We caught up with Lincoln & Gibraltar captain Roy Chipolina as he gave us his views on this season, losing the league title and Gibraltar’s chances in the Nations League.
It’s been an excellent season for Lincoln so far, undefeated in nine games and who would have thought that their joint top goalscorers would be Roy Chipolina & Jean-Carlos Garcia. Captain Roy gave us his views on how the season has panned out so far, “As a team we have had a fantastic 1st round. Not only have we won all our games but we have scored the most goals and conceded least. After last season’s disappointment the club acted appropriately bringing in strong reinforcements who have been very impressive. The likes of Oli who defensively has been solid, Falu who has been a massive presence upfront and Anthony [Hernandez]’s flair added to an already strong and competitive squad seem to have provided us with all the right tools up until now not only in matches but also in upping the intensity in training. Personally I am happy with my own individual performances and have settled very well with Oli as a partnership. We have a very good understanding and I have to mention that this has also allowed us to push Bernardo [Lopes] up into centre mid who has been outstanding and is pivotal in providing a balance to the team.”
They say “what defines a Champion is not winning but rising after defeat” and the way Imps have risen this season has been superb. They are playing on a different level compared to the rest of the Premier teams and Roy is very pleased, “Last season definitely hurt and this has only added to our desire to put things right this season. Yes we have put ourselves in a very good commanding position but the season is long with many twists and turns and matches to be played. Not to mention the transfer window coming up where I’m a sure many teams will be bringing in reinforcements.”
“We are Lincoln. We always have pressure in having to win. It’s what everyone expects, what the club expects and what the players expect. That’s why last season hurt so much and why we are striving more than ever to win another league title.”
Lastly, the two-month break means the Victoria Stadium pitch will be resurfaced meaning Gibraltar will finally be able to play on home turf. We asked if the Nations League in September is our chance to finally get those points, “Playing here in Gibraltar is something which is welcomed by both the players and the fans alike. Playing International football is tough enough as it is without removing the advantage that playing at home brings. I for one can’t wait to play in front of a packed out Victoria Stadium especially in a competitive match. The Nations League does open the doors to playing teams where hopefully the gap in standard will be far less than some of the teams we have been facing in our qualifying campaigns but Gibraltar must be aware that we will still be huge underdogs and facing some experienced International sides. Gaining points will be very hard to come by and a lot of hard work and support from everyone in Gibraltar will be needed if this is to be achieved.”
Photo by C Correa Photography.