With each team playing three games in August before the enforced break, Football Gibraltar have got together to pick our inaugural Player and Manager of the Month for the Premier Division, with a Lincoln duo sweeping up the awards in the first month.
Photo (C) William Gracia
Player of the Month – Joseph Chipolina (Lincoln)
Not many teams can claim to possess a left-back who can score five times in his first three games, but Lincoln have just that in Joseph, with the experienced Gibraltar international scoring penalties against Glacis and Phoenix, before single-handedly winning Lincoln the match against Lions with his hat-trick in a 3-0 victory. Chipolina has done well to bounce back from the injury in March that saw him miss the win vs Latvia, and he’ll be potentially looking to replicate the form of 2016-17 where he scored an impressive 17 league goals.
There were other players with notable performances in August who were on the fringes was this award – German Cortes has already scored two key goals for Gib United since joining from Phoenix (the equaliser vs St Joseph’s and the second goal in a 2-1 win vs Boca), and is showing signs that the 15 league goals he got last season was no fluke. Likewise, new St Joseph’s signing Juanfri has also scored twice and looks a promising signing, while at the other end of the pitch Ibrahim Ayew has caught the eye again for Europa from full-back. However, there was only one player who was realistically going to win player of the month this time out.
Manager of the Month – Diego ‘Yiyi’ Perez Jimenez
The only manager to keep a 100% record from the first games of the season, Yiyi was an easy choice for manager of the month for August. After bouncing back from losing the Pepe Reyes Cup, Lincoln have started the season as expected by many, winning every game without conceding and giving themselves a two point lead over their nearest challengers going into the return of the season in October.
Other potential contenders for the award were Albert Parody, who has presided over a much-improved Lynx side from last season, who almost got a result against St Joseph’s were it not for two calamitous errors that resulted in own goal, while after only coming into the team days before the seasons start, Alfonso Cortijo has bounced back well from defeat to Lincoln by drawing with Europa and then beating Mons Calpe – a tough start for Glacis has been navigated fairly well, but in the end Yiyi was always going to win the award in the first month given he won every game.