With the demise of Red Imps, Europa Pegasus and relegated FC Britannia, the 2nd Division this season’s sees a more condensed edition with only 9 teams battling it out for the holly grail of promotion to the top flight. With the season kicking off in 2 days time, we will have a closer look at the runners and riders in the 2016/17 season.
The opening game of the season takes place this coming Monday 19th September with College 1975 taking on Cannons. The match marks a battle between the bottom two clubs last season. Under the stewardship of new manager Juanfran Fernandez Perez, College have made plenty of new additions to the squad ahead of the new season which will most probably see them aim for a much higher league finish this time round. Cannons will be looking to avoid finishing in the bottom two spots in the league this time round, a position which they have failed to avoid since the 2009/10 season. Cannons have overhauled their squad with the new incorporation of a large amount of the previous Europa Pegasus contingent joining the club.
The Monday night double header is completed by Leo FC and FC Olympique 13.The O’s have changed their manager of the summer with Carlos Brydges stepping down and scouser Gary Turner-Bone, who played for the club last season taking charge. Turner-Bone has used his contacts in the local game to make some shrewd signings over the summer, adding the experience of Matthew Reoch (Manchester 62) and Lee Graham (FC Britannia) to the club. In addition, former Manchester 62 manager and former Gibraltar International, Aaron Asquez has decided to come out of retirement to sign for the club. Other noticeable signings include Sean Mascarenhas, the versatile player joining from Mons Calpe and Adrian Lopez. The full back joins from Gibraltar United. Leo FC on the other hand have got on with their business quietly over the summer and it remains to be seen how they will fare in the new campaign.
Tuesday also sees a double header with the early kick off seeing an interesting match up between FC Hound Dogs and Gib Phoenix. Hound Dogs manager Chris Gomez has a nice mix of local players and continental talent at his disposal. Additions include Adam Golt from Britannia and French attacking midfielder Valentin Barbier. Phoenix on the other hand have secured some impressive wins during preseason against some of the Premier Division clubs, beating Gibraltar Utd twice and Europa Point in the process. All eyes on Phoenix this season as the team who finished the season in good form last season ending in 3rd place will be looking to go at least on better this time round.
In Tuesday’s late kick off, the Ocean Village derby takes centre stage as Bruno’s Magpies entertain Boca Juniors un viagra naturel. Magpies have changed managers over the summer, parting company with Joel Williams and replaced by Warren Muscat. The biggest transfer story of the summer was the renewal of striker Reece Placid. The English born striker was a sensation for Magpies last season and just as it appeared he had renewed terms with the club, did Mons Calpe swoop in at the 11th hour to take the player to the Premier Division. Magpies also announced the link up with London based Football Academy PU Academy which saw many players arrive at the club last season and more to come this coming campaign. Boca on the other hand have changed their philosophy for the upcoming campaign, with many of the club’s previous players moving on, with plenty of arrivals coming in from across the boarder, most noticeably Salvador Vallejo Ruiz from Mons Calpe. New manager Juanjo Pomares Garcia will also have at his disposal former Britannia players Luke Nixon and Emilio Sansolini. Boca have assembled a talented looking squad and could be considered dark horses in the race for promotion.
Last season’s relegated team from the Premier Division Angels, complete the lineup in the 2nd division.With a unstable maiden Premier campaign behind them, Angels will be looking to bounce straight back. Their first order of business was to install a new manager, with Joel Williams moving on quickly after his departure from Magpies to take the reigns at Angels. Williams has been able to use his contacts from his time at Magpies and Europa Point to bring in some talented players to the club. Goalkeeper Jose Garcia Nieto arrived from Europa Point whilst also seeing former Magpies player Asier Calle Garcia join. Williams will certainly be gunning for promotion after just falling short last term with Magpies.
All in all, it should be an intriguing 2nd Division season with plenty of clubs capable of battling it out for the top two spots. Other matches to look out for are: Phoenix v Bruno’s Magpies (28th September), Angels v Magpies (30th October) and Angels v Boca (11th November)