The Chestertons Cup gets underway today with nine Second Division teams all in with a chance of walking away with silverware. Continue reading
A brace from Manuel Casas and a goal apiece for Jonathan Benavente and Fernando Cuesta sealed Phoenix a 4-1 victory over a resilient Hound Dogs. Continue reading
The 2016-17 Second Division season is nearly upon us. A lot has happened already this summer, so we take a look at how the nine teams will fare in the coming campaign. Continue reading
With the 2016 Gibraltar Rock Cup getting underway today with two games, we’ve racked our brains together to try and predict the outcome of the two games on today.
Premier Division – 16:30 – Glacis Utd 0-2 Lynx FC The first half was dominated by Lynx but with Glacis defending deep they made life very hard for Lynx to create any chances. Neither keeper was called into action. The first half ended with the score at 0-0. The second half Lynx came out a much better side, and started to create Glacis a few problems with the pace down the wings. Glacis keeper Jamie Carlin made a few terrific saves and Glacis nearly opened the scoring but Fraiz made a great save to keep it out. With less than ten minutes remaining Lynx broke the deadlock, a cross found Egyptian winger Badr, the midfielder controlled and slotted his shot past Carlin. After going behind Glacis started to attack more leaving themselves open to the counter. Lynx made it 2-0 with minutes remaining, a counter saw Agustin Doxagarat run through on goal and slotted his shot past Carlin. Lynx were able to hold on secure the three points.
Second Division – 18:30 – College 1975 4-3 FC Boca Juniors College opened the scoring in the 5th minute, Aaron Aguilera skipped past three Boca defenders and smashed his shot into the bottom corner. Boca came battling back and nearly replied instantly but Andrew Olivero’s shot flew over the bar. Boca equalised in the 23rd minute, Sebastian Suarez picked out Felix Formica-Corsi with a superb pass, the striker controlled, turned and slotted his shot past Dominguez. Less than ten minutes later College were back infront, a counter attack saw Hamza Hanafi through on goal and coolly slotted his shot past Hermida. College made it 3-1 four minutes later, Soufian Hanafi drifts past the Boca defenders and smashes his shot into the top corner. Boca pulled one back in the 41st minute, Neil Robba’s cross found Formica-Corsi who scored with a tidy finish. Just before half-time Boca got themselves back on level terms, Boca were awarded a penalty, Formica-Corsi stepped up and slotted it away which also completed his hat-trick. The second half was evenly contested with both teams seeking the winner. Philip Hermida was the busiest of the two keepers, pulling off some great saves to keep the score at 3-3. With ten minutes remaining College got themselves a winner, Hamza Hanafi’s shot deflected off the Boca defender and into the back of the net. College were able to hold on and walk away with the three points.
Second Division – 20:30 – Leo FC 6-0 FC Hound Dogs Leo broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, Rafael Rodriguez through ball from Ivan Clavijo, the midfielder controlled and smashed his shot past Horner Garcia. Leo doubled their lead fifteen minutes later, Clavijo was fouled in the area by Jarvis Bautista. Justo Peralta stepped up and smashed his penalty into the top corner. Just before half-time Leo made it 3-0, Javier Moreno stepped up and curled his free-kick over the wall and past Horner Garcia. Leo continued to dominate the second half, Adan Guerrero capitalised on a Hound Dogs mistake, ran through on goal and slotted his shot into the bottom corner. Leo were awarded another penalty midway through the half as Alfonso Benitez was brought down in the area, Dylan Hayes’ stepped up and coolly slotted his penalty away. Just before full-time Leo made it 6-0, Alfonso Benitez’s low cross found Jose Antonio Vinas, the striker controlled and tucked his shot away.
Mons Calpe moved level on points with FC Magpies in fourth with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Hound Dogs courtesy of goals from Jose Lupianez, Yeray Gil Munoz, Stefan Cumbo & Sergio Vazquez.
The first half started with Mons Calpe on the attack, Jose Lupianez latched onto a through ball and unleashed a fiercely struck shot which was saved by Juan Carcano. Mons Calpe domination lead to them opening the scoring just after the 30 minute mark, Kyle Bear’s through ball found Jose Lupianez, the striker took a touch and slotted his shot past Carcano.
Mons Calpe continued to dominate the half but were unable to find a way past a well organised Hound Dogs defence. The second half started with Mons Calpe nearly doubling their lead, Ruben Ruiz sent Lupianez through on goal, the striker’s shot was saved by Carcano.
In the 56th minute Mons Calpe made it 2-0, Carcano’s clearance fell to Yeray Gil, the midfielder took a touch and lobbed the keeper from about 35 yards out. Just after the hour mark Mons Calpe were awarded a penalty as Stefan Cumbo was fouled in the area. Cumbo stepped up and cooly slotted it past Carcano.
Less than ten minutes remaining Mons Calpe made it 4-0, super-sub Sergio Vazquez latched onto a through ball and slided his shot past the onrushing Carcano. This win sees Mons Calpe move level on points with Magpies in fourth while Hound Dogs remain eighth.
Bruno’s Magpies continued their winning streak as they comfortably overcame a resilient Hound Dogs side courtesy of goals from Tom Hudson, Harry Perry, Ahmed Elsahib & Lewis Constable.
The first half started with Magpies on the attack, Jose Villegas Perles played Arif Hattabi through the goal but the midfielder smashed his effort wide. Ten minutes later Juan Antonio Carcano was called into action keeping out a close range shot from Devonte Totesaut.
Shortly after Bruno’s Magpies went down to 10 men, playmaker Jose Villegas Perles was given a straight red for a challenge on Christian Gonzalez. Magpies continued to dominate possession but couldn’t find a way past the well-organised Hound Dogs defence. Just before half-time Magpies broke the deadlock, Arif Hattabi whipped in a cross which the Hound Dogs defence failed to clear, the ball fell to Tom Hudson at the back post who headed the ball in.
The second half started with Magpies in control but still failing to create anything good in the final third with both Lewis Constable & Max Bothen failing to put away their chances. Ten minutes later Magpies made it 2-0, winger Ahmed Elsahib skipped past a defender and his cutback was thumped in by Harry Perry.
Three minutes later Hound Dogs went down to 10 men, midfielder Jarvis Bautista was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence. Juan Antonio Carcano was called into action minutes later making a terrific double save. Five minutes later Hound Dogs went down to 10 men, Shaun Gonzalez was fouled by Arif Hattabi, Shaun showed his frustration at the challenge by pushing and shoving Arif, his reaction ended up getting himself sent off.
With 15 minutes remaining Magpies made it 3-0, winger Ahmed Elsahib with a great finish after some great play from the midfield. Magpies made it 4-0 minutes after, Ahmed Elsahib whipped in a corner which found unmarked Lewis Constable who headed past Carcano. Hound Dogs had a great chance near the end, Jason Costa played Ivan Robles Puertas through on ball but the striker smashed wide. The game restarted and referee Herbert Warwick blew for full-time.
Shaun De Ath scores the only goal as FC Hound Dogs start their league campaign with a win over Europa Pegasus.
The first half started with both teams playing extra safe as neither team wanted to create any mistakes. As the game grew on Pegasus started dominating possession as they did for much of last season, FC Hound Dogs were happy to sit deep and clear any balls that came into the box with the defensive partnership of Ercan Mehmet & Sean Harrison having a solid game.
With Hound Dogs defending in numbers Pegasus were restricted to shots from far with Guillermo Sanchez’s shot from far going wide of Carcano’s goal. Hound Dogs keeper Juan Antonio Carcano was called into action minutes later making a comfortable save from Daniel Guerrero’s free-kick attempt.
Pegasus nearly made it 1-0 midway through the half, a fantastic cross was met by Daniel Guerrero whose close range shot was excellently saved by Juan Carcano. Minutes later Hound Dogs broke the deadlock, debutant Shaun De Ath was sent through on goal, the striker was able to fend off his marker and cooly slot it past the onrushing Alberto Fernandez.
The second half started with Hound Dogs leading 1-0 and happily sitting deep, dealing with the Pegasus pressure. Pegasus continued to dominate possession but just couldn’t find a way past Juan Antonio Carcano.
The second half saw minimal chances from both teams as Hound Dogs had plenty of men behind the ball, giving Pegasus no choice but to pass back and find the hole in the defence but that opportunity never came and Hound Dogs managed to hold out til the end and walk away with all three points.
FT: FC Hound Dogs 1-0 Europa Pegasus FC
FG MoTM was awarded to Hound Dogs keeper Juan Antonio Carcano for his terrific display.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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, 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.
With the new season just days away, Football Gibraltar reporter Adam Roberts caught up with Hound Dogs manager Chris Gomez, to gather his thoughts ahead of the upcoming season.
“Pre-season has gone well. We started really early and have been training intensively to build up our fitness levels; getting the group together early has also helped us integrate the new signings into the squad.” Gomez said, when asked how the teams preparations had gone ahead of the upcoming season. “We try not to focus too much on the results in pre-season, it’s more about the performances and being able to experiment; the performances have been promising and the players have gained invaluable match fitness.”
Last season Hound Dogs finished 11th in the league, a position that disappointed Gomez: “We were disappointed to have finished 11th as we felt the squad was good enough to have achieved a mid-table finish; our form at the back end of the season showed our true potential.”
Hound Dogs have a younger squad than some of their competing teams, and while that may give them the edge in some areas, problems do arise when some of the young players inevitably choose to move abroad to further their academic studies. “Six or seven key players from the previous season had left us during the summer to begin their studies in the UK; this was a big loss for us and of course meant that we needed to integrate a lot of new faces into the squad.” notes Gomez, who also attributed the low finish to factors such as “ bad luck in games, key decisions going against us and conceded late goals – these along with the transition of new players resulted in a bad run up until December.”
The transfer window is big for any team in Gibraltar, especially with player turnover traditionally high amongst teams domestically. Hound Dogs chose to do their business earlier in the summer, both by securing players already at the club, and taking on new recruits to bolster the ranks. Gomez highlighted one area of particular need, when saying “A centre back was high on our wish list as we lacked defensive cover last season and it showed, particularly when we had injuries and suspensions.”
No team can keep hold of every player they want to though, and Hound Dogs had a few losses of their own, for a variety of reasons. “Sanchez and Mauro left before the end of last season. Olivero was invited back for pre-season; he chose to pursue other options. Holgado was offered a contract but turned it down as he wanted to focus on futsal as he has been involved with the Gibraltar Under 21 Futsal squad.”
Turning our attention finally to the season ahead, Gomez was hopeful, albeit realistic about his sides chances. “ Promotion is not something we are thinking about, but we feel that our squad is certainly strong enough to compete further up the table than we did last season. We hope to develop and nurture the youngsters we have signed and introduce them to competitive men’s football gradually.”
The topic of youth development, especially with regards local players, is always a hot topic in local football; many feel the advent of UEFA football has had both a positive and negative effect on the development of local players. For Gomez, the temptation of UEFA football would not, in his opinion, change the direction his team goes in. “We hear people complaining that there are no local players available and quite frankly it’s surprising how many teams have flooded their squad with foreigners; we believe in blooding young locals and will continue to do this – we won’t change our philosophy or forget about what we stand for just to pursue silverware.”
Hound Dogs are clearly a club committed to local talent, and Gomez affirms this when stating: “There are plenty of young talented Gibraltarian players out there if you want to give them the opportunity and invest time in them.”
Hound Dogs are on the lookout for energetic and positive coaches who want to develop youngsters for the Senior team – any interested parties are encouraged to contact the club at the following address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone at Football Gibraltar thanks Chris for taking his time to be interviewed, and wishes him and the club the best of luck for the upcoming season. Hound Dogs play Europa Pegasus on the 21st September, and kick off is at 18:15.