The 2016-17 Second Division season is nearly upon us. A lot has happened already this summer, so we take a look at how the nine teams will fare in the coming campaign.
Angels FC – Promoted one season then relegated the next, Angels struggled for the majority of the season. Despite a late resurgence thanks to a takeover midway through the season, it wasn’t enough to keep the side up. Since then Angels appointed former Brunos Magpies boss Joel Williams as their new manager and bought in an influx of both local and foreign players which will no doubt improve the side as they hope to get themselves back into the top flight of Gibraltarian football.
Cannons FC – For the previous two seasons Cannons have finished in the bottom two and we expect them to do the same this season. Following Pegasus’ dropping out of the Second Division this year, Cannons have taken this opportunity to sign the majority of their players and manager Christian Olivares, who replaces Chris Gomez. Former Europa Point & Mons Calpe midfielder Isaac Cereto is their biggest signing.
College 1975 FC – After finishing bottom of the league last year, the College hierarchy made a number of changes most notably appointing Juanfran Fernandez Molina as their new manager for the upcoming season. The former Angels and Leo manager has signed nearly a full team, adding talented midfielder Antonio Fernandez Sabastro, defender Scott Kelly and goal machine Christian Mena, as well as many more to a team which could be the dark horse this season.
FC Hound Dogs – The youngest side in Gibraltar, Hound Dogs made a total of eight new signings in the summer with the majority of them being under the age of 18. Promotion is probably as likely as Leicester were to win the Premier League last season but in the words of manager Chris Gomez, “Our aim is to develop young local players and give them game time. We offer them the platform to step up to senior football. We aim to be competitive week in, week out.”
FC Olympique – Olympique started the summer by parting ways with manager Carlos Brydges and appointing Garry Turner Bone as his replacement. Garry did a great bit of business early on when he signed experienced duo Lee Graham and Matt Reoch, while also improving in other areas as well as holding on to talented attacker Israel Castillo, which could see his side break into the top three this season.
FC Bruno’s Magpies – Magpies parted ways with Joel Williams in May and a few weeks later brought in a whole new backroom staff which consisted of Warren Muscat as manager, Michael Macias his assistant and Sally Holmes as the Strength & Conditioning coach. Magpies were able to keep the majority of their team from last year while adding a few from abroad through an affiliation with a London based Football academy, as well as bringing in experienced Premier Division players. We expect Magpies to be battling for promotion.
FC Boca Juniors – Moving on from a team full of mates, Boca have been one of the busiest teams in the transfer market bringing in a whole host of players through new manager Juanjo Pomares Garcia. Experienced midfielder Emilio Sansolini looks to be their major signing of the window as they hope to improve on previous season standings.
Gibraltar Phoenix – Phoenix started the summer by appointing former Angels boss Albert Ferri as their new manager, and they have brought in a whole new squad consisting of Gibraltar Premier Division standard players while also working alongside their new affiliation with Aletico Zabal. If the side can gel together quickly and get Fernando Cuesta firing on all cylinders, they should win the league comfortably.
Leo FC – After a great start last season, Leo were raided by Premier clubs of their top players, which showed in their league form as they finished in 7th. Leo have been very quiet over the summer and the secret business they’ve been doing will hopefully build up the clubs reputation after a crazy end to last season.
Predicted League Table finish
1st – Gibraltar Phoenix
2nd – Bruno’s Magpies
3rd – FC Olympique
4th – Angels FC
5th – College 1975 FC
6th – FC Boca Juniors
7th – Leo FC
8th – FC Hound Dogs
9th – Cannons