Following Matt Cafer’s move from Europa to Manchester 62, we caught up with the 22-year old keeper as he reflects on his time with his former club and his goals for his new club.
Matt Cafer reflects on his time at Europa since joining them back in 2014 from Yeovil Town, “‘My three years at Europa have been in honesty a roller-coaster, but an amazing one; one that has turned me into a man, as a footballer and as a person. I cannot say a bad word about the club itself, the way it’s run and organized is a credit to Gibraltar and Gibraltarian football. When I first joined 3 years ago, to say the level was ‘Pro’ standard wouldn’t have been true however Europa took it upon themselves to push the club to become as professional as it gets. And that’s from the people who run it who use a lot of their free time out of their busy schedules to make it possible, and if they keep going the way they are I’m sure that the history in Gibraltar will change very shortly.“
The past year and a half has been tough on Cafer – injuries and losing his spot to experienced goalkeeper Javi Munoz has seen his appearances at the club become few and far between. We asked if Cafer has any regrets about his time at Europa, “Of course I regret not playing as much as I would have wanted to! For one reason or another, I came here from a Championship club in England and automatically you have this expectation from others and from yourself! And maybe at times I didn’t reach those expectations. I can only blame myself but Europa have given me the opportunity to play European football at the age of 20/21 and for me that’s a moment in my life I will never forget. Something to tell the grandkids about!”
After playing mainly for Europa’s reserve team alongside a few appearances last season due to an injury sustained to Javi Munoz, Cafer agreed that his recent move is a chance to revive his career, “Yeah definitely for me it’s a chance to prove myself to many people and maybe to myself too. Last year I had a long time out through injury and ever since then really struggled to break back into regular football. As a footballer you start doubting yourself when you spend this amount of time sidelined so when I knew Manchester were interested the decision for me was made. I knew I needed regular football as every young player does. And I thought to myself, do I stay at Europa collecting my wages on the bench or do I go grab this opportunity with both hands and go make a big name for myself in Gibraltar football and give Manchester everything I can?”
Manchester 62 currently sit eighth and the departure of arguably their best players Fran Mejias & Cristian Toncheff has left them with problems. We asked if the there’s enough quality in the current crop of Red Devil players to save them from relegation. “I think that this question doesn’t need answering. At the start of the season if you’d have looked at each squad and tried to develop an idea of where people would be at the end, you’d have never put a club like Manchester down in this position. A club as big as Manchester with their history and reputation in Gibraltar cannot be in this situation, this position so even the thought of getting relegated hasn’t gone through my mind! I’ll personally take each game as it comes; each win/draw/loss and help with all my ability to get Manchester climbing back up the table where they belong.“