Guernsey Press

Black and Merris name first Guernsey squad ahead of Muratti semi-final

Guernsey will be well represented by the Priaulx League when they face Alderney in the Muratti semi-final on Saturday.

Vale Rec centre-back Brad O’Regan is among the Priaulx League players named in the Guernsey squad. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32946130)

While eight Guernsey FC regulars will make the trip to Mount Hale, including in-form stars Matt Loaring and Charlton Gauvain, the new Island men’s team managerial duo of Ryan-Zico Black and Dave Merris have also turned to players shining at domestic league level as they look to book their place in the final against Jersey at Springfield in May.

League leaders Vale Rec are represented by Brad O’Regan and Jacob Masterton-Pipet while there are a trio of Northerners in River Marsh, Archie Drillot and Keene Domaille.

Sylvans also have three representatives in goalkeeper Nick Batiste, James Ravenscroft and youngster Zach Gilman, who is joined by his Island U18 teammate Zac Batiste of Rangers.

  • Listen to a full interview with joint Guernsey men's manager Dave Merris on this week’s GP Football Podcast

Rovers forward Max Simpson-Cohen is the other Priaulx League regular in the squad.

Joint manager Merris admitted that choosing a squad while also taking into account the fact that GFC are away at Uxbridge on Saturday as well as having a game tonight against Hanworth Villa at Footes Lane.

‘Obviously the Alderney game is massively important, but we’ve also got to think about not leaving Tony [Vance] with nobody to play with on the Saturday, so that’s probably been the biggest challenge,’ he said on this week’s Guernsey Press Football Podcast.

‘And just being mindful of lads with picking up any injuries, any kind of tiredness going into the Alderney game. We’ve got to have that thought process as well, to be honest, so it’s been a bit tricky.’

However, Merris emphasised that he has been very impressed by the players from outside the GFC ranks who have been involved with the Island squad.

‘We’ve had a fair number of training sessions with the lads – some have been obviously knocked on the head because of the weather we’ve had, which has put a damper on it – but the lads have been brilliant, to be honest, very engaged, exactly what we want to kind of be like. They’ve been outstanding.’

When it came down to the final selection, Merris added that experience of playing in the Muratti semi-final ‘helps massively’ for the biennial encounter at the Arsenal Ground.

‘We’ve got lads that have played there numerous times, not just Muratti but obviously Priaulx level as well. Having that knowledge and that mindset of what it’s going to be like is definitely what we’ve looked at and considered within the squad we’re picking.’

With Alderney Nomads having won their last two home games in the Priaulx League, beating Bels and St Martin’s, Guernsey know not to take them lightly either.

‘It completely changes when you put a Muratti on the table too,’ said Merris.

‘Do not rest on your laurels when you go out there and give them the absolute most respect. They’ve picked up some great results at home, so we’re going to be concentrating, focused on the result and hopefully getting into the final.’

Guernsey squad

Josh Addison, Nick Batiste, Dave Rihoy, Bradley O’Regan, Jamie Dodd, Jacob Masterton-Pipet, River Marsh, Matt Loaring, Zach Gilman, Thomas Dodds, Brandon Wallace, Charlton Gauvain, Keene Domaille, Zac Batiste, Archie Drillot, James Ravenscroft, Max Simpson-Cohen, David Merris.