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2015/16 Second Division preview

The 2015/16 Second Division season kicks off tomorrow – and you can warm-up for the new campaign with our comprehensive guide to the Second Division teams.

Below you’ll find links to Second Division team profiles.


Cannons FC

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Cannons have added Jack Fraser to their squad this summer.

A disappointing rock-bottom finish in the Second Division last season means many people think Cannons could be in for much of the same this season. Christoper Gomez was appointed as manager for the new season and has plenty of work to do as he takes over a team that was clearly below par last season. Can he turn things around?

Cannons have made plenty of signings this summer, which could make a difference. Jack Fraser was brought in from Red Imps, Kaylan Borda was signed from Gib Scorpions and many more. Although, with plenty of Second Division teams bringing in ‘Premier rejects’, we will be expecting Cannons to be fighting at the bottom of the table again this year.


College 1975 FC

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The Second Division new-boys come into this league taking the place of Gib Scorpions and they have plenty to do as they hope to become as big of a threat to their rivals as Scorpions were. 

College have been by far the quietest of all the teams in Gibraltar, there has been no mention of the signings they have made with the club not even having a Facebook page. We, like everyone else, will be eagerly waiting the team that turns out for their first game.


Europa Pegasus FC

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Pegasus endured a frustrating 2014/15 season. They failed to build on their fourth-place finish from the year before and, after flirting with the relegation zone, ended their campaign in 12th. Christian Olivares will expect better this time around.

Pegasus, during their preseason, have looked in good condition, producing some decent displays. They have been very active through the transfer window bringing in some great talent, mainly from across the border.


Europa Point FC

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Europa Point have been tipped to mount a serious title tilt this season, with the club bringing in plenty of quality from top academies in and around Europe. Europa Point were the in-form team in the second half of the 2014/15 season – can they maintain that level for an entire campaign?

We have announced throughout the summer that Europa Point have lost many of the players which were so instrumental last season like Robert Montovio & Dexter Atkinson. This season will be a platform for many of their new signings to make a name for themselves and possibly take the step up to Premier football next season. 


FC Hound Dogs 

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FC Hound Dogs finished last season in 10th place, after such a poor start to the first half of the season, the clubs performances turned around near the end as the manager Chris Gomez had a full squad to pick from as his players had returned from their studies in UK.

Hound Dogs have been very busy in the transfer window. Despite losing some big players like Nick & James Castle, they did manage to bring in some great local talent in the form of Shaun De’Ath, the pacey winger from Leo, and also full-back Shaun Gonzalez who brings plenty of experience to this young squad.


FC Olympique 13 

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FC Olympique started very strongly last season, producing some great displays. Early results saw them hover around the top three in the table. As the season went on, the consistency which Olympique started slowly to fall with injuries and suspensions hampering the club, sending them down to 7th.

Olympique have been very busy in the summer, mixing experience with youth. If they can get striker Justin Santos firing on all cylinders again, Olympique could be the dark horses of this season.


FCB Magpies 

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Brunos Magpies go into this season hoping to shake off their ‘Pub team’ title. Louie Perry, Magpies President, started with the appointment of Joel Williams which was followed by a handful of signing such as Max Bothen from Phoenix, Michael Macias from Gib Utd & some players from abroad.

The around the Magpies camp is that the team is looking for promotion and with the players Joel has brought into the club, they might be causing a few upsets this season.


FC Boca Juniors

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Boca Juniors finished last season 10th in the league, seven point behind Brunos Magpies. Boca struggled a lot of last season with consistency, they would pick up points against teams in the top half of the table but then struggle against teams in and around their position.

Boca have been heavily revamped this season, a new crest, a new sponsor and some new players has seen the ambition at the club change massively over the last few months. Despite losing their best player Nicholas Ramagge to Olympique, they have been able to bring in some Premier experience and along side players who have proved themselves in the Second Division.


Gibraltar Phoenix FC

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Last season’s ‘big boy killers’ will be hoping to pick up from where they left off to improve after finishing 4th last season and beating all the big teams in the second half of the season.

Phoenix have enjoyed a relatively good preseason and like most teams have been quiet this transfer window, President Brian Brosco confirmed to us that the team has been reshaped with many comings and goings, but they were very happy that they were able to keep hold of Fernando Cuesta who was so instrumental last season.


Leo FC

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Leo FC will be looking for a better performance this season after finishing 13th last season. Karl Alecio, President of Leo, has been very busy through the summer, his shock appointment of Juanfran Perez as manager from Angels showed the kind of ambitions the club will have this season.

Leo have also needed a major reshape this season, they had plenty of departures this season but with Juanfran’s links in Spain, they were able to bring in plenty of players to fill the holes which they were lacking in. Leo were also able to renew the contracts of Dylan Hayes & Iain Latin who were one of few consistent players from last season. One major blow for Leo is the loss of Charlie Santos who moved to futsal.


Mons Calpe S.C.

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Mons Calpe would probably like to forget about last season. They saw three different managers followed by an 8th placed finish which no doubt seemed poor after having such a great season two years ago when they finished second, missing out on promotion by the play-off stipulation.

Mons Calpe have by far done the best business in the Second Division with the signing of Jansen Dalli. Other players brought in like Francis Marquez means Mons Calpe seem to be early favourites to be promoted.


Red Imps FC

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Red Imps, the feeder club of Lincoln Red Imps, have also had a major turnaround. The appointment of Garry Lowe, followed by some great signings, shows where the club wants to be at regarding producing great local talent.

Red Imps have been working hard during preseason to be 100% ready for this season. Red Imps made many signings through the summer, Evan Coleing returned to the club, experienced duo Thomas Hastings & Colin Dyer and followed by striker Cesar Rosa who has been dubbed as ‘one to watch’ this season.


Matchday 1 fixtures

21/09 – FC Hound Dogs vs Europa Pegasus FC & FC Boca Juniors vs Cannons FC

22/09 – FCB Magpies vs Europa Point FC & FC Olympique 13 vs Red Imps FC

24/09 – Mons Calpe S.C. vs Gibraltar Phoenix FC & College 1975 FC vs Leo FC


So who will win promotion to the Premier Division? Will it be Mons Calpe, will it be Europa Point, will Brunos Magpies proved all the doubters wrong? We expect the next few months to be exciting aswell as hectic, stay tuned at Football Gibraltar as we will be with you every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Berllaque: “We cannot wait to begin this new season!”

Ahead of the upcoming season, we continue our series of interviews by talking to Boca Juniors manager Julian Berllaque, and getting his views of the upcoming 2015-16 season for his team.


 

Reflect on how last season went (what you achieved, what you didn’t, any big talking points etc..)

Last season was full of ups and downs. We started off really well with draws against two of the top teams, Gibraltar Scorpions and Angels FC and it seemed it would push us towards big things. Unfortunately, our biggest signing Paul Podesta suffered a bad knee injury in our third game, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Then things went a bit downhill from there in all honesty. More injuries followed, players then started losing interest and commitment. We probably weren’t prepared for the jump in quality from one year to the next. Luckily we managed to end the season on a high grabbing a few wins and many goals with only 14 players to choose from. So we can say it’s a season we have learned a lot from and because of it we have realised we’ve needed to up our game for this year.

How preseason has gone?

Pre-season has been a difficult one as we didn’t manage to decide the squad until a few days before the deadline. We haven’t had much time to arrange many friendly games either because of this. We had a lot of interest in the first few sessions, but with all due respect to those who came to trial with us, we weren’t sure their quality was going to improve the squad with what we had the previous season. Luckily we managed to get some great players in at the and we’re looking forward to the start of the League this Monday against an improved Cannons FC

How the team looks going into the new season, any new signings, players to look out for and especially players which have left?

We lost four key players at the start of this pre-season. Three of those players have gone to sign for another club, and I wish them the best of luck. However, we’ve been lucky to replace them with experienced players, some who have played in Premier too, so we’re hoping not to miss them too much. I don’t want to say what players everyone should look out for, as I’ll be giving other teams a slight advantage if I do… but I’m sure everyone knows who we’ve signed and where we’ve strengthened. I’ll be honest, when we lost those players we weren’t sure in what direction the team was going and at times it seemed we weren’t going to manage to have a competitive squad. But thanks to the massive effort from the Boca Committee and many of the players, we were able to attract all these new signings and the morale has gone up drastically. If everyone can keep fit and committed, I really do believe we have a squad that can compete with the top teams. We definitely have a better squad than last season and we cannot wait to begin this new season!

What goals do Boca have for this season or what they hope to achieve?

Our main goal is to improve on last season. We know the quality in the league has improved and we will have to adjust to that. Just because we have a better squad this season, does not mean we are going to do better. We will have to work hard in training throughout the season to ensure that we do not get a repeat of last season. Everyone who has signed seems committed to the cause and all we can do is hope that with the hard work in training, we reap the rewards on game day. I do not like setting goals in terms of where we aim to finish on the table, but I do hope we are closer to the top than the bottom of course. I really do believe we have the squad and the quality in it to fight and challenge the bigger teams, so we hope to upset a few of them.


Boca Juniors kick off their season against Cannons on the 21st September, with a 20:30 kick off. We thank Julian for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish him all the best ahead of the upcoming season.