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Cirovic backs his Malta players as national team face Germany in Euro Championship opener

The Malta waterpolo national team will open their commitments in the European Championship finals when they face Germany in a Group C match in Zagreb on Friday evening (start: 7pm).

Milan Cirovic’s team have a tough task at hand to emulate the result achieved two years ago in Serbia when the team finished 14th overall after incidentally losing against the Germans in the play-off for 13th place.

The Malta national team are heading into the championship on the back of a tough participation in the SportMalta International Christmas Tournament which saw them suffer three successive defeats at the hands of Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Still, those results have not deterred Cirovic’s excitement ahead of the tournament and the Montenegrin has named a young squad for the continental finals, which opens against familiar opponents for Malta.

“I am looking forward to the match against Germany with great excitement,” Cirovic told the Times of Malta.

“As the coach of the senior national team, this is the first European Championship for me and six of my players in the squad. We know Germany well, we have played with them three times in 10 months. I hope that we can finally get a positive result.”

Malta has faced Germany three times last year, the first in the qualification campaign for this year’s championship and twice in the World Aquatics Division Two, with the Germans always coming out on top.

The Malta coach took a bold move when selecting his final 15-man squad for these championships when he opted to leave out some experienced personnel from his squad, such as Dino Zammit and Ben Plumpton, and opted for a youthful squad that includes six debutants.

Cirovic said that these championships will be a good learning curve for these young players as the ASA continues with its long-term plan of building a strong national team for the future.

“Indeed, we didn’t show the best game at the Christmas tournament, but we were coming from a very hard build-up to the quadrangular event, where the players worked hard and maybe showed some fatigue,” Cirovic said.

“We played three games against very strong opposition in the space of three days which is not something our players are used to.

“I sincerely believe in this young team and I did not choose only young and talented players, but also the best talent that Malta has at the moment.

“We have a team that is ready to work on itself to improve and more importantly, is not afraid of hard work.

“There are many areas in our game where we can improve so that we become a more competitive team in the European sphere.

“Of course, all this takes time and a lot of work, but I sincerely believe in this process.”



Serbia vs Israel           17.00

Germany vs Malta      19.00


Slovakia vs Slovenia  17.00

Netherlands vs Romania        20.15

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