Island squad set for a full year's sabbatical

DAVE JEFFERY could have been a world champion by now.

Instead, having missed out on his chance to play on the international stage in his winter sport when the bowls World Championships in Bristol were called off last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, he is now facing up to not having either a men’s or seniors golf Inter-Insular to look forward in 2020.

‘I was supposed to go to Bristol for the [bowls] World Championships in April – I’ve been denied my first world title,’ Jeffery joked.

When it comes to golf, in which he is the non-playing captain of both the Guernsey men’s and senior men’s teams and oversaw a memorable Challenge Trophy win last year, Jeffery was understandably disappointed with the news that all this year’s Inter-Insulars have been cancelled, but he again managed to inject some humour into the situation.

‘Personally I don’t think it would have hurt to have waited a bit longer to make that decision, but I acknowledge that, certainly from the travelling team’s point of view, arrangements have to be made and we don’t know when the borders will open or what hotels will be available,’ he said on Tuesday.

‘I informed the squads – men’s and seniors – yesterday and a few of the guys were surprised the decision had been made now and felt that perhaps they could have given it six-eight weeks to see where we are then, but they are understanding of the situation.

‘I won’t mention any names, but one of the first replies was “great to retain the trophy for another year” and someone said “we should get Mick [Marley] to engrave the trophy”.’

Jeffery has already discussed the situation with his opposite number in Jersey, Darren Attwood, who ‘completely understands’ why the decision to cancel has been made.

‘It is a shame for him because he was due to be captain around his own course at Grouville,’ said Jeffery, who also revealed that any Guernsey squad sessions will likely be put on hold for this season.

‘To be honest, we will probably not bother with practice sessions or get-togethers with no matches to prepare for.

‘A group of us were planning on going over for the Pallot Bowl – the Royal Jersey GC’s open – this year because we thought it would be good preparation as it is only the week before the Inter-Insular in September.

‘If we do have inter-island travel by then and the fixture is still on, we will probably still look to support it,’ the captain added in the week when the island’s top players should have been playing their first 36-hole ‘major’ of the season, the Piccadilly and Brymay, which would have counted towards the Order of Merit.

  • More in Thursday's Guernsey Press.

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