th and final qualifier on Tuesday, December 1 (3.30pm, Malta time).
Gatt has kept faith with the core of players selected for the September home defeat to Denmark, who have secured top spot in the group, but has also introducted some young faces in Swieqi United’s Kayleigh Chetcuti, who already has three appearances and made her ‘A’ debut against Estonia in 2019, and Maya Lucia. For the Raiders Għargħur player this is her first ever call-up to the senior team but the 17-year-old has been part of the national team set-up in the youth categories.
Gatt’s selection comprises a host of foreign-based players including Haley Bugeja, who has already scored five goals in six Serie A Femminile appearances with Sassuolo. Sassari Torres’ Martina Borg has also been called up as she closes in on her 40th appearance for Malta alongside Ylenia Carabott, who is on the books of Belgian club RCSC Charleroi. Carabott is one goal away from reaching the 20-goal tally.
Lazio duo Emma Lipman and Rachel Cuschieri together with Juventus defender Nicole Sciberras and Maria Farrugia, of Sunderland Ladies, are also part of the squad.
Meanwhile, Malta champions Birkirkara have four players in the squad who were also part of the Stripes’ positive UEFA Women’s Champions League performance against Romania’s Cluj earlier this month. Swieqi United are represented by six players.
Malta have obtained positive results in their home qualifiers against Georgia and Israel at the Centenary Stadium. Gatt’s girls collected their first win of the campaign against Georgia (2-1) after chalking up their first point in this group following a 1-1 draw against Israel.
Meanwhile, Mġarr United goalkeeper Patricia Ebejer replaced Jodie Attard, of Swieqi United who is sidelined with injury.
Janice Xuereb (Birkirkara); Patricia Ebejer (Mġarr United).
Stephania Farrugia (Birkirkara); Emma Lipman (Lazio, Italy); Nicole Sciberras (Juventus, Italy); Alishia Sultana (Birkirkara); Charlene Zammit (Swieqi United).
Brenda Borg (Mġarr United); Ylenia Carabott (RCSC Charleroi, Belgium); Rachel Cuschieri (Lazio, Italy); Jade Flask (Swieqi United); Veronique Mifsud (Birkirkara); Dorianne Theuma (Swieqi United); Emma Xuereb (Swieqi United); Shona Zammit (Swieqi United); Maya Lucia (Raiders Għargħur); Kayleigh Chetcuti (Swieqi United).
Martina Borg (Sassari Torres, Italy); Haley Bugeja (Sassuolo, Italy); Maria Farrugia (Sunderland AFC Ladies, England).
Photo : Stephen Gatt