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Barnett: “It was an extremely disciplined performance from the whole team”

We spoke to Erin Barnett about Gibraltar United’s Rock Cup semi-final win, his season so far and more.

Barnett reflected on his teams performance after their 1-0 win over Mons Calpe, “I feel that the performance from the whole team was exactly as we had planned. We have spent a lot of hours preparing on the training ground for this important game, and i am glad that our hard work paid off. Being a Semi Final, We knew that it was going to be a very tight game between two similarly matched sides, and we are extremely happy as a team to have been able to take our chances and progress to the final. It was an extremely disciplined performance from the whole team, from 1 to 11, and i feel that keeping a clean sheet was fundamental in ensuring that we won the game.”

Gibraltar United will play Europa in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup final with the winner heading to the Europa League. We asked how it felt to have another shot at European football after missing out on it on the final day of last season, “To be honest, missing out on european football last season in such circumstances was extremely difficult, and therefore, to be able to have another huge opportunity this season is extremely rewarding and is fruits of the hard work that the whole team has put in. It still hurts when i think back to last season, and this certainly gives us that extra drive and determination going in to the final this year.”

Currently sitting fifth in the league with five games to go and now in the Rock Cup final – Barnett reflected on his sides season so far, “The season this year has been very strange. There has been many difficult and challenging times throughout the season, and as a result there has been many changes within the team. If we are completely honest with ourselves, this season has been rather disappointing in terms of our league position, and especially considering how we started the season. Nevertheless, winning the Rock Cup will make it an extremely successful season, and therefore, we will use the next six weeks to recover and prepare ourselves in order to give us the best possible chance of winning.”

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Premier Division: Team of the Week

Matchday 22 results

  • Lions Gibraltar 0-8 Europa (Arana, Quillo, Arroyo, De Barr x2, Yahaya, Yome, Dimas)
  • Gibraltar Phoenix 0-2 Mons Calpe (Juanse, Pibe)
  • St Joseph’s 1-3 Lincoln Red Imps (Ferrer; Molina, Hernandez, L. Casciaro)
  • Gibraltar United 1-1 Lynx (Zapata; Power)
  • FC Boca Juniors 2-3 Glacis United (Moreno Nunez, Moulds; A. Serra, Hoyos, Parker)

GOALKEEPER: Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (Gib Utd)

DEFENDER: Marcos Luis Perez Trujillo (Lincoln)

DEFENDER: Oscar Moreno Nunez (Boca)

DEFENDER: Ethan Santos (Mons Calpe)

MIDFIELDER: Juanse Pegalajar (Mons Calpe)

MIDFIELDER: Manuel Arana (Europa)

MIDFIELDER: Borja Gil Albarracin (Lincoln)

MIDFIELDER: David Bautista (Lynx)

MIDFIELDER: Mikey Yome (Europa)

STRIKER: Daniel Hoyos (Glacis)

STRIKER: Lee Casciaro (Lincoln)

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Premier Division: Team of the Week

Matchday 21 results

  • Mons Calpe 4-1 Glacis United (Pibe, Morgan x2, Carboni; Mason)
  • Europa 3-0 Gibraltar Phoenix (De Barr x2, Quillo)
  • Gibraltar United 7-0 FC Boca Juniors (Chico x2, Zapata x3, Ponce, Santos)
  • Lincoln Red Imps 5-1 Lions Gibraltar (Hernandez, Falu, Rodriguez, Figueroa, Molina; Caravaca)
  • Lynx 0-1 St Joseph’s (Boro)

GOALKEEPER: Jamie Robba (St Joseph’s)

DEFENDER: Chuky Gonzalez (Lynx)

DEFENDER: Maximiliano Rosales (Lincoln)

DEFENDER: Mauri Torres Fernandez (St Joseph’s)

MIDFIELDER: Chico Rubio (Gib Utd)

MIDFIELDER: Alex Quillo (Europa)

MIDFIELDER: Anthony Hernandez (Lincoln)

MIDFIELDER: Nathan Santos (Gib Utd)

STRIKER: Alberto Zapata (Gib Utd)

STRIKER: Leonardo Carboni (Mons)

STRIKER: Tjay De Barr (Europa)

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Lions planning for the future

It’s been a tough season for Lions, currently sitting bottom of the Premier Division with 21 games played and only two wins to their name. Despite having a squad which is mainly experienced in Gibraltar football, it just hasn’t clicked for Albert Ferri’s men.

After that famous 4th placed finish in the 2015-16, Lions have finished 8th in the table for two consecutive seasons. Financial constraints have played a big part in their downfall, with the money in Gibraltar football getting bigger and bigger; Lions haven’t been able to keep up.

With the news coming out of the two leagues merging, Lions have used this current one as a way of bleeding through their young talent and giving them a teaser of what is to come next season. Lions have used 20 HGP’s this season, 5 more than the nearest team, and have given 8695 minutes to locals, 905 minutes more than Lincoln in 2nd, and it is 13.7% of the total minutes played by HGP’s this season.

Lions were defeated 5-1 by league leaders Lincoln Red Imps yesterday. Despite taking the lead through captain Alberto Caravaca, the Imps stepped things up and ran out comfortable winners in the end. Most notably, Ferri fielded seven home-grown players and finished the game with eight.

James Parkinson may not a household name, but he has been a regular for Lions this season and made his Gibraltar U21 debut against Cyprus last week. Other young players like Craig Bossano-Anes, John Paul Hernandez, Louis Parral, Brendan Ramagge and Jordan Carnegie have all been given minutes in Premier – alongside the more experienced folk such as Shea Breakspear, James Bosio and Kaylan Rumbo (just to name a few).

The direction of Lions is clear and one which many teams will potentially follow and it is a direction the Gibraltar national teams will benefit from.

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Zuniga: “It is going to be a hard game as they also want the Rock Cup like us”

We spoke to Mons Calpe defender Francisco Zuniga about beating St Joseph’s, drawing Gibraltar United in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup semi-final again and his sides season so far.

Zuniga scored the opening goal in Mons Calpe’s 4-1 win over St Joseph’s in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-final, we asked how he felt the team played, “It was a great game for me, to score and the team, to win. We knew from the beginning that it was going to be a tough game, I think we performed well and made the most of our opportunities.”

A repeat of last season’s semi-final draw sees Mons Calpe take on Gibraltar United – Pako reacted to the draw by saying, “It is going to be a hard game as they also want the Rock Cup like us. We have played them several times and they’ve always been a tough opponent so I think it’s going to be very interesting.”

Mons Calpe currently sit fourth in the Premier Division table, nine points behind St Joseph’s in third and level with Gibraltar Phoenix in fifth. Zuniga reflected on his sides season so far, “We lost some important points at the beginning of the season that we need now. Apart from that, I think we have had a good season but I feel we could have made it better.”

Lastly, Pako commented on whether he feels there’s added pressure on Mons Calpe to win the Rock Cup – he replied, “I don’t think that we have added pressure to win the Cup. Our goal is to finish in third place at least and I’m calm because I know the kind of players that I play with.”

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Labra: “There is no pressure”

We spoke to Phoenix striker Juanma Labrador about the Rock Cup win over Lions, drawing Europa in the semi-final and more.

Labra scored two goals in Phoenix’s 4-0 Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-final win over Lions last Wednesday. We asked how he felt the team played, “The team played very well, was focused and it was great to score two goals.”

We asked how Labra felt after Phoenix were pitted against Europa in the semi-final “I feel very motivated and eager to play the game.”

Labra joined Phoenix in the summer from Los Barrios, we asked the 23-year old how he has found his first season in GIbraltar – “I didn’t know the league very well before joining but there are many competitive teams and I’m happy to have scored nine goals so far in my first year.”

Phoenix currently sit fifth, nine points behind St Joseph’s in third and level with Mons in fourth. With only seven games remaining, we asked if there’s a lot of pressure on his side to win the Rock Cup, “There is no pressure. We have to do our job and try to win every game from now until the end of the season. We might be 9 points behind St Joseph’s but there’s still a lot of time left.

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Premier Division: Team of the Week

Matchday 20 results

  • Glacis United 1-6 Europa (Maxime; Arroyo x2, Arana, Dimas, Walker, Iddrisu)
  • Gibraltar Phoenix 0-3 Lincoln Red Imps (Molina, J.Chipolina, Cabrera)
  • FC Boca Juniors 0-5 Mons Calpe (Carboni x3, Trecco, Morgan)
  • St Joseph’s 2-1 Gibraltar United (Boro, Juanfri; Chico Rubio)
  • Lions GIbraltar 0-3 Lynx (Gonzalez Garcia, Valdivia, Badr)

GOALKEEPER: Jaylan Hankins (Lincoln)

DEFENDER: Ibrahim Ayew (Europa)

DEFENDER: Brad Power (Lynx)

DEFENDER: Miguel Londero (Mons Calpe)

MIDFIELDER: Kamran Ahmed Tariq (Lynx)

MIDFIELDER: Anthony Hernandez (Lincoln)

MIDFIELDER: Manuel Arana (Europa)

MIDFIELDER: Urko Arroyo (Europa)

STRIKER: ‘Boro’ Alegre Delgado (St Joseph’s)

STRIKER: Leonardo Carboni (Mons Calpe)

STRIKER: Chico Rubio (Gibraltar United)

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup Quarter Final: Predictions

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-finals kicks off tomorrow and here are our predictions.

Gibraltar United vs FC Olympique (Tuesday 12th March – 18:15)

After losing to St Joseph’s last weekend, Gib Utd’s only possible chance of getting into Europe would be winning this year’s Rock Cup. Olympique were unlucky in the final of the Second Division Cup, losing 2-1 to Magpies but with match fitness playing a major factor in their defeat then you’d expect the same to happen again.

Prediction: Gibraltar United win.

St Joseph’s vs Mons Calpe (Tuesday 12th March – 20:30)

A tasty fixture indeed, Saints flying while Mons’ victory over Boca would be a good confidence booster after a poor run of results. Mons have won three of their last five meeting against Saints but with Boro & Juanfri scoring 36 goals between them, you just feel that they’ll play a big part tomorrow night.

Prediction: St Joseph’s win.

Gibraltar Phoenix vs Lions Gibraltar (Wednesday 13th March – 18:15)

Like Gibraltar United, Phoenix’s defeat to Lincoln last weekend leaves them with winning the Rock Cup as their only chance of qualifying into Europe. You would expect Labra and co to sweep aside Lions and progress.

Prediction: Gibraltar Phoenix win.

Brunos Magpies vs Europa (Wednesday 13th March – 20:30)

In an interview with FG, Matheus Assumpcao spoke about how he wished to test himself against Europa and two days later, Magpies’ star-man got his wish. After going unbeaten in the Second Division and winning the Second Division Cup, Europa will be their biggest task this season. We’d be expecting a professional display from the holders as they can’t afford to switch off against Assumpcao, Wyatt and Cuesta.

Prediction: Europa win.

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Finnlay Wyatt’s winner seals Second Division Cup triumph

Finnlay Wyatt and Ross Gray scored in the second half to win the Second Division Cup as Brunos Magpies came from behind to beat Olympique 2-1.

Magpies had a major let-off early on as Angel Rojo Laguna found himself through on goal and instead of squaring the ball to his team-mate, took the shot on and missed.

Olympique kept pushing and broke the deadlock with 13 minutes played as Alejandro ‘Carenote’ Gonzalez Espinosa intercepted a poor back-pass, ran on goal and slotted the ball past Ryan MacArthur – his 14th goal of the tournament.

Carlos Gonzalez Espinosa was called into action just before the half time whistle, to keep out Brunos Magpies’ attacker Alexander Dimitriu’s effort on goal – Olympique went into the break leading 1-0.

After getting off to a slow second half, Magpies equalised on the 70th minute and it was their captain Ross Gray getting on the end of a cross to score.

With about 85 minutes gone, Magpies took the lead as Finnlay Wyatt fired in at the second attempt from inside the box. After withstanding the final few minutes, Magpies saw out the game 2-1 and were crowned Champions of the Second Division Cup.

Photo: Joel Orme.

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Premier Division: Team of the Week

Matchday 18 results

  • Lynx 2-1 Glacis United (Valdivia, Power; Ferrer)
  • Gibraltar United 1-1 Gibraltar Phoenix (Negrette; Labrador)
  • FC Boca Juniors 0-9 Europa (Arana x2, De Barr x2, Yome x2, Ayew, Dimas, Urko)
  • St Joseph’s 3-1 Lions Gibraltar (Juanfri x2, Boro; Bado)
  • Lincoln 3-1 Mons Calpe (Rodriguez, L.Casciaro, Kike; Torrilla)

GOALKEEPER: Victor Martin Fernandez (Glacis)

DEFENDER: Juan Gabriel ‘Chuky’ Gonzalez (Lynx)

DEFENDER: Bernardo Lopes (Lincoln)

DEFENDER: Ezequiel Rojas (Phoenix)

DEFENDER: Samuel Fernandez (St Joseph’s)

MIDFIELDER: Federico Cataruozzolo (Lynx)

MIDFIELDER: Manuel Arana (Europa)

MIDFIELDER: Guido Ratto (Gib Utd)

STRIKER: Javi Cantelmi (Lions)

STRIKER: Tjay De Barr (Europa)

STRIKER: Juanfri García Peña (St Joseph’s)