LISTEN: Inter-league game and CI ‘Champions League’ among ideas put to clubs
An inter-league match pitting the best of the Priaulx against the Jersey Combination and a ‘Channel Islands Champions League’ involving the top four clubs from both islands are among ideas being investigated to enhance local football.
Coming off the back of conversations held around the last Muratti final, the Guernsey Football League Management have sounded out clubs about a few suggestions designed to improve standards and increase appeal.
‘Perhaps top of the list would be an inter-league fixture between the Priaulx League representative side and a Jersey Combination representative side,' said GFLM chairman Andy Robert on the latest Guernsey Press Football Podcast.
'That is for everybody who’s playing locally and not part of the higher echelons of Guernsey FC and Jersey Bulls at that competition.
Listen to the full interview with GFLM chairman Andy Robert on this week’s Guernsey Press Football Podcast
‘We're also looking perhaps at an over-35s inter-insular, which there seems to be quite a lot of appetite for around and about.
‘Then maybe, but perhaps a bit further down the line and a lot more work to be done on it, would be trying to see if we can get an inter-island club competition up and running.
‘We put it out there to clubs locally and we wanted to see if there was an appetite for these things – there was.
'So we were charged with going away and finding the detail and talking to officials at association level, which we’ve done, and they’ve all had some information.
‘We do need to be very mindful and respectful that there are historic things in place.
'Everybody loves the Muratti, we love going to see Murattis and hopefully we can come away with the win. But we’ve got to be mindful of other competitions as well and we don’t want anything that we’re trying to do here to impinge on anything of that ilk.’
Robert emphasised that cost and connectivity are among the main factors to be considered, although he added that an inter-island club competition with group matches progressing into knockout stages might prove more workable than current cup competitions due to structured transportation with carriers.
‘Certainly there’s quite a push and a desire to try and create some challenge for the local footballers that perhaps hasn’t been there.
‘If we can throw in some extra representative games at that level, then all of a sudden they’re trying to move up the ladder a little bit.
‘We raised the ideas at a clubs meeting last month and said, “this is some ideas that we have, would you like us to investigate them further?”
'And the general feeling was, “yes, please do”. So that’s what we’ve done.'
Robert said that GFLM has spoken to the Guernsey and Jersey FAs and had no immediate push back.
'But we are mindful of what's in place and has been for a long time, practicalities and cost, and the desire to get it done. Let's just see if it's out there.'