In Part One of the Football Gibraltar 2019 Awards, both Adam Roberts and Daniel Griffin chose their player of the season in the four key areas, as well as their manager of the season.
Goalkeeper of the Season – Jamie Robba (St Joseph’s)
In a season where the top two have rotated their experienced first choice keepers with young local keepers, Robba has been a constant for most of the season with St Joseph’s. The club signing Francisco Mateo in January only seemed to up Robba’s game, and he made the number 1 spot more or less his own. His performances this season should be enough for him to be considered once more for the national side – he has been the most consistent and in-form local keeper for a number of months now.
Defender of the Season – Bernardo Lopes (Lincoln)
Lopes makes things look almost too easy at times as his ability allows him to stroll through most games. He has been the best player for his side this season, and when it mattered he ensured most of the time his defence were good enough to see through games and ultimately claim the title. The Portuguese defender has improved season-on-season and will be a key part of their European campaign this summer.
Midfielder of the Season – Mustapha Yahaya (Europa)
A sure sign of Yahaya’s importance in the midfield is that when he has had to drop into defence, the Europa midfield has suffered noticeably as a result. Recent injury issues for Yahaya hurt Europa at the worst possible time, as the Ghanaian midfielder runs the show from the heart of the midfield, allowing the more creative attacking players to flourish, while ensuring protection to the back four. His versatility has also been very useful in a Europa team that has been thin in numbers all season
Striker of the Season – Salvador ‘Boro’ Delgado (St Joseph’s)
The league’s top scorer, alongside his teammate Juanfri, have contributed massively towards Saints finishing third, ensuring few slip-ups against the teams around them. While there can be an argument they didn’t score enough against the top two, the quality of Lincoln and Europa plays a part in that. Boro’s goals and creativity have been a key factor for his side this season, and will be key in the Europa League campaign.
Manager of the Season – Raul Procopio
With the top two both changing managers this season, we have opted for the St Joseph’s manager, who has delivered his teams objective to get into Europe. Procopio saw his side go on a great unbeaten streak earlier in the season which played a huge part in staving off the likes of Mons Calpe, Phoenix and Gib United in the league, and while he’ll be disappointed with the manner of his sides cup exit, he has still managed to keep stability in a league which very rarely has any sort of stability – the challenge next season is to break the top two.