Hutcho kept in Czech on Maltese debut

Central Coast Mariners midfielder John Hutchinson has made his international debut for Malta, in a 1-0 friendly loss to the Czech Republic.

Central Coast Mariners midfielder John Hutchinson has made his international debut for Malta, in a 1-0 friendly loss to the Czech Republic.

Hutchinson was used for the full 90 minutes by Maltese manager Dusan Fitzel, but was unable to help the European minnow to an upset victory over their more fancied opponents.

"It is a great experience playing against the Czech Republic, who are one of the top teams in Europe and to get 90 minutes and make his international debut, although it-s for his second country, Malta, is great for him. It-s great for the club as well, we-ve now got another international," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

CSKA Moscow striker Tomas Necid sealed victory for the Czech Republic in the second half, his 77th minute left footed effort proving the difference between the two sides.

While Hutchinson played the full match, his fellow A-League representative, Wellington Phoenix defender Manny Muscat also got his first taste of international football, before being replaced at half time.

"For him to get 90 minutes obviously means he has done well, and who knows, over the next few years it could be an ongoing thing for him, which I-m sure, at this stage of his career, he would love that.

"Hutch is married now and settling down with a family, and this is a nice gold star on his career. With his new baby on the way it will be great to show them that their dad has played in the World Cup qualifiers," McKinna said.

The Mariners midfielder will look to retain his spot in the starting eleven when Malta tackles Sweden in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier, at Nya Ullevi Stadium in the early hours of Thursday morning, kick off is at 3:00am AEST.

"Hopefully he-s done enough to keep his spot for the qualifier against Sweden this week and its great going into our little break, for him to be playing World Cup qualifiers. It-s a great experience for him, and I-m sure playing against some of the Swedish players, who are among the best in the world, I-m sure he-ll come back with plenty of stories," said McKinna.

Hutchinson will have to wait four years at least for a chance at representing his adopted nation at the World Cup finals, Malta has just one point from seven qualifiers and is out of contention for a place in South Africa.