Colchester United will be without the services of Luke Gambin for the Carabao Cup tie at Reading on Saturday
The tricky midfielder has headed off to the continent after being called up by Malta for their Nations League fixtures later this week.
The Maltese side play away against the Faroe Islands on Thursday, then return to Malta for the clash against Latvia on Sunday.
Gambin is looking forward to playing for his country again, but admitted that he is also disappointed to be missing the first game of the U's campaign.
He told the official website on Tuesday: "I'm always delighted to get the call from Malta ahead of games to say I'm in the squad and proud to have represented my country."
"As soon as I got the news, I spoke with the Gaffer here and he had no problem - he said it's a massive thing to play for your country.
"We've got a really big game coming up against Reading in the cup that I'll miss, and I'm gutted that I won't be there with the lads.
"We showed last year that we can give teams higher than us a good game so I know we can progress if we play well and I wish the lads the best of luck in that one.
"I think I'll be back for the Portsmouth game, but it depends on how things go for the second Malta game."
As well as getting used to a new man in charge at the U's, with Steve Ball taking over from John McGreal, there's also a new boss at the helm for Malta - Devis Mangia.
Gambin explained that the new manager is looking for a change in style for the international minnows.
"The new boss has a good pedigree in Italian football, and it was great to meet him and see the presentations he put together with the plans he has for us."
"The plan is a bit more based on ball possession that we have been used to in the past with Malta and it's exciting to see that he wants us to play a bit more attacking football.
"I'm hoping to get two positive results in these Nations League games and then come back to England and get us off to a good start in the league and cup matches we have at the start of the season."