We caught up with Gibraltar football legend Al Greene as we got his thoughts on this past season with Lions, his future & the Gibraltar national team.
Greene reflected on finishing 7th last season with Lions, “I was very happy because I was able to stay injury free and play more minutes than I expected. It was nice to keep Lions in the Premier Division but the only negative was that I didn’t like playing as a defender.”
At the age of 40 years old, we asked Al if he will continue playing football next season – “Yes for sure. I have been approached by 3 Premier clubs and in a few weeks i will decide my future.”
A few weeks ago Julio Ribas was appointed Gibraltar national team head coach, Greene gave us his thoughts on the move – “I think it’s very good idea to get a manager from abroad for the national team but I also think that he should be surrounded by Gibraltarian coaches.”
During the late 1990’s & early 2000’s, Greene had two stints at Spanish side Real Balompedica Linense (known as La Balona to us), we asked how playing football abroad helped him as a player – “It helped me in many ways and mostly in how serious I took my training sessions because my coaches used to say that you train as you play and every training session used to be very hard.”
It’s always a topic of discussion if youngsters nowadays have the same desire to make it professional as players like Roy Chipolina, Lee Casciaro & Al Greene. Al had his say on the matter, “I think that the desire has been a bit lost. I look back and I only see 4 or 5 players coming up that have it in them to make it to the top. I would give anything to be 20 years younger and have the same opportunities that young players in Gibraltar have nowadays.”
Greene gave his thoughts on the new HGP rule which has been implemented for next season, “It’s about time and I think it will be brilliant for local players as it’s not nice to see local teams field only two local players from a twenty-two man squad.”
Lastly, ahead of Gibraltar’s Nations League campaign this September; we asked Al how he thinks Gibraltar will fare, “I think that’s the only way the national team will improve playing against teams similar to us but it’s also wonderful to play against counties like Germany and Scotland.”
Photo by William Gracia.