Free Guernsey FC tickets get young fans on the ball
YOUNG people have the chance to give support to their local community football team as hundreds of tickets are given away to schools and football clubs.
The Youth Partner Scheme was established in 2017 and aims to make the Guernsey FC matchday experience more accessible to children and young people.
Each ticket entitles one child or young person to attend with an adult for free.
‘Throughout the season every primary and secondary school in Guernsey will have a match. We also have allocated matches to the island football club,’ said GFC director Nic Legg.
He said as well as the free match, youngsters and adults will be able to come to two more games for half price.
‘They also receive a voucher entitling them to £5 off a replica shirt,’ he said.
This week, GFC manager Tony Vance and star striker Ross Allen visited Hautes Capelles School to give away 100 tickets to the club’s first home match of the season on Sunday.
‘I think it’s fantastic and it was really popular last year,’ said Mr Vance.
‘It gets more people interested in the club, what it’s all about is the youngsters. When we go into schools you get to see the kids excited and motivated,’ he said.
‘When I was growing up, I supported a team in the Premier League but it was very expensive to go and see matches. I would love to see young supporters grow up as GFC fans now,’ said Mr Allen. ‘I would have loved as a kid to have matches on my doorstep every week.’
Hautes Capelles head of PE and Year 6 teacher Shannon Higgins said the chance for the pupils to experience supporting their home team was important.
‘Especially at the moment because we are pushing for girls to play more football, even the ones that play netball will also play football.
‘We have four football clubs, from the main boys down to training clubs over the summer holidays.’
Children who participate in football were offered the tickets first before it was opened up to the whole school.
Aspire youth zone coordinator Ollie Dowding said it started because they wanted to reach out to the community.
‘Guernsey FC started allocating each fixture to a school or local football club.’
Mr Dowding said it was a chance to encourage the next generation to support and enjoy football.
Sponsor of the initiative, corporate services and accounting firm Aspire, even gives out posters of footballers from GFC for aspiring youngsters to put on their bedroom walls.
‘We may not be as famous as footballers in the Premier League, but we are something young people might aspire to, to think they could one day play for Guernsey with GFC,’ said Mr Allen.
. Sunday’s match against VCD Athletic kicks off at noon.