With the season getting underway in six day and Gibraltar’s Nations League campaign on the 6th of September – we take a look at six players who have a big season ahead of them.
Anthony Hernandez – Lincoln Red Imps
Anthony’s name on the this list might come as a surprise to many but let us explain before people get the wrong end of the stick. Throughout Lincoln’s title winning campaign, Hernandez (when fit) was a great performer and is a delight to watch when at his best but just like most seasons, change it inevitable.
Bardon’s departure prior to the Champions League qualifiers dealt a huge blow to Lincoln and it was clear to see in their recent European qualifying tournaments. Consistency is key and Bardon had it in abundance so it’s on this basis where we feel Hernandez needs to take his game to the next level.
Tjay De Barr – Europa
Dubbed by many as Gibraltar’s most exciting youngster, De Barr has shown his promise at youth level and reserves but trying to get into Lincoln’s Premier team has proved to be one step too far. The 18-year old showed glimpses of promise when on loan at Europa Point during the 2016-17 season but it was clear to see that there was certain bits to his game which needed fixing and that which only regular game time can help.
Europa came calling in the summer and snapped Tjay up and with a good preseason under his belt, we expect big things to come from him this season.
Jamie Robba – St Joseph’s
Since joining St Joseph’s, Robba has struggled to hold down the number one spot with the Gibraltarian international in constant battle with Jose Felix Romero. With the new HGP rule which has been implemented, we’d expect Jamie to become Saints number one and put his name back in the hat for the National Team.
Robba’s exclusion from Gibraltar’s friendly against Latvia in March should have come as an alarm bell for him to knuckle down and get more game time incase he falls further down the pecking order.
Erin Barnett – Gibraltar United
Minutes isn’t a problem at the moment for Erin, with the defender in the top three list when it comes to Gibraltarian’s and their game time. Erin’s progress seemed to halt over the last season or two but with the introduction of Gibraltar United’s new manager Lucas Cazorla, the 21-year old will be looking to take his game to the next level.
Again, like Robba, Barnett’s exclusion from Latvia can be looked at in two ways but we’ll leave it at improving and helping his side qualify for Europa League.
Matt Cafer – Gibraltar Phoenix
Cafer is well known in the Gibraltar league, previously playing for Europa & Manchester 62 on two occasions and thanks to the new international rule which the GFA brought in, Matt is able to represent Gibraltar.
Opting against playing in the Second Division with Manchester 62, Cafer joined Gibraltar Phoenix and he’ll be hoping for a great season as he gets ready for a challenging battle against a very determined Kyle Goldwin.
Leon Clinton – Lynx
Despite being a regular for Gibraltar at youth level but it’s at domestic level which Leon has struggled so much becoming a bit-part player at Lincoln even with the promise he has shown.
Following a loan move to Lynx, Leon will be hoping to get his footballing career back on track and get some valuable game time which will helping him on the International scene.
Photos by William Gracia, C Correa & Neil Wilson.