Having achieved the target of staying in the top flight, Gibraltar United’s football department got its boots on sharpish and delved sharply into the transfer market to try and get ahead of the other teams amid rumours of new regulations that would introduce a set number of locals in the starting line up thus making the Gibraltarian football player a commodity.
The manager had given the Board and Committee the players he wanted signed and the positions he wanted reinforced and the club made a major effort to try and meet the targets set. Bruno’s Magpies forward Max Bothen was the first player to sign, Manolo having been impressed with his physique and powerful forward play in Division 2. He eagerly accepted the challenge to play in the Premier Division and quickly put pen to paper. Paul Podesta, a player of similar characteristics, also resigned for the club. Paul signed on last summer but an injury relapse meant that he had to drop out before a ball was kicked in anger. Having been given a clean bill of health he once again took up the challenge to don the red and white.
Manolo had also asked for more quality in midfield and the next four acquisitions saw to that. GFA internationals Jamie Bosio and Anthony Henrnadez were to join from Lincoln and Manchester 62 respectively. One adding grit and power to our midfield the other a touch of finesse and class. Anthony was joined by his brother Andrew while Lions FC’s midfield terrier Ashley Rodriguez would also bolster the middle of the park. His tenacious performances had certainly caught the eye last year and he was one of the top midfielders in the division.
The defence was another area that needed reinforcing. Jason Pusey joined from Man 62 bringing composure and a commanding presence at the back. Aymen Mouheli also joined from Lions. He had recently received his Gibraltarian Nationality meaning he qualified as a local as per the club’s philosophy. Another classy addition to the centre of the defence. Jesse Victory was prised away from Manchester 62 while Dion Hammond came in from Glacis United FC. The latter however would be finishing his studies in the UK and despite impressing in pre-season we will surely see the best of him next year. GFA International Erin Barnett was a deadline day signing from Lions FC, another marquee signing and once again stating the club’s intention to push on from last year. Dani Wink came in as cover for Chino and so did highly rated young keeper Tyron Oton from Lincoln’s U17s. Tyron has pedigree in the club’s history as his grandfather is the famous ‘Tiger’ of years past.
Ins unfortunately mean outs too. The Gilbert brothers both left to join Europa FC, no doubt benefiting from the local players rule. Andrew Lopez signed for Man 62 while Adrian Lopez dropped a division to sign for Olympique 13. Alan Parker joined a very ambitious Mons Calpe team while Jaydan Catania, Ayden Viñales and Dylan Borrell are all in UK pursuing their studies. A number of other players were also released as the manager expressed his desire to work with a squad of 25 players this season.
All in all some shrewd business dealings by the club.