Part Three of our Gibraltar National League preview sees us take a look at Lynx, Manchester 62, Mons Calpe and St Joseph’s.
- Name: Lynx FC
- Next game: Europa Point (17/10/2020)
- 2019/20 League finish: 4th
Given the budget they have compared to the likes of Magpies and those above them, Lynx definitely punched above their weight last season, and finished in a deserved 4th place.
The challenge this season will be to build upon last year’s efforts, and ensure that they weren’t a one-off. As always, Albert Parody has reinforced his side with new signings, but it will be some of the longer term players who could carry them back to another top 6 finish.
Bradley Banda will hope to play as well for Lynx as he did for the Gib U21s the other day, while up front Alberto Valdivia could prove crucial in tight games.
- Name: Manchester 62
- Next game: Lions Gibraltar (17/10/2020)
- 2019/20 League finish: 9th
Last season didn’t end how Manchester would have liked it, with an 11-1 defeat to Mons, but they will be looking for more stability in the managerial department this season, and David Wilson should be able to ensure that.
A top 6 finish admittedly seems unlikely, but unlike most teams in the league, they will have no problem fulfilling their HGP requirements – the clubs focus on developing young, local talent, even if it is at the expense of results sometimes, has to be applauded.
Michael Negrette has returned from a short spell at Lincoln and adds a bit extra to the team, while this could also be a big season for Scott Ballantine, who showed his versatility after returning to the club last season.
- Name: Mons Calpe
- Next game: Glacis United (16/10/2020)
- 2019/20 League finish: 7th
Very much the underachievers last year before Christmas, Mons will hope to build on a good 2020 in the league and cup, to try and push for a top 6 finish this time out.
HGP’s have always been an issue for Mons, but this summer they have seemingly kept the core of their locals, while also adding experience in the shape of former Gibraltar keeper Jordan Perez.
The main issue for Mons Calpe will be ensuring off-pitch issues are kept to an absolute minimum, and the ones that are currently there need sorting as soon as possible – if they don’t, they will not finish in the top 6 this time out.
- Name: St Joseph’s
- Next game: FC Boca (18/10/2020)
- 2019/20 League finish: 2nd
Saints had a great season last time out, pushing Europa all the way while also keeping Lincoln an arms length away. They were unlucky not to get a result in Europe vs B36, but the signs showed another good season awaits.
Saints squad stability has been a key factor in their success, and again this season they have only added a small handful of players, including Gib international Erin Barnett and former Gib United midfielder Carlos Carrasco.
The only real challenge for Saints and Raul Procopio will be adapting his side to the new HGP rules – he will have to be sensible around rotating when needed as a couple of local injuries could hurt them.
Up front though, the pairing of Juanfri and Boro remains, and should be as potent as ever in winning games for the side, while new signing Pedro Fernandez looked promising in his cameo in the Europa League – that front three could prove difficult for even Europa and Lincoln to handle at times.