With the winter break well underway, we took the time to catch up with Mons Calpe and Gibraltar U21 midfielder Graeme Torrilla to get his thoughts on the season so far for club and country.
Gibraltar U21 Head Coach Aaron Asquez has confirmed his final 18-man squad for the UEFA U21 qualifier away at Austria on June 8th.
After selecting a preliminary 28-man squad on May 19th, Asquez and his team had a few days to run the rule over his squad, including a training match vs the Senior National Team, themselves preparing for a qualifying match against Cyprus on the 9th.
Injuries forced the manager’s hand with some of the players who missed the cut – Dayle Coleing, Jayce Consigliero, Luke Buxton and Alan Parker all picked up injuries that meant they were no longer fit enough to have any involvement with the squad, which meant the other six players who were unfortunate enough not to make the cut were Lee Coombes, Jack Breed, Keiron Garcia, Kevagn Ronco, Leone Seatory and Theo Pizarro.
Three members of Jeff Wood’s senior squad will join the team after this game, for the qualifier against Armenia on the 13th; Jamie Coombes, Erin Barnett and Jayce Olivero will all add senior experience to the U21 team in their second qualifier.
Gibraltar U21’s play away at Austria at 8:30pm Gib time on Thursday, before a ‘home’ game in Faro against Armenia on Tuesday 13th June, at 8pm Gib time.
Final U21 squad (for Austria away):
Goalkeepers – Bradley Banda, Robert Rae
Defenders – Louis Annesley, Liam Crisp, Ethan Jolley, Daniel Sanchez, Jamie Serra
Midfielders – Scott Ballantine, Leon Clinton, Tjay De Barr, Shaun De Los Santos, Andrew Hernandez, Michael Negrette, Cecil Prescott, Graeme Torrilla, Jesse Victory, Jaron Vinet
Forwards: Liam Thorne
Gibraltar’s Under-17 side ended their qualifying campaign with a 3-0 defeat against hosts Liechtenstein.
Goals from Menderes Caglar, Noah Graber and a Max Cottrel own goal mean the team finish bottom of their group, but will have learnt a lot from today’s game, as they plan to move on to bigger matches in the next few years.
This wraps up Gibraltar’s age-group qualifying campaigns for another year, as the next generation of potential Gibraltar stars now go back to developing at their respective clubs in the coming months. With Gibraltar boss Jeff Wood not afraid to select young players, we may see some of the players in action next month earning senior call ups in the next 12 months.
The Gibraltar U17’s suffered a crushing 9-1 defeat to Czech Republic this afternoon in their second game of the UEFA U17 Championships.
Stephen Head’s named an unchanged side from the one that lost against Croatia 4-1, as in that game Gibraltar went behind in the second minute, Martin Graiciar with the goal. Gibraltar came battling back and seconds later Byron Espinosa had an effort on goal saved by Letáček. The Czech’s made it 2-0 in the 4th minute, Sadílek delivered a corner which defender Marian Burda was on hand to score.
Czech’s made it 3-0 in the 15th minute, captain Richard Sedláček scored direct from a free-kick. Ten minutes later it was 4-0, Martin Graiciar getting his second of the game. Two minutes later it was 5-0, Jaylan Hankins made a great save to keep out Dudl’s shot but was unable to keep out the rebound from Martin Zikl.
Martin Graiciar got his hat-trick and Czech Republic’s sixth goal on the 30th minute. This was followed by Richie Parral being replaced by Ethan Llambias. The Czech’s made it 7-0 on the 37th minute, Richard Sedláček bagging his brace. Gibraltar did manage to pull one back just before half-time, Ethan Britto’s corner found Julian Valarino who scored.
The second half started with Czech’s made three substitutions straight away, bringing off their strongest players who were so dominant in the first half. Gibraltar managed to keep out the Czech Republic onslaught until the 74th minute when Filip Kubala made it 8-1. Three minutes later the Czech’s made it 9-1, Michal Sadílek with the goal.
The game restarted and the referee blew the full-time whistle with the Czech Republic comfortable winners. Gibraltar’s next game is on Saturday 31st October at 15:00.
Gibraltar started the UEFA U17 campaign with a loss, going down 4-1 to Croatia courtesy of a brace each for Duje Javorcic & Tomislav Knezevic.
The first half started with Croatia taking the lead in the second minute, midfielder Duje Javorcic with a great solo goal. Croatia doubled their lead less than ten minutes later Tomislav Knezevic with the goal. Croatia continued to dominate but were unable to find a way past the inspired Jaylan Hankins who made three crucial saves in the first half.
Gibraltar registered their first shot on target in the 35th minute, Tjay De Barr’s attempt on goal was saved by Dinko Horkas. Referee blew for half-time with the score at 2-0. The second half started with Croatia on the attack, Sandro Kulenovic’s shot was well saved by Jaylan Hankins. Minutes later Gibraltar had another chance, Richie Parral’s had an effort on goal saved by Dinko Horkas.
Gibraltar pulled one a goal back in the 49th minute, a great interception by Max Cottrell who played the ball to Andrew Hernandez, the midfielder played Tjay De Barr through on goal who squared it for Byron Espinosa to slot past Horkas. Gibraltar started to grow in confidence as the game went on with Croatia missing a handful of chances. The game started to even out with both teams making changes to try and change the turnout of the game but neither were able to do so.
In added time Croatia were awarded a penalty as Jaylan Hankins brought down Sandro Kulenovic in the area. Duje Javorcic stepped up and slotted his penalty away. Minutes after the restart Croatia made it 4-1, Tomislav Knezevic with the goal.
The game restarted and the referee blew for full-time with Croatia winning 4-1.
Gibraltar’s Under-17 national side start their qualifying campaign in Liechtenstein tomorrow, as they face the hosts, Croatia and Czech Republic in Group 7.
Stephen Head’s side, who last year took one point from their three games, will most likely target the game against Liechtenstein as their best chance of getting a point, much like their Under-19 counterparts did with a draw against the same opposition in France earlier this month.
A number of Terrence Jolley’s Under-19 squad are also in this squad, including Byron Espinosa, Andrew Hernandez and Liam Crisp, while four players aged 14 also make the team, including Ethan Britto who already has experience at this level from last years qualifiers.
The team start their campaign with a game against Croatia in Eschen, before travelling to Balzers to play the Czech Republic on Wednesday. A three day rest will then allow the players to recuperate and enjoy their surroundings, before playing the hosts on Saturday in Eschen.