“THE feeling is unexplainable,” says Graeme Torrilla, Captain of the Gibraltar U21 football team.
“It’s definitely something I will look back on for the rest of my life as it’s a huge achievement for me and it is moments like these where all the hard work and training pays off.”
His side have just beaten Macedonia 1-0, recording the first ever competitive victory for any Gibraltarian football team.
The U21 side currently now sit a mere four points off the play offs for the 2019 UEFA European U21 Football Championship with four games still to play.
It is both a historic moment and an emotional one for Graeme, who also scored the winner.
“I think there’s more than one reason as to why we were able to pull it off,” Graeme said.
“Belief, commitment, teamwork and dedication to name a few.
“The entire coaching staff have given their all to prepare us for each game and I think we’ve been improving after each one.”
The growth of the importance of football in Gibraltar is down to recent recognition from both FIFA and UEFA, Graeme believes.
“Football in Gibraltar is gradually becoming bigger and bigger,” he says.
“The standard of football is definitely improving now that things have become a lot more professional.”
Graeme, who plays for Mons Calpe, also believes improvements have been spurred by the increasing number of foreign players who play in the Gibraltarian Premier Division.
As a result, Gibraltarian players have had to improve to keep their starting places.
The victorious U21 side have their next qualification games against Serbia on March 23 and Russia on March 27.
Graeme is quick to assure fans that the side’s incredible victory against Macedonia will not disrupt their focus.
“After our win against Macedonia I think our main objective would be consistency and we’ll be looking to build on not only the result but the performance the team gave,” Graeme says.
“Doing so, we can leave the field after each game with our heads held high knowing we gave our all.”