Connect with us


Malta U-16 coach Valletta urges for tactical discipline in crucial Romania clash

Malta U-16 coach Jonathan Valletta speaks to his players on Tuesday. Photo: Timmy Cutugno

Malta U-16 national team coach Jonathan Valletta has called on his players to show tactical organisation when they take on Romania in a crucial group match at the World Aquatics Men’s U-16 Championship at the National Pool (start: 7pm).

The Maltese youngsters kicked off their campaign in some style as they brushed aside Kazakhstan 16-6 in their group opener on Tuesday.

Valletta said that he was impressed by the players’ tactical discipline during the match.

“I am very happy with the performance of the players,” Valletta told the Times of Malta.

“The players were very disciplined from a tactical point of view and they followed my instructions to the letter. We remained focus throughout the whole match and the players fought for every ball.

“I felt that we were tactically superior to our opponents and in the end deserved the win.”

The Maltese youngters face a major test on Wednesday evening when they take on Romania with the winner securing qualification to the knock out stages of the championship.

Valletta said that the Romanians will be much tougher opponents than Kazakhstan and hopes his players maintain the same approach shown in Tuesday’s match.

“The win against Kazakhstan was very important for our morale ahead of our big match against Romania,” the Malta coach said.

“Against Romania, I’m expecting a very tough match against a team who are much bigger physically than us. When I spoke to some players from Greece they said that the Romanian were very dirty in the water so we need to be focused.

“It’s important that we are tactically disciplined and can’t afford any mistakes as the Romanians surely have the ability to punish us. It will be very important that we are very strong in defence and be intelligent enough to hit our opponents with quick transitions that will open us clear scoring opportunities.”

Valletta said that the Romanians may be superior from a physical point of view but the Maltese had other qualities that will hurt their opponents.

“Romania are in a class of their own when compared to us from a physical point of view,” he said.

“But I believe that our team is more balanced and we are very well prepared from a tactical point of view. I feel that I have a longer bench to rely on and that gives me opportunity to rotate the squad without diminishing the strength of my team.

“Their physical power will affect our game but the morale of my players is sky-high and I believe we can beat Romania.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


World Cup News


More in Waterpolo