THEY avoided their arch-rivals Jersey, but Guernsey still face a tricky task to qualify from the group stage in their NatWest Island Games gold medal defence this summer.
Yesterday saw the 16-team draw for the June tournament in Gotland, with Steve Sharman’s men one of the four seeds after winning gold in 2015. That meant they avoided fellow seeds Menorca, Isle of Man and hosts Gotland, but have drawn – on paper – the next best team – Shetland.
As well as the 2005 winners and semi-finalists last time out, Guernsey will also have to meet former finalists Aland and the easier challenge of Saaremaa.
Aland and Saaremaa were also in the same group last time out, finishing third and fourth respectively, with Aland edging the head-to-head encounter 2-1.
After each side has played three games in three days – starting on Sunday 25 June – only the group winners progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on 29 June before the following day’s final.
As for Jersey, who were knocked out in the group stage on home soil, they will face familiar faces as they have been drawn in Group A against Alderney, as well as Menorca and Orkney.
Group A: Menorca, Orkney, Alderney, Jersey.
Group B: Gotland. Froya, Greenland, Western Isles.
Group C: Guernsey, Aland, Saaremaa, Shetland Isles.
Group D: Isle of Man, Hitra, Ynys Mon, Falkland Isles.
- More in Tuesday's Guernsey Press.