Ahead of this weekend’s Futsal friendlies against Northern Ireland, we caught up with Gibraltar captain Andrew Lopez as he gave us his thoughts on their opponents.
Lopez gave us his thoughts on the games, “We have not heard much about Northern Ireland as they haven’t been into futsal long. However, this is a big nation and we shouldn’t take this as an easy game or anything close to that. The squad has been working hard for the past month and we shall try and implement tactics into these games. Being at home, always gives us an extra push to do better.”
In October, the Gib Futsal Association announced the departure of Peter Moreno and assistant coach Jose Carlos Gil Prieto will be taking over the reigns. We asked Andrew how it’s been working with the new manager, “With regards to Jose Carlos Prietto appointment as first team manager, i have personally been working under his command ever since futsal began on the rock with my local club Glacis. He is and has remained being the most advanced coach since the start in terms of tactics and experience which he has brought to GIbraltar. Having been appointed to the squad as assistant in first instance some years back, he has shown great leadership and knowledge on futsal and i would not choose anyone better than him at this time as first team coach. Great person and friend.”
Lastly we got Andrew views on how playing stronger teams like Montenegro & Sweden back in January has helped the development of local futsal on the Rock, “Our last Qualifiers which where held in GIbraltar for the first time involving Sweden and Montenegro gave new and upcoming players and insight in what to expect at international level. These are eye openers and for all those who watched the game can understand the intensity and professionalism put into this upcoming sport by other countries. Montenegro was extremely tough which reflected on the result however we managed to score 2. On the other side Sweden, who seemed a much better team, faced a hard battle against us.
We were leading with a great half pitch goal which i can proudly say, was one of my best yet from my 8 goal tally from all competitions. In terms of development we learn a lot from these games and take notes for our upcoming trainings and friendly games of these sort. Northern Ireland in my opinion, is round about at our level so i am definitely sure we can compete against them if we do things right from the start. We have a younger squad, which means there is more ability to learn at en early age and bring this forward for years to come, these players are the future.”
Everyone at FG wishes Andrew Lopez & the Gibraltar national team the best of luck!