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Ivan Woods named as new Malta U-21 national coach

Ivan Woods has been named as the new Malta U-21 national team coach, the Malta Football Association announced in a statement.

The former Sliema Wanderers and Malta striker replaces Francesco Macri who was named as interim coach of the U-21 selection following the sudden departure of Gilbert Agius. Macri will remain with the U-21 set-up along with Herman Bugeja.

Added to that, Woods, formerly the Malta U-17 national team coach, has also been appointed as the new Technical Co-Ordinator across all categories and will work with national teams head coach Michele Marcolini.

In this role, Woods will replace Alessandro Zinnari who left his post at the Malta FA last month to take over the reins of Premier League side Santa Lucia FC.

Woods’ appointment forms part of the Malta FA restructuring process in its coaching set-up across the different age categories.

In the Under 19 category, Paul Gatt has been appointed as the new head coach, succeeding Toze Mendes, who will be moving back to his native Portugal.

Stefano Grima remains in his role of assistant coach with Alex Ramella taking over as new goalkeepers coach, replacing former national team goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.

Facundo Styk, the National A Team’s match analyst, will now also lead the U-18 squad, which was previously led by Jonathan Holland.

In addition to his role as assistant to the U-21 Coach, Macri will also lead the U-17 team. Assisting him are Grima and Mario Capece in the goalkeepers department.

Newly appointed coach Piero Panzanaro will take over as U-16 coach while also joining Marcolini’s staff with the A Team.

Jonathan Holland will head the U15 squad, assisted by former Football Hubs coach Adrian Buttigieg.

Women’s National Teams

Vince Galea has been appointed as the Women’s U17 coach.

Galea will also fill the role of Women’s Technical Coordinator, a new post aimed at strengthening the unified approach in the women’s national teams in the same way as done across the male teams.

He will be assisted by former national team player Martina Borg and Michelle Zahra in the Goalkeepers department.

Malta to face Gibraltar in friendly

The Malta FA announced that the senior men’s national team will be facing Gibraltar in an international friendly next month.

In a statement, the Malta FA said that the friendly will be played on September 6, with kick-off set at 8pm.

The match will serve as preparation for the Euro 2024 qualifier against North Macedonia on September 12 at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium (kick-off 20:45).

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