FG Awards: Part Three

Our third and final part of the FG Awards saw Adam Roberts & Daniel Griffin decide their winners from categories in the Premier & Second Division. 

Young Player of the Season – Graeme Torrilla (Mons Calpe)

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Graeme has stepped up massively for Mons, showing great leadership skills in a team that had to battle all season – his development since last summer has been noticeable. Helping Mons on the way to the Rock Cup final was a domestic milestone for Torrilla, even though they could not quite get the trophy in the end. That would have crowned off a superb season for him, but it was still very good for the midfielder. It can’t have been easy stepping into a Mons team where he was usually the only local, but Graeme took the challenge with both hands and truly excelled. Some players may have wilted under that pressure, but Torrilla stepped up to the plate when needed. He just about got in ahead of Michael Negrette for me, purely on consistency. The Gib United winger produced more ‘wow’ moments but the season is more than a few games and Graeme came out on top for me – both are very promising players though.

Player of the Season – Manuel ‘Lolo’ Soler (Lincoln Red Imps)

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Lolo had to wait for his chance at Lincoln, but once he got it he looked like he had played for Lincoln for years. He was as important a part of Lincoln regaining the title as anyone, and he’ll be vital in the upcoming qualifiers. Straight from the Pepe Reyes Cup final, Lolo showed how adept he was at saving penalties – in fact he seemed an expert at it. Having that in your arsenal is as important as having a penalty scoring expert, and Lincoln clearly benefitted from it. Raul Navas was very good for Lincoln, so Lolo had a big pair of shoes to fill. However, he never looked nervous in doing so, and made the goalkeeping transition, which can be awkward, remarkably smooth and straightforward, which is a massive compliment to Lolo.

Manager of the Season – Luis Manuel Blanco (Mons Calpe)

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He came in with Mons struggling at the wrong end of the table and needing a shake-up. Blanco did just that, and had he been given the whole season, Mons would have been up there in the top three battle, as seen in some of the teams they beat. As well as great management, Blanco also bought in a number of great signings to improve Mons. Backed by the owners, Mons assembled a very professional team after the winter break – great work from all involved. Mons took the harder route to the final, but in doing so showed their potential to mix it with the big teams. While in the final they didn’t play to their best, that shouldn’t undermine the great work from a Mons team led by Blanco.

Team of the Season – Daniel Griffin

  • GK – Manuel ‘Lolo’ Soler (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • DEF – Ibrahim Ayew (Europa)
  • DEF – Alvaro ‘Oli’ Paris (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • DEF – Samuel Fernandez (St Joseph’s)
  • DEF – Antonio ‘Toni’ Garcia (Europa)
  • MID – Domingo Ferrer Lopez (St Joseph’s)
  • MID – Anthony Bardon (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • MID – Mustapha Yahaya (Europa)
  • MID – Marco Meireles (Gibraltar United)
  • ST – Ruben ‘Rubo’ Blanco Rodriguez (Mons Calpe)
  • ST – Juan Pablo ‘Pibe’ Pereira (Mons Calpe)

Team of the Season – Adam Roberts  

  • GK – Manuel ‘Lolo’ Soler (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • DEF – Ibrahim Ayew (Europa)
  • DEF – Bernardo Lopes (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • DEF – Samuel Fernandez (St Joseph’s)
  • DEF – Filipe Aguiar (Gibraltar United)
  • MID – Domingo Ferrer Lopez (St Joseph’s)
  • MID – Anthony Bardon (Lincoln Red Imps)
  • MID – Ivan Moya (Europa)
  • MID – Daniel Ponce (Gibraltar United)
  • ST – Ruben ‘Rubo’ Blanco Rodriguez (Mons Calpe) 
  • ST – German Cortes Narvaez (Gibraltar Phoenix) 

Second Division Young Player of the Season – Tom Hull (Brunos Magpies)

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Hull dragged Magpies through a poor start to the season, and at times was the only reason they kept in the title race. It was a shame that it ended the way it did, making a big error vs Boca, but don’t let that detract from an excellent season for Hull – without him the title decider would never have happened. A young keeper, Magpies have done well to sign Hull back up for next season, as they need to build on their last two season’s of progression. With their keeper staying on, things look promising for Magpies. Speaking of promising, Hull himself is extremely promising, and could arguably be a Premier Division keeper this season if he wanted to. However, he can guarantee gametime at Magpies and for now, it is the best place for him in my opinion.

Second Division Player of the Season – Alberto Valdivia (FC Boca) 

Anyone who scores more than one goal a game over a season comes into contention for awards, and Valdivia fired Boca to the title by doing just that. Boca were expected by myself to be outside shouts for the top 2, but they ended up winning the title itself, and Valdivia is largely to thank for that. It was a very good first season for Valdivia – it can be hard adjusting to different leagues but he looked very comfortable at Boca and led from the front in difficult circumstances at times. Boca won’t find it easy in the Premier, but Valdivia is expected to catch the eye and impress against bigger teams than he faced last season. If he does well before Christmas though, will he get offers from other sides? Only time will tell.

Second Division Manager of the Season – Raul Hector Cabrera (FC Boca)

Nominating Raul may have caused some confusion between many people but we decided to go ahead with his nomination as their current manager Juanjo Pomares Garcia picked up a season-long ban which kept him away from the touchline. Even though Raul walks away with the award, we are also crediting Juanjo for his off the pitch tactics also.  

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