Gibraltar United manager Manolo Nuñez Sanchez has signed a new five-year contract with the Premier Division club.
The 60-year-old Spaniard has been rewarded with a deal that ties him to the club until the end of the 2020/21 season after guiding the Red & Whites into eighth place in the Premier Division in his first campaign in charge.
After signing the new deal, he told Football Gibraltar, “I have had opportunities to sign for a few other local clubs here in Gibraltar, but the reason I decided to renew my contract for another five years at Gibraltar United was primarily because it is a unique challenge that I want to add as part of my managerial career. I have had the chance to train many teams before Gibraltar United but I had never trained a team whose club only consisted of local players. I have also developed a very intimate bond with players and staff alike, we are more than a team but very much a family and I didn’t want to leave the team without a manager mid-season. My relationship with the club is strong and I want to continue working to expand our achievements further.“
Reflecting on his first season with Gibraltar United, Sanchez said, “The work that we have done as a club up to this point has been generally quite satisfying, the players have been key in ensuring that our level is good enough to maintain our respective position. There are still eight matches to go so we need to avoid being complacent, but the players have sacrificed much of their time and energy to be at a high standard so I am pleased.“
Sanchez also mentioned, “We are very pleased that we were able to advance to the Premier Division of Gibraltar last year, a lot of the players never had professional experience, but now this move has given us the chance to want to increase the standard of our players tenfold. It is an achievement that was originally thought to be inconceivable and has been the result of a lot of determination and hard work by the entire squad and coaching staff, what the achievement demonstrates is that it is all possible in football if there is a will to achieve.”
Gibraltar United currently sit eighth, three points clear of Glacis which have improved majorly in recent weeks, We asked Chupete if he still believes his side can avoid relegation, “We believe that with our current roster, we can continue to maintain our position despite teams like Glacis who have recently been reinforcing their squad with new signings. Despite this, we have already beat them on two occasions, even with fresh talent that they have brought in on our most recent clash, we were still able to defeat them with our current squad. On that note, I can say with confidence that we are more than capable of defeating them a third time.”
Sanchez is a very experienced manager and after signing his contract, he gave us an insight into the project he has in store for Gibraltar United, “There are a number of long-term objectives that I have in mind for this club, the most obvious is our intent to improve ourselves and our quality each year, but the most important goal for us is to build a foundation system within the club that can allow us to develop our youth players from the early stages of their career up to a professional level so that they can then participate in regular first team football.”
Lastly, Chupete’s work at Gibraltar United sees him manage a team with no full-time players, a job which the Spaniard isn’t use too. We asked if Gibraltar United is the hardest managerial job he has had in his career. “There are a number of long-term objectives that I have in mind for this club, the most obvious is our intent to improve ourselves and our quality each year, but the most important goal for us is to build a foundation system within the club that can allow us to develop our youth players from the early stages of their career up to a professional level so that they can then participate in regular first team football. I like challenges and being a manager of this club has proven to be one of the biggest of my career, but this is the reason that motivates me to continue because it is something very unique that we are trying to build and it is also something that has never been done before in Gibraltar. I have been involved in the profession of football for a long time and at this moment in time, I always look for the biggest challenges and Gibraltar United provides the right scenario for what I want to achieve.“
Chupete added, “I know and understand what the Gibraltarian Football player is like, sometimes dealing with this challenge of ensuring that they maintain a high standard can prove to be one of the biggest obstacles as manager of this club. Sometimes not all players turn up to training sessions, the number varies on different occasions, so capitalising on the successes that we have so far with these complications has been the largest hurdle so far.”