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The New Signings give us the scoop on how Zoca life is going.

Updated: Jan 18, 2022

The Bastion Insider:- How do you feel you've settled after the first round of games?

Jamie Linares:- It’s been a stop/start first half of the season for personal reasons, I haven’t been able to get a consistent run in the team but I feel I have been able to help the team in the games I have played. I hope in the second round I can get that run and get to my best.

Paul Podesta:- I always knew it would be a step up from second division, both in quality and pitch size. Although I feel I've settled in quickly using my experience and obviously the debut goal helped boost my confidence.

Sean Grech:- I've enjoyed my football so far and feel I've demonstrated what I'm capable of. Chris has kept things simple which has helped the new guys like myself settle in easily. I'm looking to push on from the good performances I've had so far and have a strong second half of the season.

Aidan Serra:- I feel right at home, the players and staff have made it easy to integrate myself into the squad and welcomed me with open arms. I have a better understanding of how my new team mates play and I think it's evident with every passing game.

Karim Vatvani:- Better than I envisaged! I had this idea that I would come in quite raw and take time to settle into the team's style of play, however, it's been pretty seamless. From game 1 the gaffer has been super clear about what he wants from me , so I've been able to go out and play my part for the team.

The Bastion Insider:- How do you feel you've integrated into the team?

Jamie Linares:- It’s always hard especially when you have played so long in a team and then you come to a new team, but I do know most of the lads from before and it’s such a family orientated set up that one can easily slot in and be comfortable within the team.

Paul Podesta:- I'm a very down to earth guy and like to get along with everyone. That, mixed with my passion for football makes this a no brainer. Apart from that, the lads have been brilliant both on and off the pitch and welcomed me with open arms from day one.

Sean Grech:- Definitely. Integrating into this team has been easy, as I was made to feel welcome from day one, the boys have been excellent and I'm learning from them every week.

Aidan Serra:- It doesn't feel like my first season with Zoca. As I mentioned, I have been made to feel right at home from the start and Chris has done a great job of coaching us and has been very clear with how he wants us to play. This has played a huge part in integrating me into the team.

Karim Vatvani:- I'd like to think so definitely. I definitely feel at home here. It's a work in progress but I think that the team, as a whole, is progressing as a collective unit as each game goes by. It's definitely a credit to the management that they know every player's strengths and use them to bring the team together and push forward. I get regular input on my performances and it's allowed me to work on my game and build on what i can offer to the team. I definitely have a lot more to offer though.

The Bastion Insider:- What's been your stand out moment so far from a personal standpoint?

Jamie Linares:- It's all been standout for me up till now. The way the management feel about the project and their enthusiasm is transmitted to all the players. This was made more evident to me after the game we lost against lions in the final moments. The ‘de-brief ‘ in the changing room showed how much it means to all, but always with a positive outlook to the future.

Paul Podesta:- My stand out moment isn't a personal one but a collective one. Definitely our game Vs Bavaria where we showed immense character to keep our heads in the game after going down 2 early goals and winning it in the end.

Sean Grech:- My stand out moment so far was the win Vs South United, as it was our first win of the season and it gave us the belief that we had the quality to get results in this league.

Aidan Serra:- It has to be the Bavaria game. It is our derby game and the team really came together and showed great attitude and spirit. I love scoring and creating goals but the way we played as a collective, definitely made it the stand out moment.

Karim Vatvani:- Beating my old team, Bavaria was a nice one. Although I think, the first win, against South United has to be the one. We scored early on and it was a really dogged, defensive display that got us the points. That was the game that really showed me the amazing team spirit that the team has. We all fought for each other that day and to be fair, we have ever since.

The Bastion Insider:- How do you feel the team has performed this season?

Jamie Linares:- The team is progressing, we still have room for improvement and the coaches have a structured plan for this progression. I feel we are on the correct path with the coach doing a great job and all the players showing great commitment and dedication.

Paul Podesta:- Like with everything there is always room for improvement, but considering there's quite a few of us who have joined this season, we're probably doing much better than most of us expected to.

Sean Grech:- The signings have strengthened the team and I think that our performances are starting to show that we are gelling as a group. We have played well and its clear that we are capable of more.

Aidan Serra:- It's very rare for the whole team to get on as well as we do off the pitch. We have a committed bunch and we all want to learn and improve. If you compare our first game against our last game, you can see the clear progression. it is a testament to the team's and coach's hard work.

Karim Vatvani:- From the first training session together, I think everyone knew that this was a special group of lads, the banter is always great and there is a genuine love for each other; from the players to the coaches and even the data analyst! We all work hard for the team and there is a trust in each other that I've not experienced before. It's a great feeling.

The Bastion Insider:- How does the Zoca experience differ from previous clubs you've been at?

Jamie Linares:- The closeness of management with the players is key. They talk a lot to the players, be it as a group or individuals. We all know the hard work that is going in and what they want from the team. Management have persevered to get the team to where we are and I have no doubt they will carry on to progress even further. They deserve a lot of credit and I feel as every single player understands this and gives 100% every time, as there is a real sense of belonging.

Paul Podesta:- There's a different dynamic here but I can't go without saying I learnt a lot from my previous club and I'm grateful for those who helped me through that. Now I'm looking forward to building something great here with Zoca.

Sean Grech:- The Zoca board have cultivated a great team ethic. We've got a quality group of players who are also good friends and I'm definitely glad I decided to sign for The Bastion!

Aidan Serra:- I love my previous club Sporting and there are many similarities when it comes to the atmosphere. However, being involved in the international squad, I wanted to be playing first division futsal and I knew Zoca was the perfect club that encapsulated everything I was looking for: a big challenge, a great atmosphere, a great team and super well structured.

Karim Vatvani:- The biggest difference has been the coaching. Chris, Moe & Karl are very hands-on and are great man-managers. Their approach to each player is meticulous and consistent. You always feel that you are playing a big part for the team and it does wonders for your confidence. Aside from that, the team spirit is phenomenal. Although we have outstanding players like Paul and Aidan, you never get the feeling that anyone is bigger that the team, we all work for each other and we win and lose together. It's a family affair.

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