Stronger squad puts Rangers on front foot

AFTER an indifferent couple of years, Paul Ockleford admits this season is getting him ‘excited’ as Rangers look to propel themselves back up the Priaulx table.

AFTER an indifferent couple of years, Paul Ockleford admits this season is getting him ‘excited’ as Rangers look to propel themselves back up the Priaulx table.

The black-and-reds comfortably have the league’s longest-serving coach in Ockleford, who has been in charge nearly five years and has had some notable highs in that time.

These include winning the Guernsey FA Cup and a finish in a top-three Wheway league position, aided in large part by the brilliance of Ross Allen.

Since Allen’s, and indeed Jacques Isabelle’s, departure to Guernsey FC two seasons ago, consistency is what Ockleford’s men have lacked and it is something he is willing to admit.

‘We have had a couple of years that haven’t been great, although ironically I still really enjoyed coaching last year and have so far in pre-season,’ he said.

‘In that time, we have proven that we can compete with anybody and beat pretty much any team on the island when we have our best XI out on any given day.

‘Unfortunately, our squad depth hasn’t been great and we have struggled on occasions with injuries and unavailabilities, but I think that is changing now.

‘We have had around the mid-20 mark to most training sessions and for the first time in a long time, I have selection decisions to make and have to leave very good players out.