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The big kick-off

The anticipated start to the Gibraltar Football league takes place today with two matches which could set the tone for the new season.
First out will be Europa Point against Manchester 62.
Europa Point this week saw them playing their last preseason friendly match prior to the start of their campaign. A 3-2 victory against Lynx who have in recent years been successfully bidding for the top six places provided a glimpse of the strengthening of the Europa Point squad which has been taking place. Prior to this they also recorded a 4-0 victory.
Commenting ahead of the start of the new season Par Magnus club director posted on social media, “we have a new head coach, several new local talents and ten new foreign players. So it is really a new team that will challenge all other teams to the final whistle and be competitive in the league this year.”
Among their new signings are Johan Anderson from Sweden, Stevie Black from England, Hugo Jesslen, Argentinian Frederico Canteros and Finnish player Johannes Storm. The latter described as a “big and strong, a classic goalkeeper” by head of Football Par Magnus Roos.
Gibraltarians Cecil Prescott and Stefan Moreno are also among the newcomers to Europa Point.
Their opponents this Saturday, Manchester 62, as reported earlier this summer have seen a string of new signings which have brought together players already known in the league, as well as some significant signings from the UK.
Aldair Ruiz and Dan Bent, joined Mohammed Badr, Frederico Villar, Renan Bernades, Alan Martin and Emmanuel Ocran as some of the players who have moved to Manchester 62 from within the Gibraltar league.
The appointment of new head coach Anthony Limbrick, who took TNS to lift the Cymru Premier League as well as the Welsh Cup has also attracted players such as John Herron who has played for Celtic, former Crusaders striker Dean Ebbe and former Raith Rovers Manny Duku.
Other signings include former Hull City and Linfield winger Ahmed Salam.
Manchester 62’s recruitment this summer has seen many football observers carefully monitoring the club as they are now seen as one of the possible challengers for the top six positions and a possible threat to the top three if the team gels together in time to make an early challenge.

This Saturday will also see one of the classic matches of the season return with St Joseph facing Europa. Little has been published on Europa’s squad as we went to press with the club having seen a number of key players depart. The latest departure being long-time serving captain Jayce Olivero who heads to Denmark.
Among other key departures are Ethan Jolley, Bradley Banda and Dylan Borge. The three players joining St Joseph this summer and facing their former team in their first official league match in blue and white.
Commenting ahead of this Saturday’s fixture, Ethan Jolley was to tell St Joseph’s official website;-
“I am doing well and have settled in comfortably,” said the experienced defender. “The squad has been welcoming and I feel as if I’ve been here for longer than just pre-season.
“It’s good when the players and coaching staff make you feel at home and up to now I feel great and happy to have been received with open arms.
“I believe pre-season has gone well. The team have trained hard, put in the effort and apart from fitness levels being tested, we’ve gelled together well.
“A lot of hard work has taken place over the past few months and I am quickly adapting to the manager’s playing style, which is something new.
“Now with the first game coming up, I am feeling good and confident for Saturday. It’s the first game back after a long break and I am eager to get things going.
“We face a tough opponent for our opening League match, there is no doubt about that, but we are more than ready.
“The goal is to take games week-by-week and look at each one as a Cup Final. The more games won, the more the end goal will be reached, which is win the League title and the Cup.
“Every game this year will be tough and the task at hand is not an easy one, but, at the same time, it is not impossible.
“I believe the team are more than capable at achieving the goal. Let’s go!”
Come and show your support on Saturday!”
Europa have seen little movement within their social media pages this summer, with little information coming from within the club.
The club who are understood to have advised their players of their financial position this summer is understood was looking at focusing its attention towards its youth players as it saw a departure of much of its core players.
This Saturday’s encounter between St Joseph and Europa could set the tone for what to expect this season in what has been the traditional top three battle. Many concerned that the changes at Europa could see them falling behind as teams such as St Joseph, Bruno Magpies, Lynx, Manchester 62 and Europa Point have strengthened their squads to challenge for the top three positions which provides qualification to play in European club competition next summer.

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