The transfer window closed yesterday and it has been a very productive and exciting one for the club. Though it was clear that some players were going to leave the club, the uncertainty lay in the quality of the player United could attract. The club moved very quickly in the initial stages of the window. Europa Point FC striker Robert Montovio was quick to sign on eager for more Premier football. Likewise GFA goalkeeper Liam Neale signed from Glacis United. Liam was not the only Glacis player that came our way with center backs Sean Mascarenhas and Steffan Cardona also joining the club. Further exciting news followed with the capture of Europa’s FC pacey attacking midfielder Abdul Bakkari and Man 62’s Naoufal El Andalussi. United was showing early on that they meant business.
It was not all however about new signings. The core of our title winning side renewed their contracts. Chino, the Collado brothers, Lee Buhagiar, Jared Buhagiar, Carl Thomas, Mark Casciaro, Andrew Lopez among many others renewed wanting to prove their mettle against Gibraltar’s Premier sides. No doubt the early capture of UEFA Pro manager Manolo Nuñez Sanchez (formerly of College Europa) was enticing players to remain and develop themselves.
Yet with new signings come goodbyes. Dylan Mañasco hung up his boots and so did Daniel Wahnon, whose sterling work made many of these signings possible. Damian Rocca also retired (for a second time) and can now be seen alongside ‘Figo’ playing in our FUTSAL side. Joe Borg and Stefan Cumbo both left to Mons Calpe seeking regular football while Evan Coleing rejoined the Red Imps in Division 2.
As the window progressed more local talent was attracted. In Byron Espinosa the club was able to score somewhat of a coup. A genuine starlet of local youth football United were able to prise him for Lions FC setting a bench mark. Alan Parker, a regular GFA U19 international joined from Lincoln FC and in Dylan Borrell we secured the services of a keeper with plenty of potential. Further talent was added to our midfield with the arrivals of Jamie Bosio and Jamie Currer from Man 62 and Glacis United respectively. True class came in the transfer from Lincoln FC of midfielder ‘Pitu’ Anes. A player with plenty of local renown and who was reforging his relationship with Mark Casciaro in midfield, a fulcrum of Lincoln’s success not too long ago. Illustrious veteran Duane Robba also signed on bringing a wealth of experience and bagfuls of talent, the living epitome of form is temporary but class is permanent.
On the eve of deadline day former United defender Kenneth Chipolina, rejoined our ranks on a season long loan from Lincoln FC. Kenneth had gone Lincoln’s way as part of the Mark Casciaro deal last January. A popular member of the squad at the time he was welcomed back with warm hearts and open arms. Similarly, Lee Muscat key to the championship winning season last year renewed his contract hours before the transfer window closed.
The die is now cast with our season to kick off on Sunday 27th September at 16:30 vs FC Britannia XI