In the latest part of our interviews with the people involved with Gibraltar’s maiden European campaign, we caught up with former Europa & US Le Pontet goalkeeper Jamie Robba, now playing at Lynx. Continue reading
Gibraltar’s second match in the UEFA European U19 qualifiers ended in another 9-0 defeat, this time at the hands of hosts France.
PSG striker Jean-Kevin Augustiun, who made his league debut for the French champions this season, scored a hat-trick, while the rest of the goals were shared by Toulouse B’s Issa Diop, Stade Rennais B’s Jeremy Gelin, Romain Perraud and Olivier Boscagli of Nice, Nancy’s Arnaud Lusamba, and Sochaux’s Marcus Thuram, who is the son of former Barcelona defender Lilian.
In truth, Gibraltar may have expected heavy defeats against two of Europe’s best age group sides, who are light years ahead of Gibraltar in terms of their development, but these defeats will no doubt still be demoralising for the players, who now have until Monday to rest and recuperate before their final game against Liechtenstein.
It’s easy to criticise players when they suffer such defeats, to pick holes in their development and find scapegoats for reasons as to why these defeats are happening, but the simple truth is that even this generation of Gibraltar players have been denied the sufficient development and experience that UEFA membership brings. Had Gibraltar been accepted into UEFA in 2007, our teams would have had six further years of development, and things would be a lot different.
It may take 10 or 20 years for Gibraltar’s teams at all levels to get up to the level where they can regularly compete with higher nations, and no quick fix, no panicked change in the system will magically change things overnight. Slow, steady change, as well as a lot of patience from fans, players and coaches alike, is what is needed before Gibraltar can begin to start seeing major progress from where they are now.
This afternoon Gibraltar manager Terrence Jolley announced his U19 squad to play France, Netherlands and Liechtenstein in the UEFA Euro U19 qualifiers, held in France. Terrence also appointed Lynx FC defender Ethan Jolley as captain & Lions Gibraltar FC defender Jayce Olivero as vice-captain. We caught up with the trio as they reflected on their call-ups and their views ahead of the tournament.
Ethan said, “It feels good getting selected for the squad as international level is very high especially playing versus two of the biggest teams in the world. Also being captain is an honour as it plays a big part in the team as I am seen as a leader which helps me adapt to become a bigger player. Representing my national side is already a privilege but getting the captains armband is on another level.”
Ethan hasn’t had the best of last seasons as the defender struggled to get into the Lincoln starting line-up and has now moved to Lynx FC on loan for this season, Ethan gave us an insight into how he feels heading into the tournament, “Personally I feel good as I have been training non stop and have worked hard mainly for this tournament as it could be the last tournament I get picked for. I feel motivated and want to achieve the best outcome possible but not only for myself but for Gibraltar. I also feel fit and ready mentally wise as I’ve been to two of these tournaments and know what it’s like to play top teams like England and Switzerland so I am ready for the next game and hopefully can get a good outcome.”
Terrence also handed a call-up Europa FC keeper Jake Victor, “I am over the moon! I have worked really hard to improve my skill set over the last 2-3 years. Training within a very professional environment and beside top keepers over last two years at Europa FC has been great. I need to thank Jeremy Judd for his help during the coaching sessions which have been very important for my progression. Now its time to work even harder!”
Jake Victor will be battling with Bradley Banda to be selected as the number one keeper, we asked him what he hopes to achieve in this tournament, “I hope to enjoy the experience and learn as much as possible from it. We are playing top nations so it will be a real test for all of us. I can’t wait!”
Lastly we caught up with Red Imps midfielder Jayce Consigliero, “I feel extremely proud on being selected for the Under 19’s and representing our hometown Gibraltar once again. I am also excited on the group as we have got a harder group than last time meaning all the games will be a lot more difficult so we will be gaining vital experience from it.”
Jayce scored in the last tournament against Ireland when they lost 4-1, we asked if he’ll be hoping to do the same again this time, “The feeling i got when i scored against Ireland cannot be explained. If i’m able to do the same this time against Holland or France, that will be a dream come true.”
Football Gibraltar would like to thank Ethan Jolley, Jake Victor & Jayce Consigliero for their time and wish them the best of luck for the tournament.