Rodriguez and Ibrahim handed first Gibraltar callups

Ashley Rodriguez and Deren Ibrahim are the two new names in Jeff Wood’s latest Gibraltar squad, for the World Cup Qualifiers against Estonia and Belgium.

Rodriguez, who currently plays for Gib United, has impressed for a while and has been rewarded for his effort, while Ibrahim will be an unfamiliar name for many, with the goalkepeer, playing for Dartford FC in the National League South, one level below Jamie Robba at Torquay, called up for the first time after being monitored by Wood for most of this year.

There is also a return to the squad for Adam Priestley, with the Alfreton striker last featuring in a competitive match back in June 2015 when Gib lost to Germany. Injuries have affected the striker but his return to full fitness, and a notable transfer to the National League North side means he makes it into Wood’s 26-man preliminary squad.

One player not in the squad who’s exclusion keeps raising questions is Gateshead striker Reece Styche; going off an interview yesterday in the Non League Daily, it’s safe to say we are not likely to see the striker add to the sole cap he earned in 2014 when Gib lost 4-1 to the Faroe Islands at the Victoria Stadium.

The squad will have to be trimmed from 26 to 23 and with UEFA and FIFA rules requiring three keepers are called up, it appears to be a straight battle between Ibrahim and Kyle Goldwin of Gib United to avoid being cut. Otherwise, the remaining two places can be cut from any position and like the last squad may be decided by injuries, lack of fitness, or other extenuating circumstances.

Gib Squad:

Goalkeepers: Kyle Goldwin (Gib United), Deren Ibrahim (Dartford (ENG)), Jordan Perez (St Josephs), Jamie Robba (Torquay (ENG))

Defenders: Erin Barnett (Gib United), Ryan Casciaro (Lincoln Red Imps), Joseph Chipolina (Lincoln Red Imps), Roy Chipolina (Lincoln Red Imps), Jean Carlos Garcia (Lincoln Red Imps), Jayce Olivero (Lions), Scott Wiseman (Scunthorpe (ENG))

Midfielders: Anthony Bardon (Lincoln Red Imps), Jamie Bosio (Gib United), Robert Guiling (Lynx), Jeremy Lopez (Lions), Anthony Hernandez (Gib United), Aaron Payas (Manchester 62), Ashley Rodriguez (Gib United), Liam Walker (Europa FC)

Forwards: George Cabrera (Lincoln Red Imps), Kyle Casciaro (Lincoln Red Imps), Lee Casciaro (Lincoln Red Imps), Jamie Coombes (Manchester 62), Robert Montovio (Gib United), Adam Priestley (Alfreton (ENG), Michael Yome (Manchester 62)

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