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Jolley: “We’ve remained focused and will continue to do so”

FG caught up with Europa and Gibraltar defender Ethan Jolley to discuss his side’s season so far, being part of a makeshift Europa defence this season and more.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Europa are currently second in the table, behind St Joseph’s only on goal difference with the two sides yet to meet – how has the defender rated his sides season so far? “I think this season has been good so far, things have been a little different this year due to the virus & the effects it’s had on the competition. Nevertheless we’ve remained focused and will continue to do so to make sure we are ready when the league eventually resumes.”

Injuries to key defenders, such as Olmo, Sergio Sanchez and Ibrahim Ayew, means that Jolley has often been involved in makeshift defensive backlines, normally including two, or at times even three midfielders in them – the likes of Mikey Yome and David Polaco among those to fill in – how does the 23-year-old feel they have done? “Injuries will always be a part of football and this year we have had a few. The midfielders who have helped out in defence in my opinion have done just as well as any other defender. When you have good players in your squad which can adapt playing at different positions it makes it much easier to cope with injuries.”

Jolley was part of Gibraltar’s promotion-winning Nations League side, featuring in both games against Liechtenstein – how did it feel when Gib secured top spot and promotion to League C? “It’s hard to put into words how we all felt after achieving what we achieved. Even now almost 2 months later it still hasn’t completely sank in. Its a massive achievement winning an international group and being a part of it is an honour and proud to say the least.”

Finally, we asked the Europa defender what his goals were as a player: “My goals are always to do better than what i have done in previous years. I have always wanted to play abroad to learn more about football and at an international level you get a glimpse of that. All in all the goal is to train harder and stronger and from there see what the future holds.”