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Manchester 62 appoint Wilson as new manager

Manchester 62 have appointed David Wilson as their new manager, following the departure of Jeff Wood last month.

Photo © Black and Burst Photography

Wilson, who was in charge of Brunos Magpies for nearly three years before his dismissal in October, takes over a Manchester side seventh in the league, with aspirations still of finishing in the top six when the table splits.

Talk of Wilson taking on the role had been going on for a small time, especially given the core of Manchester’s squad are Gibraltarian and British players, which naturally would suggest a manager of a similar profile would potentially be a good combination. The 45-year-old has just over two weeks to prepare his squad for their next game against Lynx, with the international break giving the team time to adapt to their new boss.

FG caught up with Wilson to get his thoughts on his new job: “I’m absolutely buzzing, this is one of Gibraltar’s biggest and most historic clubs. I’ve long admired the depth of this football family, its youth system, and now I’m in a position to effect the clubs future, I can’t wait to start.”

The aforementioned strong local core was also one of the key selling points for the Scottish manager when deciding to take this role: “That’s what delighted me and made the decision easy. The local nucleus means I don’t have to spend my early months finding the talent as the club is abundant with great young players, and if their ambition and enthusiasm matches my excitement at having the chance to coach them, we will all be winners.”

Manchester 62’s remaining five games are against Lynx, Mons Calpe, Europa Point, Wilson’s former employers Brunos Magpies, and league leaders and current champions Lincoln Red Imps – the side are four points off the top six but have two games in hand on Mons Calpe, which makes the match vs Mons on the 30th November especially important in the race for the top six.

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Gibraltar National League: Team of the Week

Matchday 7 results

  • College 1975 0-4 Boca Juniors (Cortes x3, Chico Rubio)
  • Glacis United 2-3 Manchester 62 (Terranova x2; Clenahan, Perez, Montovio)
  • Lions Gibraltar 0-4 St Joseph’s (Juanfri x3, Boro)
  • Mons Calpe 0-2 Lincoln Red Imps (Colubali x2)
  • Europa Point 2-3 Magpies (Bent OG, Ahmedov; Moulds OG, Ford, Assumpcao)

  • GOALKEEPER: John Paul Hernandez (Lions)
  • DEFENDER: Ezequiel Rojas (St Joseph’s)
  • DEFENDER: Bernardo Lopes (Lincoln)
  • DEFENDER: Matthew Clenahan (Man 62)
  • MIDFIELDER: Michael Negrette (Man 62)
  • MIDFIELDER: Pietro Terranova (Glacis)
  • MIDFIELDER: Chico Rubio (Boca)
  • MIDFIELDER: Mattheus Assumpcao (Magpies)
  • STRIKER: Juanfri (St Joseph’s)
  • STRIKER: German Cortes (Boca)
  • STRIKER: Idelino Gomes Colubali (Lincoln)
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Hernandez: “I believe that the team has progressed”

We caught up with Lions & Gibraltar U19 international goalkeeper John Paul Hernandez to get his thoughts on his side’s defeat to St Joseph’s last weekend, the friendly tournament in China with the U19’s and more.

Hernandez reflected on his side’s 4-0 defeat to St Joseph’s last weekend “Although we might not have created as many opportunities as we would have wanted to, I believe that the team worked hard throughout the game and gave a good shift defensively. I believe that the team has progressed since the beginning of the season and is showing great potential for this coming season. Despite the result, it was a good game.”

We asked Hernandez to rate Albert Ferri who is into his second year as Lions head coach, “Our current head coach has always believed in us and supports us 100%. He is very passionate about his role and always acts in a professional manner. His belief in the youth and homegrown players has given us the confidence and trust needed to perform at this high level.”

Late in September, the Gibraltar U19’s travelled to Chinese Taipei for a friendly tournament – we asked him how he felt the tournament was, “The tournament in Taiwan was a great experience. We played 3 matches against tough opponents. We won the first game against Hong Kong and lost the other two by just one goal. I think the results were good considering the size of Gibraltar compared to the rest. The Gibraltar national team performed at a high standard whilst being very competitive in all games. It was a great learning curve for the squad and there was great team spirit throughout the tournament. This was a great opportunity for me to grow as a goalkeeper. I felt extremely proud of representing my country once again.”

After making his first start of the season last weekend – we asked John Paul about his goals for the season – “As always my goals this season are to improve my abilities and to perform at the highest standard possible. I look forward to continuing to form part of the National Team and hope to become a valuable asset to my club Lions Gibraltar FC.”

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Gibraltar National League: Team of the Week

Matchday 6 results:

  • FC Boca Juniors 1-1 Europa Point (Cortes; Balev)
  • Brunos Magpies 1-3 Mons Calpe (Assumpcao; El Hmidi, Breakspear OG, Dos Santos)
  • St Joseph’s 8-1 Glacis United (Boro x4, Juanfri x4; Gallo)
  • Manchester 62 0-7 Europa (Carrascal x2, Sanchez, Dimas, Bautista, Labra, Walker)
  • Lincoln 4-0 Lynx (Kike x2, Britto, Gato)
  • GOALKEEPER: Leandro Evangelisti (Mons Calpe)
  • DEFENDER: Andrew Hernandez (St Joseph’s)
  • DEFENDER: Guillermo Perez Sanchez (Boca)
  • DEFENDER: Antony Moulds (Europa Point)
  • DEFENDER: Ethan Britto (Lincoln)
  • MIDFIELDER: Liam Walker (Europa)
  • MIDFIELDER: Borja Gil (Lincoln)
  • MIDFIELDER: Ayoub El Hmidi (Mons Calpe)
  • MIDFIELDER: Juampe (Europa)
  • STRIKER: Boro (St Joseph’s – Star Player of the Week)
  • STRIKER: Juanfri (St Joseph’s)
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Vinet: “I feel like I am improving each game”

We caught up with Mons Calpe midfielder Jaron Vinet to get his thoughts on his sides win over Magpies, aims for top 6 and more.

Three goals in the opening eight minutes saw Mons Calpe beat Magpies 3-1 last Saturday – Jaron reflected on how he felt the team played, “I feel the team played well, especially after our recent run of results in the lead up to it.”

With Mons currently sitting fifth in the table and still to play St Joseph’s, Europa & Lincoln, we asked if he feels confident that his side will finish in the top 6, “Our aim was always to finish in the top six. After getting off to a bad start, we are working on turning things around and finish where we aimed to be at the start of the season.”

Jaron has become a regular figure in the Mons Calpe side this season and has a couple of goals and assists to show for it. We asked how he felt his season has gone so far, “As I mentioned previously, the team did not get off to the best of starts, but are working hard to turn it around. On a personal note, I feel like I’m improving each game and hope to continue this way.”

Gibraltar seniors have two international qualifiers coming up in November and asked what his goals are in the lead up to them, “My aim will always be to get chose for the National Team and hope that the hard work that I am doing on and off the pitch will pay off.”

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Breakspear: “The focus is to finish in the top half of the table come Christmas when the league splits”

Ahead of their game this weekend against Mons Calpe, we caught up with Brunos Magpies defender Shea Breakspear to get his thoughts on the season so far, potential chances in the league and cup, and his aspirations to get into the national team

Photo © Vanessa Correa

The 27-year old centre-back has started three of Magpies five games this season, with his side 5th in the table after a mixed bag of results so far, including the departure of former manager David Wilson – how does the defender rate his team’s season so far? “It’s been a strange start to the season – we haven’t been playing at our best but nevertheless we still picked up nine points in our first three games. I think if you would have offered us nine points out of five games at the start of the season, we would’ve taken it, considering we had to play Europa.”

Magpies recently announced the appointment of new manager Alfonso Cortijo, with the former St Joseph’s and Glacis Head Coach taking the reigns of the Second Division champions – what’s the initial impression of the new manager for Breakspear? “The new manager has been really good – he has only taken three sessions so far so we’re all still trying to adapt to his methods and style of play, but so far it’s been really good and given everyone a fresh start.”

With Magpies fifth, and the top six expected to make up the “top tier” when the league splits in Christmas, what should the newly-promoted sides aspirations be in the league, as well as the Gibtelecom Rock Cup where they reached the Quarter Finals last season: “For now the focus is to finish in the top half of the table come Christmas when the league splits. From there, who knows what we can achieve, but with the squad we have think we can challenge in every single game and hopefully get a very good run in the cup.”

The changes in eligibility rules to represent the national team made the English-born 27-year old, who has spent most of his years in Gib, eligible to represent Gibraltar. What would it mean to him to get the call-up? “It would be an absolute honour and dream come true. I have lived here for most of my life and this is my home. I just need to focus on having a good season with Magpies and perform every week, and who knows what could happen.”

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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.”