Australian striker Liam Boland could’ve partnered alongside Malta football great and former Coventry City forward Michael Mifsud - the banter may have been tasty, too.
Boland, 28, of Melbourne NPL club Avondale FC is famous for some spectacular FFA Cup goals.
He scored against Sydney FC but it was one of 2016's goals of the year against A-League club Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup that put him on the world map, and on the radar of the Maltese national team.
The tall striker with Maltese heritage (Boland’s grandfather on his mother’s side was born in Malta) headed to Europe after his club season was completed.
Boland was invited by the Maltese FA and ended up in a training camp with Malta’s national team ahead of a FIFA World Cup 2018 Group F qualifier against Slovenia.
Their group also included favorites England, who edged Malta 2-0 at Wembley a month earlier.
With the timings not in Boland’s favor - his season had ended two months earlier - his chances of international football were slim but he did make a strong impression on Maltese legend Michael Mifsud.
“Unfortunately I arrived lacking match fitness,” Boland tells FTBL from self-isolation in Melbourne.
“I had two weeks in Malta. I was close to getting into the squad."