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Castle: “Our season has been on an upwards trajectory”

FG caught up with James Castle to talk about Glacis’ win over College last week, his goals for the season and more.

Castle reflected on Glacis’ 5-1 win over College last Saturday, “On reflection, I think it was our worst performance of the season. This may sound surprising considering the result, but it is a result which flattered us. Of course, we were happy with the result, but I think we were all relatively disappointed with our performance. In truth, the game could have become a complicated affair if it were not for some individual brilliance from Hatim Smith to break the deadlock. Once we scored the first goal, I think we kicked into gear, but we were still far from our best. College gave us a good fight, so I think it is only fair to sing their praises as it is not easy to play with 10 men, but they battled until the end. We need to have a much better performance if we want to pick up a positive result against Bruno’s on Saturday.

Glacis currently sit fifth in the table heading into Matchday 8, we asked James what he has made of their season so far – “I think our season has been on an upwards trajectory. We started the league in poor form and we were disappointed not to get anything from our first two games. I think commencing our pre-season later than usual due to Covid-19 and of course our new players adjusting to the league played a part. The Lynx game was a turning point in the season, playing for around 30 minutes with 10 men against a top Lynx side and still managing to draw is something which I think has boosted our self-belief. Of course, our point was removed by the GFA for breaching the HGP rule, but we have just focused on the performance as opposed to the result. We are now sitting in 5th spot (albeit with one or two more games played) which is where we expect and want to be. On this basis alone the season is already an improvement from last season and so we must be relatively pleased with that. However, a Club with Glacis’ history deserves to be competing with the best teams in the league and I hope we manage to remain in the top 6 places once the league splits.

Summer signings Marcos Zappacosta and Wessel Witbreuk have been instrumental in Glacis good run of form recently while keeping hold of the experienced Miguel Londero have been a huge boost – we asked James how important they’ve been in a young team, “Of course, our signings have played an important role in our improvement this season. As you mention our team is full of young players, in fact, I think in terms of local players only 2 or 3 players do not qualify for our U23 team. With that said, I do not think that their age has been such an important factor, in fact, Witbreuk is only 22! It is more their professional mentality and attitude that they bring with them to training. They are all top professionals who will move onto bigger leagues, so to be allowed to learn from their experiences has had a positive impact on all of us. It must also be said that the local players have made a great effort this season to attend training sessions. Throughout September and October, we had been training 6 times a week and I think this is telling on the pitch particularly with respects to our fitness levels.

James gave us an insight into what he hopes to achieve this season, “I am not particularly interested in personal accolades or achievements. My objective this season is to help regain some of the respect that the Club has lost over the last few years. I think helping the Club finish within the top 6 this season would be a good starting point to achieve that goal.

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Wessel Witbreuk nets brace in Glacis win

Wessel Witbreuk netted a brace as Glacis beat College 1975 5-1 last night.

Kaydan Migge replacing Mark Warwick between the sticks is one of three changes College made from the side which lost to Manchester 62 while Glacis made four changes.

19-year old Hatim Smith put Glacis ahead after 27 minutes which was followed by Stefano Borghi doubling the lead a few minutes before half-time.

Two second-half goals by the Dutch midfielder Wessel Witbreuk and one from Salvatore Gallo had Glacis leading 5-0 by the 64th minute. College grabbed a consolation through Luis Manuel Gallardo in the 78th minute and saw their captain Nazim Hughes sent off.

An important three points for Glacis who move into sixth while College remain rooted to the bottom of the table.


Lineups

College 1975 – Migge; J.Field, Hughes, Matto, Ruh, Franco, Rodriguez (Sanchez 46), Da Costa, Urenda (Borrell 15), Gallardo, Ruiz

Unused subs: Warwick, Callejon, Pacheco, A.Field, Negrette

Glacis United – Zappacosta; Yeo, Londero, Brinkman (Peacock 79), Smith, Witbreuk (K.Castle 73), Borghi (Lamont 65), Byrne (Evans 70), Kaleba, J.Castle, Gallo

Unused subs: Fluxa, Pratts

Yellow cards: J.Field, Borrell; Londero, Witbreuk

Red cards: Hughes

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Saints ease past Glacis

A goal from Juanfri after 35 seconds set St Joseph’s on their way to a 5-0 win against Glacis last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Glacis, who came in off the back of a 2-0 win in midweek vs Manchester 62, knew the size of the task ahead of them – Saints had beaten the same opposition as Glacis, but in an 11-0 win last weekend. James Castle captained the side with Miguel Londero on the bench, while Saints stuck with a familiar lineup but still had a different look, wearing their new orange away kit which to an unfamiliar eye could have seen them mistaken for Lions.

Saints got off to a lightning start, as with their very first attack, the ball found its way to Juanfri who scored with just 35 seconds on the clock. This suggested a hammering may be on the cards, but Glacis grew into the game after the early setback and made sure Jamie Robba was worked at times.

Saints missed a couple of good chances to score again, and had to wait until the final kick of the half to go 2-0 up. A failed offside trap allowed Boro in one-on-one, and he made no mistake putting the ball past Marcos Zappacosta, despite the keeper getting a hand to it, to make Raul Procopio’s half-time team talk that bit easier.

The second half, although Glacis did not stop fighting, was a more straightforward affair, aided by some top finishes. 10 minutes into the half, Nano curled in a rocket from 25 yards on his right foot to get Saints third, before Boro got his second, and Saints fourth just after the hour mark. With 20 minutes to go, Domingo Ferrer got a goal not too dissimilar to Nano’s – and they should have had six when Boro missed a golden chance to get his hat-trick late on.

The result sees St Joseph’s lead the table on goal difference from Lynx and Europa, while for Glacis, they remain 9th on four points from six games.

Lineups:

Glacis: Zappacosta; Evans, Brinkman (Smith, 45), Kozuh, Witrbeuk (Peacock, 84), Borghi, Kaleba, J. Castle, Gallo (Lamont 82), Pratts (Yeo, 45), K. Castle

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Londero, N. Castle

St Joseph’s: Robba; Garro (Hernandez, 68), Boro, Nano (Loren, 68), Barnett, Pecci (Rojas, 45), Juanfri, Pons, Juanma (Carrasco, 68) , Ferrer, Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Casciaro, Villar

Yellow Cards: Kozuh, Pratts, K. Castle; Barnett, Pecci

Red Cards: None

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Glacis pick up first win of the season

Goals in either half from Salvatore Gallo and Miguel Londero ensured Glacis picked up their first win of the season, in a 2-0 victory over Manchester 62 last night.

Photo (C) David Roberts

The match, the first of the ‘re-arranged’ Matchday 4 fixtures spread out over the next two months, saw Manchester come in off the back of an 11-0 hammering against St Joseph’s – this seemed to be a chance to bounce back but in truth they made life too comfortable for Glacis.

From early in the game, individual errors, a collective lackadaisical effort and seemingly a failure to follow instructions from Manchester left manager David Wilson continuously frustrated at his team on the touchline – two early mistakes had gone unpunished, but it would prove to be third time unlucky, as Salvatore Gallo pounced on an unaware defender to rob him of the ball, and put Glacis in the lead.

The weather in the first half would undoubtedly play its part, as the rain grew more torrential – however the excellent drainage system still in place at the Victoria Stadium ensured the only risk of postponement would be if the lightning made its way from the bay into Gib – this didn’t happen as the weather calmed down in the second half.

In the second half, Manchester fashioned an early chance, but Robert Montovio’s effort was saved by Marcos Zappacosta, who in truth had little to do in the Glacis goal. Once again, Manchester seemed to be masters of their own downfall, but Glacis were failing to punish them, even despite the best efforts of Kivan Castle up front who was causing the Manchester defence problems at times.

Glacis did eventually wrap the game up though, as captain Miguel Londero headed in from inside the box to secure all three points – his side, albeit playing a game more than most others in the league, sit 9th, level on points with Boca and Magpies.

For Wilson, the result will have done nothing to help what is believed to be growing pressure from inside Manchester 62 on the former Gibraltar national team interim boss – their next match is against College 1975 but the damage may have been done last night to his job.

Lineups:

Manchester 62: El Abd; Pereira, Chichon (S. De Los Santos, 69), Montovio, Ballantine, Sanchez (P. Sardena, 79), Negrette, Edzes, Farmer, Clenahan, Garcia (Holland, 79)

Unused Subs: Warwick, Ballester, Mancilla

Glacis United: Zappacosta; Londero, Derksen, Brinkman (Flores, 55), Smith, Witbreuk (Kaleba, 62), Borghi, J. Castle, Gallo (Kozuh, 77), Pratts, K. Castle

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Evans, Byrne, Peacock

Yellow Cards: Pereira, Chichon, Montovio; Borghi

Red Cards: None

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Moulds goal secures Europa Point draw

A second half goal from Europa Point captain Antony Moulds saw his side secure a 1-1 draw with Glacis on Saturday afternoon.

After Glacis HGP forfeit, both teams were looking for their first point of the season, and it would be Glacis who went ahead in the first half, courtesy of Wessel Witbreuk in the 36th minute.

In the second half, Europa Point did equalise, and it was a rare goal from their captain, Antony Moulds, fresh off being in the Gib national squad earlier this month, who would secure a point for his side.

Despite a red card for Dylan Hayes, Europa Point, who were managed for the first time by Steve Cummings, notched their first point on the board, while Glacis, presuming no HGP breaches, also get to one point.

*Update* – The game is rumoured to be under potential investigation after Europa Point allegedly breached HGP rules after Hayes sending off.

Lineups:

Glacis: Zappacosta; Londero, N. Castle (Poggio, 68), Evans (Akhrif, 68), Derksen, Brinkman, Smith, Witbreuk, Borghi, Byrne, Gallo

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Yeo, Kaleba, Peacock

Europa Point: Tudela; Dixon (Chiles-Cowell, 77), Hammond, Webber, Chrayeh (El-Yettefti, 45), Bado, Hayes, Perez Lobato, (Serralvo, 23), Moulds, Stewart, Webber

Unused Subs: Mustafa, Pomares, Hockin, Ramirez

Yellow Cards: N. Castle, Evans, Gallo; Hayes, El Yettefti

Red Cards: Hayes

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Magpies & Lynx awarded wins via forfeit

Brunos Magpies and Lynx have been awarded 3-0 wins via forfeit after Boca Juniors and Glacis United broke the 5 HGP rule.

Both games refer back to the 31st of October and 1st of November where Magpies beat Boca 1-0 and Lynx equalised in the last minute to draw 1-1 with Glacis United.

Boca’s goalkeeper Jack Atkinson was sent off and subbed off Nathan Santos to bring on their second keeper Kieren Proctor. Unaware of the situation, Boca played with 4 HGP’s for four minutes before Lee Coombes replaced Grieco Daniele to restore Boca with 5 HGP’s on the pitch.

Meanwhile, after Kivan Castle was sent off for Glacis, they spent seven minutes playing with 4 HGP’s on the pitch and breaching the rule, before eventually deciding to replace Wessel Witbreuk with Daniel Pratts.

Wins for both teams see Magpies sit in eighth and Lynx move top of the Gibraltar National League with a perfect 100% record. Meanwhile, FG also received confirmation that Boca and Glacis have been imposed with monetary fines, as well as their forfeits.

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Aritz Hernandez late equaliser earns Lynx a point

Aritz Hernandez’s late equaliser earned Lynx a point after drawing 1-1 against 10-man Glacis.

Glacis were heading for their first three points of the season but were punished for having Kivan Castle sent off when Hernandez notched in his fifth of the season.

Salvatore Gallo put Glacis ahead in the 33rd minute and would have been further in front if it wasn’t for Lynx goalkeeper Bradley Banda making a number of important saves.

Lynx were given a boost when Glacis had Kivan Castle sent off on the 63rd minute – a decision which saw them playing with 4 HGP’s for around five minutes before Daniel Pratts came on to replace Wessel Witbreuk.

A late resurgence by Lynx paid off when Aritz Hernandez found some space in the box and fired his shot past Marcos Zappacosta to level the score at 1-1 and earn his side a point.

A point each sees Lynx rise into third and Glacis move into tenth.

Lineups:

Glacis: Zappacosta; Yeo, Flores, K.Castle, Derksen, Kozuh, Witbreuk (Pratts 70), Borghi (Kaleba 80), Byrne, J.Castle, Gallo

Unused subs: Fluka, Omari, Poggio, Lamont, Di Piedi

Lynx: Banda; Damia (Ruiz 65), Power, D.Hernandez, A.Hernandez, Gonzalez, Oñate, Chuky, Victory (Huart 77), Gracia (Rodriguez 31), Bauti (Atienza 46)

Unused subs: Vinales, Parody, Ruesca,

Yellow cards: K.Castle, Byrne, Pratts; D.Hernandez, Oñate, Rodriguez

Red card: K.Castle

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Caravaca hat-trick inspires Lions

Alberto Caravaca struck a hat-trick as Lions eased past Glacis United 3-0.

17-year old Kadrian Verjaque made his full senior debut for Lions after an impressive display in their win over Manchester 62 – he was Albert Ferri’s only change from last week.

Caravaca missed an early chance in the 4th minute to give his side the lead but the Lions captain made no mistake after scoring a penalty which youngster Verjaque won.

Lions doubled their lead with five minutes of the first half remaining through Caravaca and the Spaniard got his hat-trick on the hour mark to give his side a 3-0 lead.

This win sees Lions move top of the table; with two wins, seven goals scored and none conceded from their opening two games.


Lineups:

Lions: Valades; Tovar, Bosio, Breakspear, Cintas, Pomares (Jimenez 78), Caravaca (c) (Cortes 64), Buhagiar, Ruiz Pecino, Verjaque, Hastings

Unused Subs: Benitez, Morales, Rumbo, Thorne, Grech

Glacis: Fluxa Cano; Yeo, Londero (J.Castle 26), N.Castle, K.Castle (Gallo 46), Derksen, Smith, Kozuh, Witbreuk, Borghi, Peralta (Evans 46)

Unused Subs: Moreno, Kaleba, Di Piedi, Prescott

Yellow Cards: Cintas, Hastings; Derksen, Kozuh, J.Castle

Red Cards: None

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El Andaloussi strike enough to beat Glacis

A first half goal from Naoufal El Andaloussi was enough for Mons Calpe to secure a 1-0 win vs Glacis United on the opening night of the season.

In what was the first game for either side since February, both sides had a different look to how they lined up before the termination of the league last season. The new HGP ruling ensured that a minimum of 10 Gibraltarians were also on the pitch at all times, meaning there were starts for the likes of Sam Yeo, Hatim Smith and Ashley Rodriguez across both teams.

The match almost started off with a flyer – Glacis missed a great chance through Joshua Kozuh after 20 seconds, as his header went wide of the Mons goal. That early scare settled Mons somewhat, who grew back into the goal and kept Glacis new keeper Ruben Fluxa Cano relatively busy.

It would be Mons who would score after 20 minutes, which proved to be the winner, with Gibraltar futsal international Naoufal El Andaloussi scoring from inside the box, leaving Fluxa unable to stop his effort.

From there, Mons became the team in more control of the game, and they could have made it two had someone been on the end of Ayoub El Hmidi’s flashed effort across the goal line.

The second half was somewhat less eventful – understandably given match fitness for both sides – with the best chance being a clever backheel from Diego Diaz, which Fluxa saved. Otherwise, the game kind of petered out to a finish, despite Glacis attempts to freshen things up by utilising the increased substitutions role, using five in the 90 minutes.

For Mons, it is a good start to the season, while for Glacis, they won’t be overly down-heartened by their performance from a young team – they will have an idea of where they need to improve though.

Summary:

Glacis – Fluxa; Londero (C), Derkson (Di Piedi, 89), Evans (Byrne, 89), Brinkman, Borghi, Witbreuk, Castle (Poggio, 89), Smith, Yeo (Flores, 71), Kozuh (Gallo, 46)

Unused Subs: Moreno, Picardo Peralta

Mons Calpe – Fraiz; Dos Santos, Santos, Rodriguez, Bernardes, El Hmidi, N. El Andaloussi (Ballester, 85), Caballero, Diaz, Sendin (Ojeda, 79), Ronco

Unused Subs: McCarthy, Pinero, M. El Andaloussi, Thorne, Mallemaci

Goals – N. El Andaloussi (Min. 20)

Yellow Cards – Evans, Castle, Smith; Fraiz, El Hmidi, Caballero

Red Cards – None

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GNL 2020/21 Preview: Part Two

Part Two of our Gibraltar National League preview sees us take a look at FCB Magpies, Glacis United, Lincoln Red Imps and Lions Gibraltar.


  • Name: FC Brunos Magpies
  • Next game: Europa (18/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 5th

Brunos have been very busy this summer bringing in a number of signing and a new head coach by the name of Johnny Parrado, who managed Europa in 2017.

Key renewals such as Jaron Vinet and JC Garcia, alongside new signings like Jeremy Lopez, Alan Parker and Jaydan Catania will give Parrado plenty of options when following the new 5 HGP rule.

The return of Rubo will bring plenty of excitement after spells at Mons Calpe and Europa – if the Spanish striker can work well with Morgan then goals will flowing at Magpies.

Two important renewals also were Francisco Zuniga who enters his fourth year in Gibraltar and Dan Bent who proved so vital for Magpies last season. An early prediction would say Magpies finishing fourth.


  • Name: Glacis United
  • Next game: Mons Calpe (16/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 11th

Looking at how the club has gone after finishing 4th in 2017/18, shows how the local game has changed over the years.

It’s been a quiet summer for Glacis, but according to transfermarkt, it has been a busy one. It is unclear if Bennie or Michele will manage the team this season but the ex-Mons Calpe striker’s son joined the club but would later leave two months later to Marbella U19s.

Marcos Zappacosta will be known to many after his stint at Mons Calpe, and they also completed the signings of FC Twente duo Wessel Witbreuk and Job Derksen which had been reported about from the Dutch media.


  • Name: Lincoln Red Imps
  • Next game: College 1975 (19/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 3rd

Third place would have been a deeply disappointing finish for Lincoln, who expect to be challenging for the title every season.

They had appointed former Mons Calpe manager William Amaral in the summer, and he guided the team to the Europa League Second Qualifying Round, but the club recently parted ways with the manager and replaced him with former manager Mick McElwee.

Lincoln’s key advantage, given the increased HGP ruling, is that they are stacked with local players in pretty much every position – injuries to locals won’t hurt them as much as it will their title challengers.

The signings of Scott Wiseman and Tjay De Barr, as well as the return to action for Graeme Torrilla, should prove to be smart acquisitions as the club look to win the title.


  • Name: Lions Gibraltar
  • Next game: Manchester 62 (17/10/2020)
  • 2019/20 League finish: 6th

Lions were something of a surprise package last season, capitalising on Mons Calpe’s poor start, and the departure of Gib United and Gib Phoenix, to take the final top half spot at the split. It may be tricker this time out to do the same, but they will be confident they can.

Albert Ferri’s side have made some smart signings – German Cortes is a proven goalscorer at this level, while Borja Valades was a good keeper in his spell at Glacis. Their HGP contingent is largely young, but the return of Shea Breakspear, who left the club for Magpies last season, adds a bit more experience to their core of Gibraltarians.

The challenge for them this season will be to ensure they beat the teams expected to be around them – namely Mons Calpe and Boca.