Guernsey Press

‘Lap up the opportunity’ - Guernsey ready to welcome back senior Muratti football

‘Excitement should be at fever pitch’ when the Muratti Vase final returns to Footes Lane for the first time in four years tomorrow.

Guernsey's men and women have both been training at Footes Lane this week with the two matches set to be played at the same venue on the same day for the first time ever. (Pictures by Luke Le Prevost)

That is the view of Guernsey men’s head coach Colin Fallaize, who has decades of Muratti experience as both a player and coach and still calls the occasion ‘the best and the biggest’ which he is looking forward to ‘tremendously’.

‘I’m going to lap it up for the opportunity that it is and I hope every player for both islands does that in the very best way,’ said Fallaize on the Guernsey Press Football Podcast Muratti special.

Guernsey are aiming for a first Muratti Vase victory since 2017, having lost last year’s edition 1-0 at Springfield after two years of no competition due to the pandemic.

  • Podcast: Hear full interviews from both Guernsey camps on our Muratti preview special

Fallaize reported that the squad are in ‘decent nick’ with no major injury concerns, despite the vast majority having endured a long Isthmian South Central campaign playing for the Green Lions.

‘Yeah, it’s been a tough season, but that’s how you produce tough players,’ he said.

‘That’s one of the things about what’s happening in Channel Islands football at the minute, the level that people are performing at, both Guernsey and Jersey, is a much higher, demanding type of football.

‘I for one think that’s it’s producing a tougher type of player, and that’s what we want. We spent many years in our comfort zones, and we still have our comfort zones in local football, I’m sure Jersey have their own little comfort zones too, but tough season in the UK, that’s the makings of a tougher breed of player, so I like to think that’s what we’re bringing to the table on Saturday.’

Meanwhile, new Guernsey women’s head coach Anna Gauvain revealed that her squad are prepared as much as possible considering the recent management changes and they are excited to play a Muratti at the same venue and the same day as the men for the first time.

‘We’ve got a mix of players who have experienced Murattis before and we’ve also got some very new players, but they are exciting, they are young, they are fit and they want to do well and they’ve integrated really well over the last couple of weeks, taken on board what we’ve said and they are all willing to give it a go and see what we can do on the day,’ she said.

‘The occasion will be great, but we are here to play football … we really want them to concentrate on the football on the day.

‘Take in a little bit of the atmosphere, but as soon as they step over the line, we want them to play and express themselves and put on a performance for their crowd.’

The women’s match kicks off at Footes Lane at 10.30am, the men’s at 3pm.