Three new caps in final squad selection

Just a few days away from their departure this Thursday, a squad of 16 players from four local clubs across Malta came together at the weekend to learn whether they had achieved their dream of playing for their country. 

27 June 2011, 12:00am
Only ten were selected to represent Malta in next week’s European 7’s Tournament in Latvia.

The original sixteen comprised experienced national players, but also promising new faces such as Pamela Psaila, Maria Spiteri, Marilyn Grech, Barbara Caruana, Dorien Jager, Claudine Saliba, Rachel Galea, Sefora Avvalone, Marion Pulicino and Cristina Conti, all hoping to win their first cap.

At the ceremony at Malta International Airport, sponsors of the Ladies national squad, the following received their shirts, presented by Daniela Mallia, MIA, in front of supporters, friends and family.

Winning their first caps were Dorien Jager, Barbara Caruana and Pamela Psaila.  Other squad members include Beverie Sultana, Amanda Cassar, Ritienne Bondin, Clare Casha, Dorianne Borg Marion Azzopardi (Captain) andVanessa Attard.

Graziella Jones will accompany the squad as team manager, Carmelo Longo and Owen Scerri as coaches and Steve Cilia as physio.

The squad leaves for Riga, Latvia on 30th June and will play on 2nd and 3rd July.  Our

Ambassadors for Malta will be competing in Division A, pool B and will face Austria, Croatia, Ukraine, hosts Latvia and Belgium.  Depending on the results in the pool round, they will play in the knockout game and ultimately the final match, determining their place in the tournament.

The squad has been training since January under the guidance of coaches Carmelo Longo, Owen Scerri and Susan Bradley and also assisted by National Coach, Damian Neill.  Players have been working on skills and, more recently, key game tactics.  Varying skill sets of opposing sides can change dramatically from year to year, so it’s essential for the Maltese girls to be keen observers of their opponents and react accordingly throughout the tournament.

While Malta women have been achieving better results year on year in the Championships, last year, the girls suffered numerous injuries and it was a testament to their grit and determination that they finished the tournament at all.

However, prior to this in Belgium in 2009, our girls stole the show and were placed a magnificent 13th out of 37 in Europe.  Similar success is undoubtedly in the minds of the 2011 squad who want nothing but to fight back to achieve high rankings yet again.