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VisitMalta friendlies will help us to grow, says women’s team coach Tesse

Malta women.
Malta's Stephania Farrugia in action during the last edition of the UEFA Women's Nations League.

Maltese selection to launch tournament against the Faroe Islands.

The first commitments of 2024 will see the Malta women’s team face the Faroe Islands and Belarus in the annual VisitMalta Women’s Trophy.

Coached by Manuela Tesse, the national team is at the back of a historic campaign in the first edition of the UEFA Women’s Nations League where they managed to secure promotion to League B.

They will discover their opponents for their appointments in Europe’s second-tier on March 5, but in the meantime they will be using this home double-header as preparations for those highly-anticipated matchups.

The Faroe Islands – ranked 110th – sit below Malta – 86th – in the FIFA rankings but Tesse is wary of the competition that the Nordic side will bring to the match at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

“Our objectives in these friendlies are to keep growing and improve on what we have built so far,” Tesse told the Times of Malta.

“We will continue to implement our game philosophy because at the same time it is impossible to tweak things when you have only a couple of training sessions before your opening match.

At the same time, this is the first time I am meeting the players after almost three months. However, I am willing to change things if we are in command of the games.”

On Wednesday, Tesse trimmed her initial 27-player list to 22 players leaving out captain Emma Lipman who picked up a knock during last weekend’s Serie A Femminile match with Como.

The former Roma and Manchester City defender joins midfielder Nicole Sciberras and defender Emma Xuereb in the list of key absentees for these two games.

“They are important players for us but this will be a good opportunity to test other members of the team,” Tesse explained.

Asked about what type of matches she is expecting against both the Faroe Islands and Belarus, ranked 57th, Tesse said that the two games will offer different challenges.

“The Faroe Islands are a very good team who is improving and are really strong physically,” the Italian coach pointed out.

“Belarus, on their part, have just been relegated to Group C but it remains a good test for us because they are very aggressive and fast.”

In the meantime, Albania will be travelling over to Malta as well but they will be playing only the Faroes and Belarus.

Tough start for U-17’s

Meanwhile, the U-17’s selection started their UEFA Women’s European Championship qualifications with a tough match against Northern Ireland.

Led by coach Vince Galea, Malta are hosting their Round Two League B matches with their next and final match pencilled for Tuesday against Luxembourg.

Northern Ireland, relegated from League A, emerged victorious 5-1 with Malta’s goal being scored by Francesca Bartolo in the first-half.

Captaining Malta’s squad is Lexine Farrugia who is currently on the books of Sampdoria Women and has also made her senior debut against Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.


Malta vs Faroe Islands – Thursday, February 22; 18.00; Tony Bezzina Stadium.

Malta vs Belarus – Sunday, February 25; 18.00; Tony Bezzina Stadium.

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