Green Lions given more time by league

TONY VANCE still harbours lingering hopes of Guernsey FC making their Isthmian South Central division bow in November.

Whereabouts unknown: Callum Stanton is worth 20 points a season, said GFC boss Tony Vance. (Picture by ESA Photos, 30005063)
Whereabouts unknown: Callum Stanton is worth 20 points a season, said GFC boss Tony Vance. (Picture by ESA Photos, 30005063)

But, he admits, even if they are given a green light it will be a very tall order to make up for lost time by playing twice a week throughout the last six months of the season and that it will be a struggle.

On the GP Football Show podcast, Vance confirmed that the Isthmian League were now prepared to extend the window of Covid cancellations by a further month if required, giving GFC added hope that the border restrictions might be dropped to allow non-vaccinated English opponents to fly in and out of the island.

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Vance admits that remains a big ‘if’, but is prepared to believe that it could happen and, if so, his squad must be ready to start their biggest catch-up situation since the 2012-13 season.

That year they were forced into playing 20 games in 35 days after a mixture of weather postponements and cup runs left them with a huge task to gain promotion from the Combined Counties Premier – which they achieved.

At present, South Central sides have played no more than four matches due to the normal early-season FA Cup and FA Vase rounds, but if the Green Lions have to wait until November they will be circa 10 matches adrift.

‘There are rumours that things might change and we need them to change quite quickly.

‘While there is still a thread [of hope] we’ll hang on in there. And while there is that opportunity, we will remain optimistic and all we can try and do is prepare a team as best we can.’

The GFC boss said even if the club are able to play this season, which he is desperate for, fans should not expect too much in terms of results.

‘I am going to be honest, in terms of football on the pitch – yes, I want to return.

‘In terms of the product – no. We need the crowd to buy into it and if we are getting average gates of [only] 500 that will hurt our finances. Football is about results and supporters like to see a winning team.’

The lingering uncertainty of the club’s situation has, said the GFC boss, stopped him actively pursuing the availability of Callum Stanton, the former Bournemouth goalkeeper who became a firm favourite with the Green Lions and played a huge part in keeping them competitive after the retirement of Chris Tardif.

‘The last I heard was he was playing in Dubai.

‘He is worth 20-odd points a season to us.

‘He did indicate a few months ago that he was keen to come back to Guernsey, but that was in the summer.

‘Because of everything I have kind of parked it.’

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