Guernsey Press

GFA name Zico and Merris as joint island men's managers

They say two heads are better than one and the Guernsey Football Association have adopted that mantra by appointing joint managers for the Island men’s team.

Ryan-Zico Black, left, and Dave Merris have been announced as the new joint managers of the Guernsey men's team. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32718724)

Ryan-Zico Black and Dave Merris are joining forces to take charge of the representative squad, with the short-term target being to regain the Muratti Vase for the first time since 2017, but also with longer-term ambitions such as future Island Games and ultimately installing an ethos through Guernsey football from the seniors right down through the age-groups.

‘Obviously we both have a vast amount of experience playing and coaching wise, so we wouldn’t have applied for the job if the dynamics weren't going to work,’ said Merris, who could still feature as a player, although Black will not.

‘It will be very much joint decisions. There will be coaching staff around us as well, so if there is a decision that we don’t like from each other, there is a third party that we can go towards. That obviously helps with that decision.’

Black added that they hope their side will entertain, but emphasised that success as Island managers comes down to winning matches.

‘Everyone wants to play decent football, attacking football, pressing and being dynamic, so of course that’s what we aim to do,’ he said.

‘But we know that we will be judged on results and ultimately we want Guernsey football to be successful, which means winning.’

Tony Vance and Colin Fallaize had led the Guernsey team in last season’s Muratti final and the subsequent home Island Games campaign, with their successors named following an interview process which included independent interview panellists.

‘I am delighted that the board of directors have been able to appoint joint managers of the calibre of David and Ryan, whose credentials for the role are, in our opinion, unquestionable,’ said GFA chief executive Gary Roberts.

‘We were in the fortunate position of having to consider some excellent applicants and I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who applied for the position.

‘The wealth of experience that David and Ryan bring to the role, both from their careers in professional and non-league football, and more recently within local football, including GFC, is an attribute that we firmly believe will be important in building a successful senior men’s representative team.

‘Both David and Ryan have experience of playing in Muratti matches and within an Island Games tournament, and we firmly believe this experience and knowledge will be invaluable to them as they transition into this new role.’