Lincoln Red Imps profile: Gibraltarian side set to face The New Saints, who are they and what can they offer?
After The New Saints’ Round One Qualifying exit to KF Shkëndija, Scott Ruscoe’s men must pick themselves up and play Gibraltarian champions Lincoln Red Imps, but who exactly are they?
As part of the European competition restructuring made by UEFA, both sides have been granted a chance of redemption by falling into the second tier competition, the UEFA Europa League.
So, when were they founded and what type of honors have they won over the years?
The Red Imps were founded in 1976, 42 years ago. During that time, they have won the Gibraltar Premier League 23 times, and the Rock Cup 17 times.
Their most impressive success in recent times was when they won the league during the 2015/2016 season, as they smashed home 130 goals in just 27 games. They won 25 games that season and lost just once as they racked up a staggering 76 points.
Where do they play their football and what is the capacity of their stadium?
The Red Imps play their football at the Victoria Stadium and it can currently facilitate for a total of 5,000 spectators, with their plans for the stadium to be increased to 8,000 by 2021.
The current league champions share their stadium with all other clubs who currently ply their trade in Gibraltar’s top two leagues.
Who’s the Manager, then?
The manager for Lincoln Red Imps at the moment is Diego Pérez Jiménez known as Yiyi he’s only in caretaker charge after taking over the reins from Julio Ribas the new Gibraltar national team manager in April. Yiyi was the reserve team manager at the club but has been a manager in Spain at Algeciras and San Roque.
How did they fair in the league last season?
Last season Lincoln Red Imps won the league from Europa FC by 5 points regaining the title they lost the season previous. But last season they had indifferent spells and lost 4 games there most since the 2001-02 season. In the Rock Cup, they went out in the Semi-Final to a 3-1 defeat by Europa FC who went on to win it beating Mons Calpe in the Final.
Summer transfer business
Juanma Ortiz CF from Grindavík (Iceland Premier)
Andrew Hernandez CM from Uni (Gib U21)
Diego Gámiz CM from Antequera (Spain)
Lucio Cid GK from Lynx
Andre Dos Santos D from Mons Calpe
Sergio Molina AM from Linense (Spain)
Sykes Garro M from Europa FC
Pedro Corral CF from Guadix (Spain)
Monti CB/CM from Mar Menor (Spain)
Jason Pusey released
Ethan Britto released
Omar Monterde released
Bidari Garcia released
Tjay De Barr to Europa FC
Dieguito to Mons Calpe
Jaron Vinet to Mons Calpe
Pablo Camacho to Táchira (Venezuela)
Pedro Merida (San Roque)
Anthony Bardon to America
Raul Navas Retired
How did they qualify for Europe?
They qualified for Europe by winning the Gibraltar Premier League and entered the new Champions League Preliminary Round which was hosted in Gibraltar they beat La Fiorita of San Marino 2-0 in the Semi-Final but got beat by Drita (Kosovo) 4-1 after Extra Time in the final. The new format means they get a second chance in the Europa League.
Have they played British opposition before?
The date 12/7/2016 will go down in history for Gibraltar football, it was Lincoln Red Imps greatest win they played the famous Glasgow Celtic at Victoria Stadium and created one of the biggest shocks in football beating them 1-0. Lee Casciaro scoring the 48th-minute winner. In the return leg at Parkhead, Celtic ran out 3-0 winners to win 3-1 on aggregate.
Who are the Red Imps key players, then?
Kyle Casciaro (winger/forward)
The experienced 30-year-old can operate as a winger and a forward and could play a big part in tonight’s encounter against The New Saints as they looked to advance to next phase of the UEFA Europa League.
He did initially announce his retirement in the summer of 2017 but he came out of retirement in January 2018 and spent the rest of the season on loan at FC Olympique 13, as he made six appearances, but failed to hit the back of the net.
Casciaro is a fine forward and has been a Red Imps player since 2010. He was a part of the side which was so dominant between 2010 to 2016 as they won six Gibraltar top-flight titles on the spin.
He made his full debut for the Gibraltarian side in 2013, and he then went onto score 37 times in 77 games in a four-year period between then and 2017. He has also represented the Gibraltar national side, scoring once in 21 games. His singular goal for Gibraltar came in a 1-0 friendly win over Malta in June, 2014.
George Cabrera (Forward)
Cabrera is a 29-year-old forward, who has played 73 times since first making his debut in 2012, and has since gone onto score 20 times for the Gibraltar side.
He is another player who could cause problems going forward, and at a height of just 5 ft 7, you expect he might have a turn of pace within his disposal to guide past The New Saints back-line – and his partnership with fellow striker Casciaro may just be key in tonight`s match at Park Hall, in Oswestry.
What can they bring to the party in the UEFA Europa League tonight, then?
This is a game which The New Saints should advance, but they must not underestimate the Gibraltarian side as they’re clearly a well-organised outfit, which has been shown in the league over the years with their dominance, and the Welsh side’s manager, Scott Ruscoe has already admitted that they will come armed with a game plan and stick to it as they prepare to stifle the Red Imps’ attacking prowess.
They have players who can cause The New Saints problems at the back, but if they perform like they did the last time they were involved in a Europa League clash, they could find themselves exiting the competition – their last outing in the UEFA Europa League was last season as they lost to AEK Larnaca 6-1 on aggregate.
You can follow all the action on the BBC Sport website, here. Kick-off is at (19:00)
(Featured image: InfoGibraltar)