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Haiti friendly an opportunity for young players to showcase themselves, says Malta coach Tesse

The Malta women’s selection is set to wrap up the 2022/2023 season with a prestigious friendly against Concacaf side Haiti, in Martigny – Switzerland, this evening (kick-off: 6pm).

Haiti, ranked 53rd in the world, are gearing up their preparations for this month’s World Cup which will be their first ever participation in this tournament.

Malta’s coach Manuela Tesse is relishing the opportunity to hand playing time to some of the new faces that were introduced during this training camp.

With the Birkirkara players, bar goalkeeper Janice Xuereb, with the Maltese champions not obliged to send their players since it is not an official FIFA window, Tesse had the opportunity to pick different players which she could monitor closely in recent weeks.

A provisional 31-player squad was called up in June before Tesse trimmed the squad to 22 players for the Haiti friendly.

Uncapped players Tammy Falzon, Georgiana Mifsud, Amy Busuttil, Yulya Carella and Sarah Vella Barberi are the newcomers in the 22-player list named by Tesse.

Speaking to the Malta FA website, Tesse considers this friendly as an opportunity to have their first real taste of international football for these players.

“As soon as I took over the women’s national team, I pointed out the potential that there is in this team,” Tesse said.

“It is our job together with the local clubs to take care of the talent that we have and make sure that we maximise their potential.”

This friendly match will serve Malta as a preparation for its Nations League commitments that will start in September.

Malta was drawn in League C – Group C alongside Latvia, Moldova and Andorra.

Tesse’s side will launch their campaign on September 22 with an away match at Latvia before hosting Moldova, four days later.

On October 26, Malta hosts Andorra before facing the same side on away soil on October 31.

The final round of fixtures will be played in November with Malta meeting Moldova away on November 30 and in December, on the 5th, when the Maltese take on Latvia on home soil.

Malta have already played three friendly matches under Tesse, winning on all occasions – twice against Luxembourg and once against Estonia.

Haiti made it to the World Cup after progressing through February’s play-offs against Senegal and Chile.

“Haiti is a strong team and their participation in the World Cup is an indication of this,” Tesse said.

“However, this friendly is important for us as well as we prepare for the Nations League.”

The former Serie A Femminile coach urged her players to focus on their playing style rather than on the opponent as she wants her team to produce a positive performance.”

Haiti’s squad is composed of several France-based players including highly-rated 19-year-old Melchie Dumornay – just moved to giants Olympique Lyon and experienced player Roselord Borgella who has played in the United States and in South Korea during her career.

The Concacaf side have been drawn in a tough World Cup group against European champions England, China and Denmark.

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