Torrilla: “The feeling is incredible”

Following on from Gibraltar U21’s 1-0 win over Macedonia, we caught up with captain and goalscorer Graeme Torrilla as he gave us his thoughts on that famous win. 

Last Tuesday’s win was Gibraltar’s first at any European competition. Graeme Torrilla, the captain that day, reflected on his sides performance. “I think the main word would be organisation, each player knew their job and we were also aware of everybody else’s job. This helped us work as a team and it worked out in the end because each player did their job brilliantly, the team managed to accomplish exactly what we planned to do and we achieved a lot more than we thought we would. Our main objective was to keep a clean sheet and to also win at the end was a bonus.” 

Apart from being the U21 captain, Graeme scored “that goal” to give his side the 1-0 win. We asked Graeme how it felt scoring, “To be honest, I still don’t believe it’s happened. In the moment it actually happened, I can’t actually recall the ball coming in and just thinking in that moment that it was my chance to give us the lead but the feeling after it is disbelief really. The free-kick that was put in by Ethan Britto couldn’t have been any better aswell, you could say that was the main part of the goal but yes, the feeling is incredible.” 

Gibraltar have played six games so far in their maiden UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification campaign, Graeme gave his thoughts on how it’s been so far. “We knew it was going to be tough and it was extremely tough against the bigger teams. I think we have settled into the standard of football and we’ve defended the best we can. We have also been able to be consistent, given a good performance in each game and we can only improve from here. Serbia is probably the hardest team we’ve played against, i’m quite happy that we managed to stop them from scoring more than four and we even went the whole second half without conceding. They [Serbia] are a whole different standard, it’s hard to compete against players who playing in much higher levels.” 

We hear a lot about how the senior team are going in their training but very little on how the U21’s have been getting on, Graeme gave us a low down on how they’ve been getting on, “Mainly it’s for each player to know their role on the pitch, we all knew what we had to do individually such as staying tight to players, main marking, set pieces both attacking and defending, mainly defending obviously but each player responded perfectly to each job they were given and the coaches were also brilliant and made sure we were aware of our exact role on the pitch.”

Now captain of Gibraltar at Under 21 level, we asked Graeme what he hopes to achieve at national level. “Obviously start pushing into the senior squad and hoping for more moments like this, maybe not so much the goal but the team achieving good results, performances and wins.”  

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