Maltese girls start Euro build-up

1GRECH Stephanie
2GRECH Kimberly
3GRECH Denise
5GAUCI Francesca
9GATT Maria
10DUNCAN Cynthia
13ZERAFA Stephanie

2012 is a busy year for the Malta Volleyball Association (MVA) as the national teams will be taking part in a series of international tournaments while the competitive calendar also comprises a beach volley competition for European small states in September.

The schedule for the year also has dates reserved for a FIVB Level One coaching course and youth coaching courses as the MVA will host at least three international tournaments leading up to the 2013 women's European Championships, to be played in Malta.

The first preparatory tournament gets underway today at the Cottonera Sports Complex with the participation of the junior national teams of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Cyprus and Malta.

Malta, under the charge of coach Dejan Desnica, will field a young squad with most of the players still eligible to compete in the same category for the next two years.

'We are looking to create a new generation of players for the future,' MVA president Branko Vlahovic said.

'They've already taken part in the COJI Games last May in what was their first ever international showing and this will be the next step in their development programme. We are aware of our opponents' age advantage but our aim is to give our girls more opportunities and see this young squad gain more experience.'

The Maltese girls' first game today will be against Northern Ireland (20.30) with the locals facing Scotland tomorrow (18.00) and Cyprus on Sunday (18.00).