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Malta's Hogg has a hand in Kalloni's success

"Greece has become home for me," Andrew Hogg told UEFA.com with the Malta goalkeeper having helped unfancied Kalloni FC to make a superb start to the Greek season.

Kalloni goalkeeper Andrew Hogg has conceded just twice in seven this term
Kalloni goalkeeper Andrew Hogg has conceded just twice in seven this term ©Anne Aquilina

Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg has played a major role in Kalloni FC's strong start in the Greek Super League, with the Lesbos side fourth after seven games, five points adrift of early pacesetters PAOK FC .

The Sardines' boast the best defence in the Greece, having conceded just twice this season, and the 29-year-old has been hailed by the local press as the key to Giannis Matzourakis's sides success. The former Valletta FC and Enosis Neon Paralimni FC man tells UEFA.com about adapting to life in Greece, Malta's UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign so far.

UEFA.com: What's the reason behind your exceptional performances so far this season?

Andrew Hogg: Kalloni are serious club with serious professional ambitions. The management got the right players in the summer and created the right atmosphere for the club to achieve its aims. Week in and week out, we train well and work hard. This shows in our games. On a personal note, I am happy in Lesbos. The club have shown faith in me and I believe that I am repaying them on the pitch.

Uefa.com: You joined Kalloni in 2013 after a spell in Cyprus. How did you acclimatise to Greek football?

Hogg: The Greek and Cypriot leagues are quite similar. It didn't take me long to adapt after leaving Paralimni. My time in Cyprus was great. I loved every minute of it.

I have faith in my ability but I acknowledge that life is all about challenges. That's why I work on improving my skills every day. I want to climb as high as possible in this sport.

UEFA.com: Could you see yourself joining one of the big Greek clubs?

Hogg: It would be wrong of me to look too far into the future. Right now, all I'm thinking about is doing my best for my club. I am happy here at Kalloni and the club deserve to be among the top sides in Greek football.

UEFA.com: Malta lost their first three UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers. How do you feel about that?

Hogg: Being tactically good alone doesn't necessarily win games. We are a tiny country compared to the other teams in our group. Our coach [Pietro Ghedin] has a massive task on his hands – he doesn't have the luxury of a large group of players to choose from, and most of the side are part-time footballers. We have our limitations but we try to give every opponent a run for their money.

UEFA.com: Do you miss your home country?

Hogg: I don't miss Malta that much, to be honest. I go back quite often when I play for the national team. My partner and daughter live with me here in Lesbos, so Greece has become home for me.