The 30-man preliminary national squad for the games away at Georgia and Republic of Ireland was announced today, and now the names of those who could make the 23 are known, we take a look at five players who may consider themselves unfortunate not to be selected in the 30-man squad.
Photo © C Correa Photography
Jamie Robba (St Joseph’s)
Perhaps the biggest omission from the squad, no Gibraltarian keeper kept more clean sheets this season than Robba – a big reason why he was chosen as FG’s Goalkeeper of the Season. Robba hasn’t been called up since the preliminary squad for Liechtenstein in 2018, and despite a very good season in between the sticks for Saints, he hasn’t been able to force his way into the squad. If he performs to the same standards in the Europa League and the beginning of next season, it will become impossible to ignore him for September’s internationals.
Aymen Mouelhi (Gib United)*
The Gib United defender has been involved in the recent squads, and played 42 minutes off the bench in the friendly vs Estonia. We thought he was locked in as a certainty to be in the squad, but the 32-year old has missed out on the squad for the two away games next month. His experience would have been valuable in a largely younger defensive selection, and the defender is reliable when called upon, so his omission was a bit of a surprise, unless there are any potential injury concerns at play.
Alan Parker (Glacis)
One of the nominations for Young Player of the Season, Alan Parker has been one of the shining lights in this Glacis side, playing 22 times and notching up 1800 minutes in the league this season (only Tjay De Barr and Liam Walker have played more minutes as far as outfield HGP’s are concerned this season). At 23, Parker is at the age where he should be integrated into the national team, especially if he keeps up this form – a good start to next season will only increase the argument for him being selected.
Jamie Serra (St Joseph’s)
Serra’s injury came at a bad time for himself earlier this season, but he was looking very promising before that, and having played 4 of the last 5 games this season, the 20-year old could consider himself unlucky not to at least be in the preliminary squad. Of course, he is almost certain to be in the U21 squad for Belarus away on June 8th, but given some in the senior preliminary squad will also be likely to drop down to the U21s, there is an argument that Serra could have had a place in the team.
Scott Wiseman (Salford City)
Wiseman hasn’t played for the national team since 2016, and is arguably a forgotten name in local football circles now, but given the over 4-year period between Reece Styche’s first and second caps for the national side, there’s no reason why Wiseman couldn’t be reintegrated in the national team, especially given he played 51 times this season for Salford, who earned promotion to League Two. Another player who would add invaluable experience, there is an argument for Wiseman to come back into the fold, especially if he continues to start at League Two level next season.
*Note – after the publication of this article, Aymen Mouelhi was announced as an addition to the preliminary squad, increasing it to a 31-man squad.