Guernsey Press

Listen: Games gold the aim as men's basketball training squad named

Fed up of being the proverbial bridesmaids, Adam Farish insists there is no room for sentiment in the quest to strike gold at this summer’s Island Games.

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Farish's side have finished fourth at the last three Island Games. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost)

The Guernsey men’s coach revealed it was ‘bitter sweet’ to name a training squad of 16 because the excitement is building but so many players had been in contention.

The group will be trimmed to a final 12 by the end of April and their goal is improve on three consecutive fourth-place finishes in front of a home crowd at Beau Sejour in July.

‘People talk about a medal, but there’s just one colour I’m interested in this year that’s for sure,’ said Farish on the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast.

  • Listen to a full interview with Guernsey men's coach Adam Farish on this week's Guernsey Press Sport Podcast, supported by Utmost.

His squad contains a couple of teenagers in Blake Carre and Saul Falla as well as plenty of experienced heads, including Jason Hooper, who has made a remarkable comeback this season from a back injury many expected to end his career.

‘It’s remarkable really. From the conversations I’d had with him… I didn’t think he’d make it back and I guess if you bet against Hoops, he’s going to prove you wrong because that’s the sort of guys he is – he’s stubborn and determined,’ said Farish of a player he described as ‘probably Guernsey’s greatest ever’.

‘It’s a real bonus to have him back.’

Jason Hooper has returned from a career-threatening back injury this season and has made the training squad of 16 for the Island Games. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31705447)

However, on a more general note, the coach added that he is prepared to be ruthless when it comes to leaving out some high-profile names.

‘Home Games, I don’t care who you are, you could be my mum, I’m cutting you,’ he said.

‘They know it and if anything, they’re coming to me. I won’t name names, but a couple of senior players have come to me and said “look, should I be here, am I here on merit, am I here because of our relationship because we’ve known each other for years, am I holding other people up, am I getting in people’s way?” I say back to them “what would I do if you were?” and they say “yeah, fair enough, you’d cut me”.

‘So it is the opposite, it’s them asking me, I don’t need tell them that.

‘Everybody who’s there is there on merit because of the work rate they’ve put in and I think they can contribute.’

Guernsey men’s training squad:

Aaron Walden (captain), Matt Sawbridge, Max Hamon, Jason Hooper, Martin Yabsley, Mike Beausire, Pete Beausire, Dan Marriott, Jason Hull, Blake Carre, Saul Falla, Nico Robinson, Callum Le Moignan, Shek Sesay, James Alderton, Jim Rowe.