Ball put back in GFC’s half

IT’S time for the Green Lions to snuggle up to the English FA more closely than ever before.

IT’S time for the Green Lions to snuggle up to the English FA more closely than ever before.

That’s because there is little likelihood that a combination of the island’s Culture and Leisure and Environment departments, will allow the kind of development the Football Association are pressing for to allow Guernsey FC not only to stay at Footes Lane short-term but mid- and long-term if the Lions win promotion(s).

A call to Culture and Leisure has established that while the department is very keen to assist with Guernsey FC’s project, there is little they can do if the FA make unreasonable demands and, it seems, continues to operate double standards with regards to ground improvements.

GFC have subsequently been told that they need to establish with the FA what is acceptable regarding fencing as there are still mixed messages about whether wood or block fencing will suffice.

‘We have ball park costs of £50k for wood and £150k for block,’ said a source at C and L, which, although steep, should not be beyond the reach of the local club.

It’s Inside Track’s understanding that planning, however, would prefer wood with suitable planting for any fencing and that block or brick perimeters are a step too far in what is seen as a rural location.

And, on top of that, all users of the site would be consulted on the practicality and aesthetics of a fence.

‘It has been left with GFC to agree a scheme that meets FA requirements before further action,’ said the source.

But as there is a deadline of March 2013 for the work to be completed, time is tight.

Perversely, clubs that hold Grade E or Grade D status already do not need to upgrade their grounds to meet the new standards and, it is understood that as many as half the grounds in the Combined Counties Premier Division do not meet the required standards. However, their ‘grandfather’ rights mean they do not need to do anything.

That not only seems odd but blatantly unfair on GFC, who have moved small mountains to get where they are, but could see their

business model stymied by a forced move away from Footes Lane which, from this viewpoint and that of many others, is the ideal home for the club.

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PERFORMANCE of the week? Well, that just might be courtesy of cyclist Ann Bowditch.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ may now be 41 and, in competitive terms, towards the end of her career, but as her brilliant performance at the Jersey Criteriums and her season-long form underlined, she is as good as ever, better probably.

She certainly thinks so and, if picked, is determined to be a winner in Bermuda in next summer’s Island Games.

‘I’m probably at my strongest now,’ she said this week.

‘I’ve felt really great this year but also strong. I’ve got more out of my road racing than I ever have.’

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OUR weekend sports diary this time of the year is chock-full of major events and, for that reason alone, I’ve yet to see the Green Lions in league action.

But, as far as I gather, they’ve been winning with brilliant attacking football and from the basis of a tandard back four.

How long, though, will a bright, adventurous and fashionable coach such as Tony Vance resist joining the long list of top professional clubs, including Premiership sides, who are playing just three at the back as a starting formation and sticking with it?

I ask the question because it seems to me that it might work a treat with the Green Lions and further add to the side’s attacking potential, especially while Ben Coulter is around.

A central defensive trio of Angus Mackay (or Alex Le Prevost), Sam Cochrane and Jamie Dodd would, in particular, enable Vance to get more out of the side’s left-side wingback strengths.

As for now though, I’d much prefer if ‘Vancini’ keeps it simple and simply continue to churn out the wins.

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BOXING is going underground – of a sort. Not in any illegal manner, but Inside Track, has learned that one or two of the island’s top boxers are supplementing their regular work at the Amalgamated Boys’ Club in St Martin’s, as part of a training group working with qualified ABA coach Gerry Walsh.

Formerly of the Sarnia Boxing Club which, for years, ran popular Sunday night buffet shows at the Carlton Hotel, he has been improving the fitness and techniques of some top names with regular group fitness and skills work in the old market complex.

Gerry, who was a quality amateur boxer himself, even has sights on staging ‘white collar’ shows in the near future, the likes of which have proved popular in Jersey.

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THE scorecard had escaped our clutches at the sports desk until yesterday, but it made for great reading nonetheless.

Another youngster has scored a ‘ton’ and for it to happen in just a 16-over game makes it even more impressive.

His name is Lucas Barker, of St Pierre B, and his knock included 17 fours and a six.