It was always going to be a season to test the waters with the Pinks hurriedly putting a team together during the summer months. Jordan Montado and Jamie Bosio were given a managerial role and the planning begun by the end of July. The first players to commit to the club were Jaylan Desoiza and Dylan Casciaro, two players who also turn out for our cricket side. They were joined a month later by goalkeeper and soon to be named captain, Frank Warwick and Karl Balestrino, another pivotal signing completed in the early hours of the morning on a summer Friday night. Alongside Chris Remorino, Iain Latin and Eric Casciaro, the foundations were in place for a hopeful first season in the 4th Division.
Our inaugural competitive game saw us take on Blands Group International. It was a dramatic and heated affair that saw the Pinks come from behind 3 times to steal all the points in the last 5 minutes. A 4-3 win to get us off the mark. The following week proved to be a very important result in the context of the season and how it would play out. Bavaria capitalised on a depleted Humphries side with a 5-1 thumping of their teenage counterparts.
The team was beginning to gel with both Casciaro’s (Dylan and Eric) showing great form in the early stages of the season. Our first major challenge came from South United. Both sides going into the game unbeaten and with 12 points on the board. It was South who would go on and keep their unbeaten run until the closing stages of the season, coming out on top on this first instance 3-1. Our following game saw us take on Laguna 2007 who were also looking to push for promotion after an equally impressive start to the season. The game ended 5-5 with Karl Balestrino leading the Pinks to a vital point, scoring two goals in the process. A miniature blip in what was a perfect start with just one point from two games.
In the build up to Christmas, Dylan Casciaro bagged a hat-trick in a 7-3 win against Sporting Gibraltar and the Pinks began their League Cup run with a 7-0 hammering of Maccabi Bet. James Noguera haunting his current employers with a hat-trick of his own. The Pinks were also given their own Wembley day out as we came up against Glacis United of the First Division in the first round of the famous Rock Cup. An expected loss on the bigger court but a valiant effort from all involved on the day. Glacis themselves would go on to win the Rock Cup by beating Gunwharf 4-0 in the final in June. The Pinks went into the new year in second place in the promotion spot and in the quarter final of the Cup.
As we saw in the new year the Pinks were active in the transfer market, releasing Mark Gomez and Matt Myhill and replacing them with Jamie Walker and Karl Parody. Two players with great attributes and skill who have played at the highest level locally and also have represented Gibraltar internationally. The next 3 league games would see a new type of futsal for Bavaria with goals flowing from all corners. Walker bagged an incredible 6 on his full debut against Maccabi, Daniel Pitaluga notched 4 more a week later and Iain Latin scored 4 himself in an impressive 9-0 against Blands International Group. A game that saw Chris Remorino wear the gloves in the absence of Frank Warwick and keep a remarkable clean sheet. The Pinks were gathering pace again and on a great run of form. The young Pink fans began to appear in their drones, turning out to matches with their Pink and black scarves. The atmosphere inside the Old Sports Hall was now electric for all our matches. An important factor that spurred our players on in times of need.
The game that followed was to see the end of the title challenge after drawing with Humphries 5-5. A game that we were winning 4-0, that saw the young guns come back and then saw keeper Frank Warwick equalise in the final minute up from a corner. In the end a crucial point in what now became the battle for second spot as South United kept up their unbeaten form. The 3 games that followed against Maccabi, Britannia and Atlas Lions saw the Pinks run riot, scoring 36 goals. Any signs of a collapse after the Humphries game were soon dismissed. In between, we secured a semi final place in the League Cup as Dylan Casciaro spearheaded a 12-1 victory over Britannia with 4 goals.
Our second encounter with South United was arguably one of the most anticipated of the season. Once again, it was South who got the better of us, however, this time, a much better Pink performance in a 6-4 defeat. Alan Parker the difference once again. It was the game the week after that was to define our league campaign. We took on Laguna 2007 in what was a must win scenario. The 3 points a must as we sat in third place following the defeat to South United. However, the players did not disappoint. It turned out to be the perfect all round performance and probably the best of the league campaign. We came out on top 9-3, Dylan Casciaro and Iain Latin once again proving to be the perfect players for the big occasion with two goals a piece.
Our second encounter with Sporting Gibraltar would settle the second promotion spot, all that was needed was a win. The players duly obliged. An 8-3 victory sealed with an Iain Latin thunderbolt that sent the Pink fans into raptures. Objective complete. Promotion sealed in the first season of competitive futsal. Our last fixture against Europa FC was a formality and the players were enjoying themselves. Jamie Walker scored 5 and Jaylan Desoiza arguably scored one of the goals of the season with his back. A 15-0 win to set us on our way for the last stages of the cup competition.
There was a three week break until the semi final against Sporting Gibraltar. With both managers keen to avoid complacency at the final hurdles, the team took to Muga to keep up fitness levels. Another 8-3 victory against Sporting followed with Casciaro, Latin and Walker running the show once again. 3 players who were the difference for the Pinks at the back end of the season. The win set up the final that every futsal fan wanted – Bavaria vs South United at a packed Tercentenary Hall. It was a fairytale season with the perfect ending. The Pinks 3-1 down in the second half with 12 minutes to play. A Jamie Walker hat-trick turned the game on its head to see the Pinks pick up their first piece of silverware in futsal. Absolute scenes on the pitch and in the stands. A great season for everyone involved with the club.
On that note, we would like to thank all players, members of staff and fans for everything during this great season! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Until next season!