The first main part of the FG Awards 2019/20 sees the awards for goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and striker of the season dished out, as well as the award for the best manager in the league this season.
Goalkeeper of the Season – Dayle Coleing (Europa FC)
The 23-year-old keeper has really stepped into his own this season, establishing himself as Europa’s clear number 1 despite the talent and vast experience of Javi Munoz, and being part of the backline which only conceded nine goals all season. Coleing’s commanding presence in the box has mirrored the commanding style of his team this season.
As well as breaking through into the national team, where he battles alongside Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin for the Number 1 shirt for Julio Ribas side, Coleing has also picked up interest outside of Gib – he recently was picked up by the Capital Sport Management group – and the future looks promising for the Europa keeper.
Other contenders: 2nd – Jamie Robba (St Joseph’s), 3rd – Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (Lincoln), 4th – Bradley Banda (Lynx)
Defender of the Season – Olmo Gonzalez Casado (Europa FC)
One of the more challenging positions to choose from with Olmo & Sergio Sanchez creating such a dominant partnership. Olmo executed his defensive work with ease, giving Sanchez the freedom to venture up the pitch and scoring a total of four goals in thirteen league appearances – not bad for his debut season.
We opted for Olmo’s consistency, playing in fifteen of Europa’s seventeen league games – the Spanish defender also kept seven clean-sheets. His experience is vital in this team and Escobar will be hoping to keep him on for another year.
Other contenders: 2nd – Sergio Sanchez (Europa), 3rd – Ezequiel Rojas (St Joseph’s), 4th – Bernardo Lopes (Lincoln Red Imps)
Midfielder of the Season – Liam Walker (Europa FC)
Walker has led by example this season for his side, captaining the league leaders and scoring 21 goals in the process from an attacking role. His set-piece abilities are well known, but some of Walker’s free kick’s, especially an opening day one in a victory vs Lincoln, especially caught the eye as the 32-year-old pushed eventual top scorer Juanfri all the way in the scoring charts.
Walker’s vast experience both in Gib and abroad no doubt helps Europa massively, especially for some of their younger local talent, while his creative abilities have also set up countless goals for the likes of Manu Dimas, Juampe and more to get their fair share of goals this season.
Other contenders: 2nd – Cristian Pecci (St Joseph’s), 3rd – Alejandro Carrascal Aviles (Europa), 4th – Dan Bent (Bruno’s Magpies)
Striker of the Season – Juan Francisco ‘Juanfri’ Garcia Pena
Goals, goals, and more goals – that pretty much sums up Juanfri’s time at St Joseph’s since joining in 2018. “El Killer” as known by his team-mates are those close to him, Juanfri scored twenty goals in his debut season and followed it up with 24 league goals this season with four games still remaining before the league was made null and void.
Juanfri will best be known for scoring in both legs of St Joseph’s win over Prishtina in the Europa League and pulling off that famous celebration at the Victoria Stadium. His partnership with Boro and Domingo Ferrer Lopez keeps improving and soon will be bringing silverware home to St Joseph’s.
Other contenders: 2nd – Juampe (Europa), 3rd – Kike (Lincoln Red Imps), 4th – Alberto Caravaca (Lions)
Manager of the Season – Rafael Escobar Obrero
A fairly straightforward choice, in reality, Europa manager Rafael Escobar has guided his team to being undefeated at the Victoria Stadium for over 12 months now, and bar a few shaky moments in games vs the likes of Glacis & Lions, Europa’s tendency to drop unnecessary points seems to have been all but eradicated under his management.
Getting the best out of the attacking side of his team, while also ensuring a strong defensive aspect has made Europa very hard to beat, and you have to give credit to the manager for doing that. Escobar came with a good reputation having managed both Balona and Los Barrios in Spain, and he’s so far held that reputation strongly.
Other contenders: 2nd – Raul Procopio (St Joseph’s), 3rd – Albert Ferri (Lions), 4th – Albert Parody (Lynx)