Tomorrow sees the Second Division kick-off, with seven teams after Cannons folded and Angels were denied re-admission. With some strong teams taking part in the league, we take a look at each team and give our thoughts on where they’ll finish – who do we think will take the trophy Boca won last season?
Photo (C) William Gracia
- Last season: 7th
- This season: 6th
Since entering the Second Division in 2015, College 1975 have not threatened the top order at all, finishing in the bottom three in all of their three seasons so far, and we don’t see that changing this season. The teams above them in the league will be far too strong, and we suspect while they may take the odd point potentially off teams above them, come the end of the season it will be between them and Hound Dogs to avoid finishing bottom.
- Last season: 4th
- This season: 3rd
After finishing fourth in their first season back in the Second Division, ultimately failing to keep up their hopes of a playoff push despite their best efforts, the “Stepping Stone Club” will be looking for more progress on the field this time out. Like most teams at this level, they have been quiet in terms of announcing their transfers, but word is they’ll have a decent team out and we think they’ll battle with the top teams, ultimately improving on last season’s finish.
- Last season: 8th
- This season: 7th
We like Hound Dogs and their approach to the game, but unfortunately they are the weakest team in the division it seems, and will have to spend most of the season looking up the table at the teams above them. As proven last season though, they can be hard to beat – Olympique almost threw away their playoff chances by needing an 88th minute goal to beat them near the end of the season, so teams would do well to not assume that Hound Dogs will be a walk in the park.
- Last season: 2nd
- This season: 4th
The team appears to have had a complete overhaul, for better or worse, from the side that were so close to promotion last season, and from what we’ve seen, after losing manager Lewis Fraser and the quality spine they had to their team, they will struggle as a result to replicate last season’s form. It could be a case of “After the Lord Mayor’s Show” for them, and while they will be there or thereabouts for most of the season, we think they’ll finish fourth, which we imagine will be a disappointment for Olympique after last season’s efforts.
- Last season: 3rd
- This season: 1st
Having been so close for a good while to going up, we fancy this year to be Magpies year in terms of success. Under David Wilson they have established links that have enabled them to build a strong squad for this level, including well known locals like Paul Podesta, Kelvin Morgan, Ashley Rodriguez and Carl Thomas who were all playing in the Premier Division last season, as well as keeping the core of the players that took them so close to the title last season. With the 12th man behind them, we fancy them to just about pip Manchester to the title. The first game between them is on October 7th and promises to be a thriller.
- Last season: 5th
- This season: 5th
A team of two halves last season, Leo lost every game before the winter break, before picking up more points than any other team after the two month break. A managerial change and no doubt some squad changes refresh this Leo side once again this season, and they’ll have more stability at least in the early stages of the season. We’re not sure they’ll finish in the top places, but we fancy them to push the top teams like Cannons did for most of last season while their title hopes were alive.
- Last season: 10th (relegated from Gibraltar Premier Division)
- This season: 2nd
Last season’s relegated Premier Division side have decided to overhaul their squad completely in an attempt to re-build from the mess of a side that lost back-to-back games 9-0 at the end of the 17-18 season. While they have lost some of their better players, we feel as a squad they will be much better this season and will give some much-deserved cheer to a fanbase who had to sit through their side not win a single game last season. The 2013 Rock Cup finalists may not quite pip Magpies to the title, but they have a more long-term goal about them, and with rumours of the two league’s merging into one, this should be the first step in the recovery of one of Gibraltar’s best-known sides.