Malta calls on Wolves defender Baldacchino

High rise: Wolves defender James Baldacchino (right) will be part of a Malta under 21 training camp. Picture: Robert Peet
High rise: Wolves defender James Baldacchino (right) will be part of a Malta under 21 training camp. Picture: Robert Peet

WOLVES defender James Baldacchino has been called into a Malta national under 21 training camp.

Four years ago, Baldacchoni was selected as part of Paul Okon’s 20-man Young Socceroos squad for the COTIF under-19 tournament in Spain. 

However, with a Maltese family heritage, Baldacchino was brought into the camp, after officials watching video of him playing with the Wollongong Wolves.

It opens the door for Baldacchino to make his international debut for Malta at the elite level in future. “It all came about as a little bit of a surprise but I intend to take full advantage,” Baldacchino said.

“It’s very exciting. This is very special to me and also very important to my family.

“I know being offered a chance to represent the country of my family’s background is a proud moment for all of us.” 

Baldacchino will leave on Saturday for the month long camp, including two friendly games against international powerhouse Italy.

He follows in the footsteps of another Illawarra player Jacob Borg to move into the Maltese national ranks.  “Malta have obviously done their homework,” Wolves coach Jacob Timpano said.

“James has great talent and ability and works really hard at all aspects of his game.

He has been a strong performer for us over the last few seasons, and while we will be losing him for four-to-five weeks, this is a great chance for him and the club was never going to stand in his way.”

Baldacchino will return to Wollongong in June.