After being part of the Europa side that reached the Gibtelecom Rock Cup final, we caught up with Europa and Gibraltar international defender Ethan Jolley to get his thoughts on the game, his season so far and more.
Photo © C Correa Photography
Europa saw off Phoenix 4-1 on Tuesday, despite going down to 10 men after an hour and giving away two penalties in the game – how did Jolley feel the game went for his side? “I felt the team played well, considering we had a man down after 60 minutes, and still managed to control the game most of the time. There’s still room for improvement as a team collectively but the outcome was a win which was our main aim.”
This is the fourth season in a row Europa have made the final of the cup, and last year Jolley featured off the bench in their 2-1 success over Mons Calpe in the final – what are the 22-year old’s thoughts on reaching another final? “Apart from all behind the scenes we deserve some credit not just the players but staff. It’s always good reaching the finals of the cup, any game we play is just as important but after playing in last year’s finals you can always tell there’s a sensation to it, especially when its one game away from lifting silverware.”
Jolley’s team-mate for club and country, Tjay De Barr, is top scorer in the cup with seven goals, and is very likely to end the tournament in that position as well – how highly does the defender rate his team-mate? “Well, Tjay De Barr is the kind of player anyone would want in their team. He plays with the passion and desire and that’s what a team needs. He has all the attributes a player needs, and in training you can tell he wants to get better and keep progressing. You can tell he is learning and progressing from the results he is getting as a player, and helping out the team. He is one of those players that has been vital for the club this season. I must say to keep an eye out (on De Barr).”
The increase in the HGP rule has seen Jolley’s minutes on the pitch already increase from the whole of last season – with five league games and a cup final to go, and in turn led to him making his international debut in the final minutes against Estonia last month. How does Jolley rate his own personal season? “My season all round has been good. As a player you always want to get minutes and play to the best of your ability. Individually I have been training and working hard to get the best possible outcome in games and I can say I feel good playing and doing what I love most. Every season a player must aim to achieve something greater than the last and this season I think I have. This is my second consecutive season with my club Europa, I am happy with my game time, happy with the results as a team and happy with the performances.”