So gaffer that’s the end of our season, with the results in the past 2 months ensuring that you’re spending another year in Gibraltar’s 2nd Division, how would you sum up the season as a whole?
When I took over this job, I had not set any objectives. Just to go game by game and keep improving with every one. We started very strong with some good wins, which instantly allowed us to think that this could be our year. Unfortunately there was a dip in form, which regrettably knocked our confidence. It’s been a long season and we’ve done well to keep committed to the cause. Even when results weren’t going our way, the players’ reaction was positive and exactly what I wanted. We’ve had a good finish to the season, unbeaten in the last 4 games. We’ve been playing good football, the type I encourage my players to play and the only thing we have been lacking is goals, which is something we’re looking to improve on next season.
When and why do you think the season tailed off after a good chance of promotion?
It’s impossible to pinpoint the exact reason why it went sour. We had injuries to some important players, which obviously didn’t help. Changes in the calendar affected continuity when we went over a week or two, without playing a game. It made things that bit more difficult for the players. The lack of training facilities didn’t help either. Considering the fact that we have not had as many technical/ball sessions as we would’ve liked to, I’m very happy with what we’ve done. Credit also has to go to the other teams; it has been a very competitive season with a good few teams fighting for the top spots.
What positives apart from our brand spanking new kit can you highlight?
Probably the toughest challenge I thought I would have was to get the players to respect and listen to my instructions as I’m only just a couple of years older than most of the squad. So that has been a major highlight on a personal level. The players have responded well and have played the type of football I have wanted, regardless if they thought it was the best decision or not. As a club, I think we have progressed immensely, both on the field of play and off it. The commitment the players have shown this season has been great and I hope it continues on to next season. Social media has also had a great influence this season. With more interaction than probably any other club locally, it has been a success in getting the fans feel closer to the club and it shows the direction the club want to go in.
If you had to pick one moment from the season that you will remember for a long time what would it be?
There are a couple of moments that come to mind. Our first game against College Pegasus, for example. Going down to 10 men because of an injury and then winning it with a stunning chip from Trevor in the last minutes was a great way to grab our first win. Then the epic 4-3 win against Sporting Glacis is another match that comes to mind. We fought hard to come back from behind and deserved to win in the end. Credit to them though, they really stepped it up after going a man down. Although, I must admit that the 5-1 win against Mons Calpe in the Cup is the one that always springs to mind. They’re a very good team and they’ve had an incredible first season. So to beat the League runners up in that manner was a great feeling for the players and for me too.
What is your response to rumours that Alan Hansen, Tim Sherwood and Alan Shearer may all be travelling to Gibraltar this summer to meet the board to potentially take the manager’s hot seat? Are you issuing a hands off warning or are you prepared to walk away?
I suppose there will always be rumours when you manage a big club like Boca. I want to stay at this club for as long as possible. I feel right at home here. Now, if the board sees best that I should step down, then so be it. I will always want what’s best for the club, regardless if it’s me who is managing it, or someone else. I feel as if I’ve done enough to earn at least one more season as Manager, and I guarantee that next season will be more successful than this last one.
We at BocaHQ would like to thank the gaffer for his hard work on the training ground and the touch-line with all the lads. And of course we appreciate his efforts every time we have asked for an interview. Heres to many more interviews with players and the staff in the coming years.