UEFA

International Round Up

International football returned to the Victoria Stadium over the past week. Local supporters welcomed the return of these games to the Rock after enduring the long round trips to Faro and responded in force. The Under 21 side faced two tough tests in competitive matches in the Under 21 Euro Qualifiers campaign against Serbia U21 and Russia U21 while the Senior team squared off against Latvia in a friendly game.

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Back Row (l to r): Banda, Barnett, Jolley, Ballantine, Pizarro, Torilla (C), Front Row (l to r): Britto, Hernandez, Coombes, Vinet, Serra

The inclement weather was not kind to the Under 21s in their fixture against Serbia on Friday evening. With the wind and rain lashing down on the pitch the Under 21 lads faced a side of immense quality, indeed former Under 20 World Cup winners in 2015. They went down 6 – 0 but gave a good account of themselves in the first half. Erin Barnett played the full 90 minutes leading the defence and used his experience, a particular highlight was a last ditch clearance off the line.

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The senior side, however fared a lot better and gave the massed spectators gathered at the Stadium something to cheer as a deflected Liam Walker free kick went into the net in the 88th minute of the game to give Gibraltar a 1-0 win. Gibraltar, in all fairness, played very well throughout the game and went toe to toe with our opponents for the most of the game. Chino made his long awaited debut and responded with a man of the match performance to which the crowd responded too with rapturous applause. Jamie Bosio also got a run out during the second half and he put himself about in his usual strong and effective manner. We hope that this result augurs well for the forthcoming UEFA Nations League games in September.

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Back Row (l to r): Casciaro, Goldwin, Olivero, Annesley, Hernandez, Chipolina (C). Front Row (l to r): Pons, Walker, Bardon, Gosling, Sergeant

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Photo credit to Neil Wilson

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Back Row (l to r) Banda, Barnett, Olivero, Jolley, Annesley, Torilla (C) Front Row (l to r) Hernandez, DeBarr, De Los Santos, Coombes, Isola

The U21s faced a tough physical challenge in Russia U21s in the last International on Tuesday evening. The weather was perfect and so was Gibraltar’s first 40 minutes. Annesley and Olivero joined the line up a mere 48 hours since their game with the full squad. Indeed Gibraltar had the first chance on goal and they matched Russia pound for pound. A lapse in concentration let Russia in for their first and they quickly followed with a quick fire second minutes before half time. Gibraltar were to reap the bill of the physical effort of the first 45 in the second half and as energies dropped Russia imposed their physical superiority to finish the game off 5-0 in their favour. Michael Negrette got 15 minutes on the pitch but mention must go to all the u21s as they gave it their all and the exhausted faces at full time told the story of the pitched battle they were in.

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A mixed bag of results but the important thing is that the national teams were back at the Victoria Stadium and it is hoped that works begin apace at the Stadium to make sure that the football going public can enjoy more games at Home!

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Under 21 Call Ups

Following the 1st Round of Premier Division matches Under 21 Coach Aaron Asquez announced his squad for the forthcoming UEFA Under 21 matches. Gibraltar are due to play on Monday 2nd October vs Armenia and then on Tuesday 10th October vs Macedonia. The original 18 call ups are for the Armenia match while a futher squad will be announced for the Macedonia match.

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Michael Negrette, Tito De Torres and Cecil Prescott have all been called up for the Armenia match. Michael has already made his debut for the club, getting about 20 minutes and playing a vital role versus Lynx FC. Tito had made the squad as an unused sub while Cecil was unavailable through injury. We wish all three the best on their ventures and hope to see them wearing the national colours with pride!

The full Gibraltar Under 21 Squad can be found below.

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Farewell Robert! The Gunslinger makes his Exit!

All great stories come to an end sometime and for the the sharpest gun in the West the sun has set over his Gibraltar United Career on the pitch.

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Robert joined us for the start of the 2015/16 season as our marquee signing in the attacking area of the pitch, leaving Second Division side Europa Point as the lure of working with former Boss Manolo was too strong for Robert to resist. He set the tone for his Red and White career by scoring his first goal in his first match against a feisty Britannia.

That set him off on a remarkable scoring streak that saw him net 15 times for the first team and a further 8 times for the Reserves. His goals against Man 62, Lynx FC and most notably Glacis and Angels FC saw the club safe in a difficult first season in the top flight. The moniker John Wayne was to serve Robert well in his first season as almost every ball he touched in the area was converted into a goal. His connection with Pitu was deadly as one can appreciate below.

Scoring 15 league goals in a struggling side, add to that 9 for the Reserves, brought Robert to the attention of Jeff Wood and the clamour for him to get capped was immense. Roberts prowess on the pitch made Mr Wood’s selection easy. A local forward getting regular game time and scoring regularly could not be left out despite the club’s standing in the league. As it was Robert earned his two UEFA caps in the home friendlies against Latvia and Leichtenstein in March 2016. He was to carry on being a regular call up for the following year as Gibraltar begun its FIFA journey as well; just rewards for his efforts.

The following season was much like the last as we fought at the wrong half of the table but yet again Robert ended the season as our top goalscorer, netting six times. It was with a heavy heart that he approached the club informing us of his decision to step down as age has finally caught up with him. His sharpness in front of the goal has not blunted and it will be Olympique 13 that will benefit from this poacher extraordinaire as he is sure to set the 2nd Division alight!

His eagerness to help with our youth has seen him become a coach and will continue that role. Though he leaves the club as a player he still works tirelessly passing on his experience and wisdom to the young strikers in our youth ranks. Indeed Robert has certainly become a Gibraltar United man through and through!

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Farewell Capitan!

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Credit to Christopher Milan, Christian Correa, Core Photography and Snaprimages for the photos.

International Round Up

With a break in the league due to International games the focus of several of our squad members is squarely on internationals. Four of our squad were called up by Mr Wood to the Gibraltar National Team. These being regulars Robert Montovio, Jamie Bosio, Erin Barnett and debutant Ashley Rodriguez. Ashley’s is a well deserved call up as he was one of the most in form midfielders in last years Premier Division. Anthony Hernandez and Chino were also initially called up but the former dropped out due to injury and the latter was somewhat controversially left out of the final cut. A surprising move seeing as Chino gets regular game time and has started the season in excellent form.

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The Gibraltar Under 19 squad has also been in action with ‘Pishu’ Hernandez being called up for three qualifiers being played in Albania. Though the Seniors had games away versus Estonia and at ‘home’ against Belgium, the Under 19s had a difficult qualifying group with the likes of Germany, Republic of Ireland and Albania. So far Andrew has played both games versus Germany and the Republic which Gibraltar has lost by the identical scoreline of 5-0.

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The senior side travelled to Estonia to face a team Gibraltar had drawn 1-1 against in 2014. Hopes were high of getting a result and for 45 minutes Gibraltar gave an excellent account of themselves with Jamie Bosio starting the match and having a very good game partnering Lincoln’s Anthony Bardon in center midfield. However, Gibraltar’s weaknesses were to come and haunt us. A customary early second half goal undid a lot of the good work of the first 45 minutes and nerves began to creep in. The final score of 4-0 to the home side is somewhat flattering but the difference in performances in either half by the away side were abysmal.

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Gibraltar leave for Estonia

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Robert and Jamie on their way to the A Le Coq Stadium

The Under 19s have one more match against Albania on Monday 11th October while the senior squad face a Belgium side in Faro that is full of world class players that ply their trades in the top leagues across the Continent. We hope some more of our players get some game time and hope they all return home free of injury and ready to face Mons Calpe SC.

 

GFA Announces extra Europa League spot.

The Gibraltar Football Association has today announced that Gibraltar will have three teams competing in European competitions as of next season. This is due to the progress made by Lincoln Red Imps FC and Europa FC in the past two seasons thus raising Gibraltar’s UEFA coefficient.

As a result the league winners will go to the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, the Rock Cup Wininers in to the UEFA Europa League qualifiers and be joined there by the 2nd placed team. In the event that the Rock Winner finishes in the 1st or 2nd position in the league the remaining UEFA Europa League place will go the team in 3rd.

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Gib Utd Players with the Gibraltar National Team

The Gibraltar National Team is currently away in Portugal getting ready for a historical first ever FIFA World Cup Qualifier versus Greece on the 6th September 2016.

Mr Wood, national manager, selected four Gibraltar United players to represent Gibraltar in this match. These were Robert Montovio, Chino, Jamie Bosio and Anthony Hernandez. The former two repeat a call up after being involved with the national squad last March. The latter, two of our new Summer signings, get a first call up as Gibraltar United players.

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From l to r, Chino, Jamie Bosio, Robert Montovio, Anthony Hernandez.

Thrown into the mix was a friendly game versus recently crowned European Champions Portugal. Though Gibraltar was at the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline the lads gave a very creditable first half performance limiting Portugal to a a very fortuitous one goal lead. Anthony came onto the field 20 minutes into the game substituting an injured Anthony Bardon while Jamie came on as a Half Time substitute. Playing in front of a partisan 22,000 strong crowd must have been an experience and the club is proud to have these four players representing Gibraltar.

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Jamie Bosio in action versus Portugal

Attention now turns to the aforementioned historical FIFA fixture versus former European Champions Greece next Tuesday. We wish the National Team the best of luck as the whole of Gibraltar gets behind them.

Gib United and Futsal

Gibraltar’s FUTSAL squad has been involved in triangular tournament in Malta in preparation for the Euro Qualifiers in the New Year. Alongside Gibraltar Malta, as hosts, and Serbia are participating in the event. Gibraltar has already hosted Malta in a couple of friendly games earlier in the year  and in Serbia they faced a side currently ranked in the Top 10 of UEFA FUTSAL’s rankings. Three of our players have been drafted by the Gibraltar FUTSAL FA and have travelled with the squad for the tournament. These players are goalkeeper Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin, Justin Collado and Captain Andrew Lopez. Though Gibraltar lost both matches Gibraltar United Football Club is proud to have these international FUTSAL players in its ranks. Well done to all the Gibraltar players in the squad but in particular to our three lads!