Chance for Magpies to take top spot as St Joseph rest
Nathan Rooney’s Magpies have an opportunity this weekend to level in points with St Joseph, the latter currently leading the table with 12 points and an unbeaten run. St Joseph, however, not playing this weekend.
For Bruno’s Magpies it will be a crucial four days in which they face Europa first this Saturday. They will then face Lincoln Red Imps on the 25th October in what could be a crucial decider match. Having beaten last seasons league champions in the Pepe Reyes cup already, and with an unbeaten run the Magpies will be hoping to keep their run going.
For Lincoln Red Imps, their defeat at the hands of St Joseph has seen them drop into a mid-table position. However, with their next match this Saturday against Europa Point, the latter still without a win, last season’s league champions will be hoping to climb back into the top three. Their match against Bruno Magpies of significant value to them to ensure that they do not drop further points in their bid to defend their league title.
With numerous key injuries this season, including that to Bernardo Lop, Julian Valarino and Graeme Torrilla, alongside a squad which will be feeling the effects of playing two international matches in which Gibraltar was heavily battered in defence, Lincoln Red Imps players are more than likely to be feeling the effects of the international break.
The match between Bruno Magpies and Europa on Saturday will also be of great significance for the green and black who have yet to collect any points this season. Europa, now looking the most likely to drop out of the top six where they have played consistently in since Gibraltar entered UEFA and they rose into the first division, will be looking at this match to regain some of their confidence after a disastrous start to the season.
A depleted squad, with numerous changes and changes in the policies which aided the club to top positions in the league has seen them fall down the ranks, now sitting third from bottom.
Manchester 62, who this week played a friendly against Europa Point and were only able to come away with a draw, will have been looking to do much better against Mons Calpe last night as we went to press.
Lynx, who were three points ahead of them at the start of the week will be facing an interesting clash with College 1975. A transformed green and white have kept apace with the top guns in the league with two wins from three matches. Lynx for their part have won three from four matches making this a crucial encounter for both in the bid to be among the top six sides at the end of the first two rounds of the competition.
Glacis United, who have somehow managed to grab two wins from four matches, although showing vulnerabilities which have raised concerns over the team’s prospects will face Lions. The latter have yet to grab any points this season with four defeats and a minus ten goal difference.
The resumption of the domestic league after the international break will once again see the impact of the differences of preparations for teams across the league with players having been away from their squads. Especially among the top clubs.
The international break has provided at least some youngsters to experience first team training with their club first teams. Among them is youngster Jay Coombes who was this week’s feature in the Lincoln Red Imps official website.
Speaking to the official club website Jay reflected on last week’s friendly win over San Bernardo with saw him play the full 90 minutes with the first team, “I feel the team played very well with high levels of intensity. We worked very hard throughout the match to win 4-1.”
Having trained with the first team during the summer for the Champions League and Conference League he was to say of the experience “It was a great experience on training with the senior team throughout the whole preseason especially with some of the biggest names in Gibraltar football. It was a tough and well worked preseason preparation training every day with the same level of intensity and mindset to reach the standards we had to reach so we were ready for what was ahead along the season. It was an amazing experience and has really put on how high the standards of football can really be.”
“Training with the first team has benefited me in many ways such increasing my strength and play style although when having to train with the U17 and U23 I put in a level of intensity coming from the first team setting standards on not only the team but player’s individually giving them that self driven mindset to put in the work and effort whilst training which benefits the team to when coming to a match we are ready for any possible outcome.”