Lee Casciaro interview (part 2)
Following on from the first part of our Lee Casciaro interview, which you can view by clicking here, here is the second half.
Last time, the Gibraltar striking hero shared his thoughts on his club Lincoln Red Imps’ league title challenge, as well as his nation’s upcoming World Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 25.
In this edition, Lee tells FootyOn his views on what the future holds for Gibraltarian football, what it needs to do to ensure further progression and Lincoln City’s shock FA Cup run. Plus more.
So, read on for part two of our Lee Casciaro interview…
Lincoln City’s FA Cup run “is good for all minnow teams”
Starting with the English FA Cup and his club’s namesake Lincoln City, who are currently on a remarkable run in the competition and face Premier League giants Arsenal next in the quarter-finals.
Besides sharing the same name, we saw other parallels between the two teams. One of which is that they have both proven to be giant-killers this season.
So, we wanted to find out what Lee thought of their success and if he had any advice for them.
“Yes, I have been following Lincoln City in the FA Cup, and they have surpassed their and everyone’s expectations,” Casciaro said of the English non-league side.
“It’s good for football and all the minnow teams.
“I would advise them to be very compact as a team and take their chances when the opportunity arises,” he added.
“Our objective is to qualify for the CL groups”
We then asked Lee if Lincoln City’s run can inspire his Lincoln Red Imps to perhaps battle even further above their weight and one day make it through to the Champions League group stage.
The Gibraltarian outfit were just two stages from doing so this season, after narrowly losing to Celtic 3-1 on aggregate.
Relive Casciaro’s home leg winner against Celtic…
“That’s our objective, to try and qualify for the Champions League [groups],” he answered.
“If that’s not the case then try the Europa League.
“But firstly, win the league locally and then we can think about that.”
“A [UEFA-recognised] stadium is a must”
Meanwhile, talking of the future, we were curious to know Casciaro’s hopes and dreams for football in his beloved Gibraltar.
We asked if there was anything that needed improving or changing to ensure there is always progress on the Rock, which boasts just 30,000 inhabitants and one full sized football pitch.
“Everything really,” he admitted.
“We need facilities here in Gibraltar to be able to train, [as well as] coach our youth to learn and encourage them to always improve on the game.
“A stadium is a must to be able to play at home,” Lee added, as their current 5000-seater Victoria Stadium is deemed not yet up to standards for hosting competitive internationals.
“Whatever it takes for football in Gibraltar to improve, I am all up for it”
We suggested our idea of one or two Gibraltarian clubs perhaps going down the avenue of joining the English leagues. Or even in neighbouring Spain or another British nation.
The likes of FC Andorra in Spain, San Marino Calcio in Italy, Liechtenstein club Vaduz in the Swiss top-flight and Welsh teams like Swansea City in the EPL have all done it, and it has ultimately helped their nations with players being able to test themselves against bigger clubs more often.
Casciaro certainly sounded open to the idea, if it were to be for the greater good of Gibraltar and with everyone in agreement.
“Whatever it takes for football in Gibraltar to improve, I am all up for it,” he said.
“But it’s up to the GFA (Gibraltar Football Association) and teams here in Gibraltar to see what they want.”
Casciaro on youth football in Gib
Despite the territory’s tiny population – it’s the lowest of any other UEFA nation – youngsters coming through on the Rock are certainly showing promise.
Casciaro was very keen to discuss this too, but was understandably coy on hyping up any specific players at this stage, saying: “We have a good youth Gibraltar selection in all age groups.
“l think it’s still too early to see any player in Gibraltar leaving to a top league in Europe.
“But if we keep on improving like we are doing, and if we push for better facilities in Gibraltar for children to be able to peak in the game, I don’t see why not.”
“I’ll probably go into coaching”
Finally, we know that Lee has talked in the past about the possibility of going into coaching after he eventually hangs up his boots, but does he still feel that way?
From his above quotes, it is very clear that he has plenty of passion and desire for Gibraltarian football to continue its growth.
“I’ll probably still go into coaching,” Casciaro admitted.
“But I would have a break from everything first and enjoy some quality life with the family.
“And then I’ll get back to what I love.”
More from FootyOn
Here is the first part of our Lee Casciaro interview in case you missed it! He discusses Lincoln Red Imps’ title challenge and Gibraltar’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier v Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Check out the rest of our site for more fascinating interviews, betting tips and features.