The just over two month wait is over and today the Premier Division kicks off – below is our season preview with league table predictions and players who we believe you should keep an eye on.
- Last season: 2nd
- This season: 2nd
- One to watch: Tjay De Barr
Last season’s Gibtelecom Rock Cup winners will be hoping for better luck this season and with the players bought in the summer transfer window, you’d expect them to give Lincoln another hard battle. Good performances last season were few and far between for the Greens so with players like Walker & De Barr, creativity is something which they have in abundance.
Tjay – I know many readers would have thought the usual suspects like Walker, Yahaya or Kike would be nominated but we’re going for the 18-year old on this one. There will be a lot of pressure on his young shoulders but we’re expecting big things from him and all the eyes will be on him come Thursday.
FC Boca Juniors
- Last season: Champions of Second Division
- This season: 9th
- One to watch: Alberto Valdivia
Last season’s Second Division winners kick off the new Premier Division season with a tough game against St Joseph’s. We expect it to be a challenging year for them but one which will bring a very useful experience for them to take into the future – it’s been a busy summer for the new boys with Max Bothen, Nathan Santos, Julio Bado while being able to hold onto experienced folk like Jamie Currer & Dani Quinones.
Alberto – Valdivia to you but Valdigol to the rest – the Spaniard finished top goalscorer last season and Boca will be hoping he can repeat it again but it will be interesting to see how he fares against much better opposition.
- Last season: 6th
- This season: 5th
- One to watch: Juan Manuel Labrador Aguilar
Our underdogs this season and after a very inconsistent season, the old Real Balompedica Linense assistant manager Juan Maria Sánchez has made some great additions to the squad including Raul Segura, keeping hold of Blas Alvarez and locals like Matt Cafer & Jason Pusey. Qualifying for Europa League may be a step too far but we expect them to be a tough side to play against.
Labra: Many might not of heard of him but he’s someone who we have been following for a couple of years. Played with many Gibraltarians in Spain and we’re looking forward to what he can offer the league from his time at Atletico Madrid.
- Last season: 4th
- This season: 6th
- One to watch: Daniel Ponce De León García
After missing out on qualifying for the Europa League on the final day of the season, Gib Utd will be hoping to go one step better this time around. The new season has brought a new manager with Lucas Cazorla and with him nearly a whole new squad. The main part of the business was done early on with Barnett, Bosio, Chino & Mouelhi renewing early on and despite losing Brad Power, he was replaced by Shaun De Los Santos of Manchester 62.
Dani: Despite only joining in January, Ponce was nominated as our Player of the Season so you can only imagine the impact he had on the club. On his day, he is a delight to watch and his team-mates will be hoping he can continue from where he left off last season.
- Last season: 7th
- This season: 7th
- One to watch: Renan Bernardes
It’s been a busy summer for Glacis; bringing in a whole new squad, appointing two managers and it doesn’t help that it was a few days away from the first game of the season. Nonetheless, Alfonso Cortijo is a top class manager and now we feel they will be as much of a tough side to beat as Phoenix.
Renan: Since arriving in Gibraltar, Renan has been superb and seen by many of one of the best full-backs in the league of recent years. Everyone knows how good he is but how will he fare without his compatriot Andre is something which we will keep an eye out on.
Lincoln Red Imps
- Last season: 1st
- This season: 1st
- One to watch: Louie Annesley
The Imps will be hoping to retain their Premier Division crown but it will be tough. Teams around them have improved over the summer and with their European adventure ending in the first week of August, questions will be asked on the fitness levels of Yiyi’s players compared to that of Europa & Mons Calpe. It will be tight at the top this season but looking at the difference in squad between themselves and Europa, we expect the Imps to nick it.
Louie: A weird move seen by us, we know the qualities Annesley holds and it was clear to see against Latvia but we feel he will fall into the same hole as Jason Pusey with game time limited – it’s a tough ask for the 18-year old to win his position over Bernardo Lopes or Oli.
- Last season: 8th
- This season: 10th
- One to watch: Alberto Caravaca
It looks like it will be another long season for Lions. Apart from losing a good chunk of their squad to teams around them, the lack of funds has made it a very frustrating summer with the only positive being the appointment of Albert Ferri. We expect the bottom two to be battled out between Lions & Boca.
Alberto: The former Lynx attacker built up a good partnership with Juan Manuel Llaves and came up with some important goals and very good performances. With the latter gone, there will be a lot of pressure on the striker to come up with the goods again this time.
- Last season: 9th
- This season: 8th
- One to watch: Leon Clinton
Last season was a weird one for Lynx. We felt they were stronger on paper than the teams around them with Fede Tobler, Raul Fernandez & Raul Segura impressing majorly but it was in the final third which gave them problems and ultimately dropped into the play-offs. With Segura moving to Phoenix, it will be interesting he has been replaced by Parody’s summer transfers.
Leon: His summer loan move is a decision which we’re sure has been welcomed by the GFA personnel. Leon has been a regular in the youth ranks of the Gibraltar national team and after showing glimpses of potential at Lincoln – all eyes will be on him to perform.
- Last season: 5th
- This season: 3rd
- One to watch: Juanse Pegalajar
It’s been a busy summer for Mons with Luis Manuel Blanco being in virtually a whole new squad. There has been a few signings which have caught our eye with Dieguito joining from Lincoln & Juanse Pegalajar who is no stranger to Gibraltar football. Graeme Torrilla renewed early on in the summer & is joined by the club’s top goalscorer Pibe but he’ll be without his partner Rubo who joined Europa permanently after a successful loan spell. After finishing second in the Rock Cup, we feel that success will be the turning point the club has needed and they’ll push on and get into Europe.
Juanse: An absolute delight to watch and when at Europa, showed the similarities which Liam Walker has today. If he can offer the same support which Juanse gave to Toncheff back in the day then Mons will be strong favourites to get into Europe and outsiders to challenge for the Premier title.
- Last season: 3rd
- This season: 4th
- One to watch: Jamie Robba
After their promising performance in the Europa League, Raul Procopio’s men will be hoping to build on that display and take it into their opener against Boca. Even though teams around them have pumped a lot of money into the club, Saints have worked quietly and instead of paying big for foreign players, opted for experience with arrivals of Antonio Calderon, Ryan Casciaro & Al Greene.
Jamie: Like we said before, this season is make or break for Jamie Robba. With the goalkeeping position in the National Team getting wider with Matt Cafer and the possibility of Tom King, Jamie desperately needs minutes as he has already shown his qualities over recent years.