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O’Keefe: “We will take a lot of confidence moving forward”

We caught up with Europa Point goalkeeper Conor O’Keefe as he reflects on his sides 2-0 win over Mons Calpe last Saturday, his Youtube channel which has 18.2k subscribers and more.

Europa Point secured their first win of the Gibraltar National League as two late goals saw them win 2-0 against Mons Calpe – O’Keefe reflected on his sides performance, “It was a tough game with Mons Calpe. They are a very solid side, so we knew we had to raise our level after a poor run. The first half was evenly matched, and they had a few good chances, but we worked hard defensively to keep them out. We were then able to take our chances towards the end. But I felt we had more control of the game than previous fixtures, so we will take a lot of confidence moving forward from this point.”

Europa Point drew their opening game against Lions and since then have suffered three straight defeats. Yesterday’s result moves them into 8th, we asked Conor how it felt to get their first win of the season, “It’s a huge boost. Everyone at the club has been working 24/7 to get us to this point, given that we’re a completely new squad. We’ve had some bad luck with injuries, and things not falling our way, but the players, the manager, the coaches and the club have pushed together to help the team to come through the other side. So to get our first goals and 3 points of the season – alongside another clean sheet – was a great feeling. We need to make sure that we work just as hard now to turn this into a good run of form that brings more wins, and all our attention is now on our next game against Boca.”

Before last Saturday’s game, results haven’t been the kindest to Europa Point but Conor O’Keefe has earned many plaudits after putting in some decent performances, especially against Europa where they only lost 1-0. We asked him how it felt to be already noticed so early on in the season, “I appreciate it, but my focus is on being the best goalkeeper I can possibly be, and helping Europa Point to win games as a result. I was excited by the opportunity to come and play in Gibraltar, and I’ve loved my time here so far. My aim has always been to work hard every day to improve my game, to showcase my ability to people, and to help my team, so that’s what I will continue to do.”

Conor isn’t just a good goalkeeper but also has an outstanding following on his Youtube channel. At the age of 22, his channel has over 18k subscribers and the keeper produces vlogs to help those younger players wanting to make a name for themselves in professional football. The Europa Point goalkeeper gave us an insight into what his channel is all about, “Yes, I have a vlog series called ‘Keeping Goals’ which is published weekly on my YouTube channel. I try to document my journey, and show the reality of what it’s like as a goalkeeper working to make it to the top of football. It started 2 years ago when I was playing in Madrid during my year abroad, and continued during my final year as a student athlete at Loughborough University, and finally to now playing for Europa Point. Biopics like the Ronaldo film are great, but you know that they make it to the top; I wanted to document the highs and the lows as they happen, with neither myself or the viewer knowing how the story will end. The aim is to bring some insight and value to people, and ultimately help other goalkeepers in their own careers.”

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Warwick: “We carried out our game plan to perfection”

We caught up with Manchester 62 goalkeeper Frank Warwick to get his thoughts on his sides recent 3-0 win over College 1975, his goals for the new Futsal season with Bavaria and more.

Goals from Evan Coleing, Luismi Perez Lobato and Yuri Ruh Dos Santos secured Manchester 62 a 3-0 win over College 1975, their first three points of the season. We asked Warwick how he felt the team played, “It has been a slightly surreal start to the season for us as this was only our third game in over 2 months training, and despite two very positive performances in our games against Boca and St Joseph’s we only had 1 point in the table, so it was crucial we picked up the 3 points against College. The lads have been working hard on the training ground and we carried out our game plan to perfection. Our first-half performance was excellent, starting the game at a high tempo and taking in a 2 goal lead into the break. The second half was more of a professional performance whereby we ensured we conceded little at the back and tried to hit them on the counter. All in all a very good performance from everyone.”

Warwick joined Manchester 62 in the summer and linked up with head coach Jeff Wood who got the 25-year involved in the senior national team during his time there. We asked how it feels to be back playing regularly, “It’s been great to finally get some regular playing time and feel important within the team. Despite some great moments at my boyhood club St Joseph’s, I thought it was the correct time to finally come out of my comfort zone and look for some playing time. Despite it not going as well as I would have hoped for at Glacis last season, for a number of circumstances, I have continued to work hard. Jeff was key in my signing for Manchester 62 as I know him well from his time with the National Squads both at senior and junior levels.

Manchester 62 are second in the charts (despite only playing 3 games) when it comes to the numbers of minutes played by HGP’s – we asked how the new HGP rule has impacted the league so far, “I think this has really helped many Gibraltarian players feel important again. At Manchester 62 we have built a solid foundation around local players who are there for the love of the game and not financial incentives. We also have a great group of U23 players attending sessions both in Gibraltar and Spain, so it is a very exciting time for the club which hopefully brings its benefits in the near future. Moving forward it is important that despite the increase in HGP‘s, locals continue to approach training in a professional manner.”

The new Futsal season is expected to kick-off soon and we asked Warwick what his goals are for Bavaria, “As you have seen on social media Bavaria is a very active club who are promoting sports all over Gibraltar. The management team have been working hard in building a competitive team and the team is well into the pre-season. On a personal note, it is sometimes not easy to balance 11aside and futsal as the first takes priority which leads to me not attending many sessions. Looking at the new season I think it is going to be a very competitive first division with some very good established teams as well as others who reinforced their squads with some very experienced players. We will take it game by game but we must be looking at making the top half of the table before the league splits, and who knows try to fight for a playoff spot.”

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Molina: “Our game plan worked and we beat them comfortably”

We caught up with Lincoln Red Imps midfielder Sergio Molina to get his thoughts on last Sunday’s win over Lions, scoring three hat-tricks in three consecutive games and more.

Molina reflected on Lincoln’s 7-1 win over Lions last Sunday, “We knew that Lions had some tight results in their previous games and that we would need a lot of rhythm in our play if we wanted to hurt them. Luckily, our game plan worked and we beat them comfortably.”

After missing out in Lincoln’s opening 4-1 defeat to Europa, Molina has played in their last three games and has scored a hat-trick in them all. We asked him how it felt to be able to help the team win three on the bounce, “I have never scored a hat-trick in 3 consecutive games so personally, I am very happy with that. It’s also a great feeling to help the team and add three more points.”

With one more game remaining until the international break, Lincoln currently sit fourth with Europa, St Joseph’s and Lynx sitting above them – we asked Molina if this season will be more competitive than the last, “The league is quite tight at this part of the competition. I think that like last year, until practically the end, we will not know who will be champion.”

The 35-year has played for Spanish clubs such as Albacete, Real Jaen, Balona and also a short stint in Greece with Panthrakikos Komotini. We asked that with the experience he has gained, what does he think should be done so football in Gibraltar moves in the right direction – he replied, “Football is a complicated sport in terms of all things that surrounds it. I think that the most important thing is to promote the lower categories, to lay the foundations, and in the long run, the kids will progress from all aspects of football. The technical work, tactical etc and as time goes by, they will become more prepared and contribute more to football in Gibraltar so little by little, football will continue to grow.”




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Jolley: “Tonight will be a tough match”

We caught up with Europa defender Ethan Jolley to get his thoughts on last week’s victory over Magpies, their upcoming game against St Joseph’s tonight and more.

Jolley reflected on Europa’s 6-0 win over Brunos Magpies last Friday, “I feel the team played well and we executed the game plan set by the manager excellently. The team performed at the expected level and we knew we had to step up our game considering the 1-0 win over Europa Point.”

Europa face a tricky game tonight against St Joseph’s, we asked him what to expect against their opponents – “Tonight will be a tough match. We do take every game seriously and play with 100% intensity but we know St Joseph are a good side and there will be times where we shall be in tough situations. Saying this I still expect us to win the game, i am confident we will get the result if we play our own football and manage the game.”

We asked how preparation has gone this week, “This weeks preparation has been the same as every other week. Like I said we take every game seriously and take all training sessions seriously and work on our next game. The team though are training better than ever and I must say the team is as strong as it could be.”

The 22-year old is into his third year at Europa and has become a regular figure within the starting eleven – we asked how he feels his football is going on a personal level, “Over the last season I have been playing more often. I try and improve and so far the feedback am getting is great from the manager, team mates and supporters. I feel happy with myself personally and game time is what I have always wanted. I hope to continue my progress and achieve greater things. With hard work and dedication anything is possible and things can only get better.”

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GIBRALTAR NATIONAL LEAGUE: TEAM OF THE WEEK

Last week’s results

  • Lincoln Red Imps 9-1 College 1975 (Molina x3, Gato x3, Hernandez, J.Chipolina, Colubali; Romero)
  • FC Boca Juniors 1-3 Lynx (Chico; Power, Badr, Valdivia)
  • Brunos Magpies 0-6 Europa (Rosa, Sanchez, Gallardo x2, Walker x2)
  • Europa Point 0-3 Glacis United (Ruiz x2, Muscat og)
  • Mons Calpe 1-1 Lions Gibraltar (Carella; Luisma)
  • GOALKEEPER: Ivan Moreno (Glacis)
  • DEFENDER: Brad Power (Lynx)
  • DEFENDER: Jamie Bosio (Lions)
  • DEFENDER: Miguel Londero (Glacis)
  • MIDFIELDER: Liam Walker (Europa)
  • MIDFIELDER: Jesse Victory (Lynx)
  • MIDFIELDER: Sergio Molina (Lincoln)
  • MIDFIELDER: Alejandro Carrascal Aviles (Europa)
  • MIDFIELDER: Antonio ‘Gato’ Ramon Rincon (Lincoln)
  • STRIKER: Michael Ruiz (Glacis)
  • STRIKER: Lee Casciaro (Lincoln)
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GIBRALTAR NATIONAL LEAGUE: TEAM OF THE WEEK

Last week’s results

  • FC Olympique 0-3 Manchester 62 (w/o)
  • Glacis United 0-5 Mons Calpe (Vinet, Colace, Carboni, Carella x2)
  • St Joseph’s 2-0 FC Boca Juniors (Pecci, Ferrer)
  • College 1975 1-3 Brunos Magpies (Romero; Ford, Duarte pen, Assumpcao)
  • Europa 1-0 Europa Point (Walker)
  • GOALKEEPER: Conor O’Keefe (Europa Point)
  • DEFENDER: Federico Acosta (FC Boca)
  • DEFENDER: Adrian Vera Tovar (Lions)
  • DEFENDER: Ezequiel Rojas (St Joseph’s)
  • DEFENDER: Thomas Hastings (Lions)
  • DEFENDER: Esteban Goicoechea (Mons)
  • MIDFIELDER: Liam Walker (Europa)
  • MIDFIELDER: Tyson Ruiz (Mons)
  • MIDFIELDER: Jaron Vinet (Mons)
  • STRIKER: Oliver Ford (Magpies)
  • STRIKER: Jose Luis Romero (College 1975)
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GFA expel Olympique from National League

The Gibraltar FA have this evening expelled FC Olympique from all GFA competitions following the clubs forfeit of a second consecutive National League match.

The GFA have issued the following statement:

“The GFA confirms that FC Olympique have this evening been expelled from all GFA competitions following the Club’s forfeit of a second consecutive National League match.

The Club had already forfeited the league match versus Europa FC on the 21stAugust. This evening, the Club were scheduled to play Manchester 62 FC, but FC Olympique have again failed to fulfill a fixture on time.

The GFA’s regulations on forfeiture are very clear. Rule 136 of the Association’s Disciplinary Regulations stipulate that if a team abandons and/or forfeits a total of two matches during a season, the team will have its Domestic Licence automatically withdrawn and will consequently be expelled from all GFA competitions. The Association therefore regrettably has no option but to expel FC Olympique from its competitions following successive forfeits on the 21stAugust and the 11thSeptember.

The National League is therefore reduced to a 12-team competition. The structure of the National League will remain otherwise unchanged and as previously advised.”

Tonight’s decision comes as no surprise due to a constant battle over player’s wages and an apparent late submission of players registrations for this season.

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Lynx duo awarded August Player & Manager of the month

Lynx duo Alberto Valdivia & Albert Parody have been awarded FG Player & Manager of the Month for August.

FG Player of the Month – Alberto Valdivia (Lynx)

Alberto has had a great start to the season, scoring three goals and a few assists. The 23-year old will spearhead the Lynx attack, and if the Spaniard can strike up a partnership with Marko Marcius & Mohamed Badr, we could be looking at this season’s dark-horses.

  1. Alberto Valdivia (Lynx)
  2. Tamupiwa Dimairo (FCB Magpies)
  3. Juanfri Pena Garcia (St Joseph’s)

FG Manager of the Month – Albert Parody (Lynx)

Albert has put together a good squad which has performed excellently so far. The 51-year old has brought in some good players in the summer, mixed in with good local players while managing to keep the main nucleus of the team from last season.

  1. Albert Parody (Lynx)
  2. David Wilson (FCB Magpies)
  3. Raul Procopio (St Joseph’s)
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Is now the time for Dayle Coleing?

With the internationals just around the corner and Julio Ribas’ squad announced today, we take a look at Europa FC goalkeeper Dayle Coleing and if now is the correct time to cement his position as Gibraltar’s number one.

Dayle made 11 appearances last season in all competitions, conceding 5 goals in 990 minutes and keeping 6 clean-sheets. Taking into account the newly implemented 4 HGP rule in the Gibraltar National League, Europa awarded the 22-year old the number one shirt and has now become a regular figure.

If Dayle was to be given Gibraltar’s number one jersey, you expect Julio’s decision to be made a little easy with not only Dayle’s current form but Chino’s unexpected move to current champions of the domestic league Lincoln Red Imps.

Chino will definitely go down as one of the greats in Gibraltar football, making his debut in a friendly win over Latvia followed by playing a huge role in Gibraltar’s historic back-to-back wins in the UEFA Nations League against Armenia and Liechtenstein.

His move to Lincoln caught many by surprise, going from being number one at Gibraltar United to competing against Lolo Soler, arguably the best goalkeeper in Gibraltar, at Imps will be difficult but one which Chino will surely fight til the end for.

If Dayle does start against Denmark, the pressure on Matt Cafer will be extremely big. Starting against Macedonia in the away fixture in the Nations League would have been a taster of what’s to come for the 24-year old but inconsistent performances for Gib Phoenix and rumoured off-field issues has seen the Bruno Magpies keeper to possibly drop down to third choice for the Gibraltar National team.

After joining Magpies this summer, Cafer really needs to step up to the plate and not only help his side compete at the top but show Julio Ribas that he is worth keeping in the squad.

With Jamie Robba become a regular figure and keeping 9 clean-sheets last season, more than any other Gibraltarian goalkeeper, there’s only so much Julio can do before he looks at other possibilities. The current Gibraltar U21 goalkeeper Bradley Banda can’t be far off from knocking on Julio’s door and will definitely need a good U21 campaign and season with Lynx if he is to be considered.

Last but not least, Jaylan Hankins is someone who is highly regarded as a future Gibraltar international goalkeeper and if he can step up at his new club Las Palmas – he will be another option for Julio in the future.

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Gibraltar National League: Team of the Week

Week 2 results:

  • Europa Point 0-5 Lynx (Parody, Valdivia, Badr, Marcius, Kokorovic)
  • FC Olympique 0-3 Europa (w/o)
  • Lincoln Red Imps 8-0 Glacis United (Molina x3, Del Rio x2, Lopes, Coombes, Britto)
  • Magpies 2-0 Lions (Dimairo, Assumpcao)
  • College 1975 1-9 Mons Calpe (Pacheco; Carboni x3, Carella x2, Robba x2, Vinet, Morgan)
  • St Joseph’s 3-0 Manchester 62 (Pecci, Juanfri, K.Casciaro)

  • GOALKEEPER –Frank Warwick (Man 62)
  • DEFENDER – Tamupiwa Dimairo (Magpies)
  • DEFENDER – David ‘Bauti’ Bautista Martos (Lynx)
  • DEFENDER – Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez (St Joseph’s)
  • MIDFIELDER – Kevagn Robba (Mons Calpe)
  • MIDFIELDER – Diego ‘Dieguito’ Macarro (Mons Calpe)
  • MIDFIELDER – Alan Parker (Lions)
  • MIDFIELDER – Jaron Vinet (Mons Calpe)
  • STRIKER – Marko Marcius (Lynx – captain)
  • STRIKER – Sergio Molina (Lincoln)
  • STRIKER – Julian Del Rio (Lincoln)