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José Carlos Gil, a manilveño who has triumphed in Gibraltar

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Disponible en: | Available in: Español

Often the work behind the scenes is more important than it seems, but when successes arrive, the effort of those who do not appear so much in the spotlight is appreciated. This is the case for Manilveño coach José Carlos Gil Prieto, who triumphed in November with the success of the Gibraltar football team, in its jump to Group C of the UEFA Nations League. Congratulations to “Gury” as he is known on the Rock.
José Carlos, head of Manilva Futsal, has been working for the GFA (Gibraltar Football Federation) for five years. He is their Futsal coach and, with the arrival of Uruguayan Julio Ribas to the position of national football coach, his assistant. Success requires a lot of teamwork.

How did you get into football in Gibraltar?

Because of my work in Futsal in Manilva, I had some contacts with the GFA. We spoke because they wanted to promote futsal on the Rock and that was almost six years ago. Things ran their course and then the opportunity came with football and the national team. I have always liked challenges and I am pleased to have been able to take this leap.

Football on the Rock is on the up thanks to the national team.

When the GFA was accepted into UEFA and FiFA, it was in last place and the first results were expected due to the heavy defeats. Through suffering, learning and working the squad has been improving and taking step by step. We have gone from being considered the worst in the world to being respected and working with a solid foundation that is paying off.

The draw against Liechtenstein delivered the first great success for the “Llanito team”.

We could have won in San Marino. Some thought it was easy, but we did not go from 0-0. And we play it all against the European centers. We were better and we deserved to win, but in the end we ended up with a draw (1-1) and that was the point that gave us qualification for Group C in Europe.

Despite the Coronavirus, it was celebrated with joy.

There were tears and an overflowing of emotions in the dressing room. For veterans like Liam Walker, Roy Chipolina or Lee Casciaro it has been the culmination of their sporting life and for what they have always been dreaming. It is impossible to tell what happened there. It will always remain in my head. We have given the people of Gibraltar a sense of joy in these difficult times.

GNL is on the rise, but Gibraltar Football is not very professionalized.

Most of the players have other full time jobs, but things are changing and little by little there are young footballers who want to become professional and go abroad. That, in the long run, can go a long way towards raising the level of the national team. But step by step.

What can we say about the Uruguayan trainer Ribas?

That has changed the mentality of the players. With him I am learning a lot. I consider myself lucky to be gaining this experience.

And what is the state of football in Manilva now?

In the lower categories, they have been working well both in futsal and in the full game. I hope the good times of years ago return and progress is made.

Thanks “Gury” for your time. We wish you every success.

Disponible en: | Available in: Español

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