team affairs

Summer Transfer Window 2016

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.

Season in Review 2015/16

First season back in the Premier Division since the club’s return and the objective was clear; stay in the top flight. The summer had been a very busy one with plenty of transfers in and out. Though we retained the bulk of the promotion clinching squad the board was well aware that an injection of quality was needed. The first signing was perhaps the most important one, Manuel Sanchez Nuñez as manager.

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Manolo is no stranger to Gibraltarian football having had a spell managing College Europa (now Europa FC). He was instrumental in attracting new players into the club and his vast knowledge and experience soon won over new and existing squad players. It was frankly an honour having someone of his experience and with his CV at Gibraltar United and it may be argued that he was crucial in Gib Utd staying in the top flight.

Robert Montovio, ‘Pitu’ Anes, Duane Robba, Jamie Currer and young starlet Byron Espinosa were among the names who signed up in the summer. The #SupportingLocalTalent campaign we had started last year had born its fruit with the club becoming an attractive option to players as we sought the quality needed to stay up.

The opening game way back in September saw us line up against Britannia, who had got promoted the season before as Division 2 champions. A credible 1-1 draw with a debut goal for Montovio gave an indication of the season to come; a tough ask but this team does not know when to lay arms and die! Several incidents in the match however threatened to unhinge our efforts. Mark Casciaro was suspended for 6 games while Lee Buhagiar suffered an injury which subsequently was to indefinitely leave him out of eleven aside football. With the top two next United were in 8th place after 3 games with 1 solitary point on the board. The teams around them (Glacis Utd, Angels FC and Man 62) would be permanent companions for the duration of the season.

The first revelation of the season came in the shape of Brad Power. Locally recognised as a striker the manager saw the potential for a shift of position to the other end of the pitch as a center half. He suffered a very tough baptism of fire vs Lincoln FC but Brad cemented his position in the team through hard work and determination and was rewarded during the season with a call up to the national squad in March and a renewal of his contract with the club. David Gallardo, last year’s flying winger was also reconverted to a centre half and more often than not partnered Brad at the back.

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United did not record their first win of the season until late November when Angel’s FC and Man 62 were defeated in back to back games that did wonders for morale. Robert clearly still had an eye for goal and he was constantly netting for the team in defeat after defeat but the goals tasted better in victory and as we entered December United held their heads above water and Glacis and Angels who were floundering at foot of the table.Yet a lean month meant that the January transfer window was to be key.

A total of 12 players left the club and a similar number drafted in. Perhaps Ashley Perez was to have the biggest impact of the January signings. Signed on a 6 month deal from St Joseph’s he quickly asserted himself as a regular in the team either as a left winger or a left center back. Dexter Panzavechia, signed from Glacis United, also quickly became a fixture in the first XI. Loanee Evan Green also pitched in with important goals. An upturn in fortune saw United gather more points against Glacis United FC and Lions FC. As we climbed positions in the table Britannia began a free fall that was to have dire consequences for them.

No matter how gratifying those results were United never made it easy for themselves. Back to back defeats to Angels FC (who turned up with a new team in January) and Man 62 saw us plummet down to 8th. Another victory over Glacis United, a rearranged fixture from November, kept us afloat. However having to face the top 3 one after the other let the clarets and blues claw back points and positions. They had a resurgence of form post January that saw them gather a substantial number of points against the bigger teams in the league, most notably a 1-0 victory over Europa FC. We lost to St Joseph’s the following day meaning Glacis now had the upper hand.

Once again our character showed through. Wins against Lions, again, and most especially Britannia meant that a new contender joined the basement battle. A contender that had not won in 13 games and was in free fall. Before the curtain closed however the was a break for internationals and four of our squad were called up. A just reward for outstanding performances but more importantly for getting minutes on the pitch they would no get elsewhere. Robert, Brad, Chino and Evan were called up by Mr. Wood for the games versus Liechtenstein and Latvia. Chino has been frankly outstanding this season and his call up was extremely well deserved. His saves had been remarkable and there was a series of one on one saves in our first game versus Angels FC that gave us the three points. Chino and Brad got minutes in a match versus San Roque but Robert played as a sub in both UEFA games at the stadium.

As league action returned United approached the last few games of the season knowing it was still in their hands despite a very damaging 2-0 defeat to Glacis United in late April. Angels had already gone but Britannia had joined us at the foot of the table. Suspensions and injuries were also beginning to take their toll. Kaylan Rumbo proved a godsend to Manolo as he filled in practically every position in the pitch. Chino missed a key game versus Lynx and young Ayden Viñales took the gloves. The 17 year old handled himself brilliantly against a strong Lynx side. A crucial Montovio goal gave us 3 unexpected points at a time when Britannia could not get a win. With St Joseph’s, Angels and Man 62 to come in our last 3 games survival was in our hands.

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Photo courtesy of Correa Photography

The loss to St Joseph’s meant that Glacis United were safe. The relegation spot would be a fight between us and Britannia. Europa FC annihilated them 16-1 the day before we beat Angels 7-1 to make our league spot practically safe for the following season. Lincoln cemented our place by beating Britannia 10-0. We closed our season with a 2-2 draw versus Manchester 62 FC to finish 8th place with a respectable 29 points.

A very hard season but respect needs to go out to these group of 100% local players who have beaten all the odds to stay in the Division. We only failed to beat Lincoln, Europa and St Joseph’s and we have shown we have the ability to fight it out in Gibraltar’s top division. Work has already started in the 2016-17 squad and we cannot wait!

Vi Et Animo, Ad Victoriam!

Games 2015/2016

Date Opposition Venue Match Score Scorers
23/07/2015 UK Academy Castellar Pre Season 1  4 Lopez
26/07/2015 Facinas F.C Facinas Pre Season 1  2 Montovio
06/08/2015 U.D. Casares Casares Pre Season 3  1 Currer, J.Collado, Sean Gilbert
11/08/2015 Mons Calpe FC Victoria Stadium Pre Season 3  2 Montovio, Bosio, Sean Gilbert
20/08/2015 Gibraltar Regiment DTC Pre Season 5  0 Montovio (2), J.Collado, El Andalussi, Trialist
22/08/2015 U.D. Tarifa Lopez Pua Pre Season 1  2 Montovio
08/09/2015 Mons Calpe FC Casares Pre Season 3  3 Montovio (2), Cardona
27/09/2015 FC Britannia XI Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  1 Montovio
29/09/2015 Lions RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 0  3
03/10/2015 Europa FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  2
16/10/2015 Lincoln FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  7
29/10/2015 Bruno’s Magpies RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 8  0 Montovio (5), Bakkari (2), Bosio
01/11/2015 Glacis United FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  0 Montovio
03/11/2015 FC Britannia XI RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 2  1 Montovio (2)
07/11/2015 Lynx FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  3
11/11/2015 Lincoln FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 1  2 Montovio
13/11/2015 St Jospeh’s FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  2
23/11/2015 Angels FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 2  1 Montovio, Anes
25/11/2015 St Jospeh’s FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 2  2 Montovio, Bosio
28/11/2015 Manchester 62 Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  0 Montovio
02/12/2015 Lions FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  3
05/12/2015 FC Britannia XI Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  3 Montovio
11/12/2015 Europa FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  2
21/12/2015 Lincoln FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  6
02/01/2016 Lions FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  0 Montovio
11/01/2016 Glacis United FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 2  1 Montovio, Power
14/01/2015 Mons Calpe SC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 3  0 Cumbo (3)
17/01/2016 Lynx FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  3 Montovio
20/01/2016 Europa FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 7  0 Laguea (3), Gracia, Steven Gilbert, Sean Gilbert, Ailtachen
23/01/2016 St Joseph’s FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  4
06/02/2016 Angels FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  2 Green
08/02/2016 Manchester 62 RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 3  0
10/02/2016 Red Imps FC Victoria Stadium Rock Cup 2nd Round 2  1 C Ellul (2)
14/02/2016 Lynx FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 2  4 Sean Gilbert, Asquez
21/02/2016 Manchester 62 Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  1
28/02/2016 FC Britannia XI Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 2  0 Buhagiar, Green
01/03/2016 Lions FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 2  7 Anes, Currer
05/03/2016 Europa FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  3 Green
12/03/2016 Lincoln FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  4
15/03/2016 Bruno’s Magpies RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 3  1 Montovio, Currer (2)
19/03/2016 Lions FC Victoria Stadium Rock Cup 1/4 Final 0  1
04/04/2016 Lions FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 3  1 Montovio (2), Perez
06/04/2016 FC Britannia XI RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 1  6 Currer
10/04/2016 Glacis United FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 0  2
14/04/2016 Linocln FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 3  8 Laguea (2), Rumbo
16/04/2016 Lynx FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  0 Montovio
19/04/2016 St Joseph’s FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 0  4
24/04/2016 Glacis United FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 1  0 Thomas
29/04/2016 St Joseph’s FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 1  3 Marquez
01/05/2016 Mons Calpe SC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 0  1
05/05/2016 Europa FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 1  3 Sean Gilbert
09/05/2016 Angels FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 7  1 Power, Montovio (4), Currer, Rumbo
14/05/2015 Manchester 62 FC Victoria Stadium Premier Divison 2  2 Perez, Marquez
23/05/2016 Manchester 62 FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 1  2 Steven Gilbert
28/05/2016 Lynx FC RES Victoria Stadium Reserves 3  0

2015-2016 Statistics

Surname Name Premier Reserves Senior Cup Rock Cup Total Goals (all comps)
Aitlachen Aziz 1 4 1 6 1
Anes Pitu 16 7 2 25 2
Asquez Derek 2 7 9 1
Bakkari Abderrahman 6 2 8 2
Borrell Dylan 5 5
Bosio Jamie 7 3 10 2
Buhagiar Lee 1 1
Buhagiar Jared 27 10 1 38 1
Cardona Steffan 7 5 1 13
Casciaro Mark 1 1 2
Catania Jaydan 3 1 1 5
Chipolina Kenneth 5 3 8
Collado Aaron 3 3
Collado Justin 2 1 3
Crisp Shane 1 1
Cumbo Stefan 2 2 3
Currer Jamie 17 7 1 25 3
El Andalussi Naufal 7 5 12
Ellul Carl 5 1 6 2
Ellul Jamie 1 12 13
Espinosa Byron 13 5 18
Gallardo David 16 10 26
Gilbert Sean 14 15 2 31 3
Gilbert Steven 10 7 17 2
Goldwin Kyle 25 3 1 29
Gracia William 2 2 1
Green Evan 9 6 1 16 3
Laguea Thomas 6 6 5
Lopez Adrian 3 7 10
Lopez Andrew 18 3 2 23
Marquez Lython 5 6 11 2
Mascarenhas Sean 2 4 6
Massetti Matthew 1 1
Medina Neal 1 1 2
Montovio Robert 24 5 1 30 25
Neale Liam 2 4 6
Panzavechia Dexter 9 6 2 17
Parker Alan 7 4 11
Perez Ashley 13 5 1 19 2
Power Brad 24 6 2 32 2
Robba Duane 18 5 2 25
Rumbo Kaylan 16 8 1 25 2
Thomas Carl 24 7 2 33 1
Vella Jonathan 8 8
Viñales Ayden 2 6 1 9

New Addition the Technical Team

Gibraltar United are very happy to announce the appointment of former Glacis United manager, Javi Sanchez, to the technical team. Javi is no stranger to the local football scene and his appointment shows how the club is gradually growing and developing on and off the pitch.

Javi has managed youth and senior sides for Glacis United and has a wealth of experience to bring to the table. When he became available it was an easy decision for the club to make and we are elated Javi took up our offer. He will work under Manolo with the First Team and also take over the management of the Reserve side.

Welcome Javi to Gibraltar United

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