Thanks to ‘Rumori di Spogliatoio’ networking, we have got in touch with Daniel Griffin, one of the people behind Football Gibraltar, a blog talking about Gibraltarian football and everything related to. You can follow Daniel’s update also on Twitter: @FootballGib
Daniel has written a presentation for RdS readers to get to know better who are the Gibraltarian footballers that will square up tonight with Eesti Koondis.
The call-ups' list is available here.
For Gibraltar, the friendly vs Estonia will be the second of two games in 4 days on the Rock. Whilst only 20 players are available for the friendly vs the Faroe Islands, national manager Allen Bula has a full compliment of 23 players available for the Estonia friendly. Liam Walker has been given permission by his club Bnei Yehuda to play against Estonia only, whilst former national captain Daniel Duarte is also available for the game.
With Gibraltar's recent acceptance into UEFA, the Gibraltar FA has sought to find players with Gibraltarian eligibility, and the latest squad sees three new 'naturalised' players: David Artell of Wrexham, Reece Styche of Wycombe and 18 year-old Will Britt of Southampton.
As a result, the eleven who face Magnus Pehrsson's team will most likely be different to that who played Slovakia in November.
Since Bula took over in 2010, Gibraltar has traditionally played in a 5-4-1 formation, with the flexibility to change into a 3-5-2 during a match should the team find themselves in opportunities to break at opponents. The tactic was effective in the 0-0 draw against Slovakia, and could be in place for the Estonia game, with Bula being quoted as saying: “Don’t think that the Faroes and Estonia will be push-overs – they have recently improved records against strong opponents. Gibraltar will need to defend and I’ll go for a ‘back 5’ if I have to.”
As mentioned above, the new additions to the national team make predicting a starting eleven difficult, however, the one on the right is the team that could potentially step out on the Victoria Stadium to face Estonia
Liam Walker: Walker, who currently plays for Israeli first division team Bnei Yehuda, is Gibraltar's most creative attacking player, with a good eye for a pass and a deadly left foot from free kicks. When Gibraltar are attacking, look for Walker to be dictating the tempo of the match, and to try and set up team mates with strong passes.
Roy Chipolina: National captain, and one of the stalwarts of the team, Chipolina was part of the team who won the 2007 Island Games, as well as being a key figure in the Lincoln team who have dominated the domestic game since 2002. Chipolina will lead the team from the back, showing the mental abilities of a player with a long career in the professional game, despite his more humble career on the Rock.
Jordan Perez: Like Chipolina, Perez also plays for Lincoln, and put in a man-of-the-match performance in keeping out Slovakia at the Estadio do Algarve. The 27 year old has had trials at teams such as Shamrock Rovers and Portsmouth, but has spent his career domestically on the Rock. Had Gibraltar been accepted into UEFA back in 2007, Perez would no doubt have been playing abroad, and Estonia will have to be at their best to breach his goal (an interview to Jordan Perez for FourFourTwo by Emanuele Giulianelli can be found here - A.P.).
By Daniel Griffin
RdS has exchanged the favour and profiled the Estonian National Team for Football Gibraltar here
Gibraltar - Estonia starts at 21:00 EET (20:00 CET)
- in Estonia: ETV2
- in Gibraltar: GBC Television