Guernsey Press

Farish calls on ‘young guns’ to see off Jersey

Adam Farish is calling on the young guns to extend Guernsey’s dominant run in the men’s basketball inter-insular.

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Lucas Ozanne is among the new caps for Guernsey. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33136106)

While the likes of captain Aaron Walden and returning star Jason Hooper will provide the Sarnians with a strong backbone at the annual spectacle, which takes place in Jersey on Saturday 18 May, a young and transitional nature otherwise characterises the squad announced to the players this week.

For a start, there are four U21s in the team – Saul Falla, Blake Carre, Harry Gent and Ed Miller. All are new to playing Jersey at senior level, though Falla and Carre were in last year’s Island Games squad.

‘That’s new for me,’ Guernsey men’s coach Farish said.

‘I don’t think we’ve had that many U21s competing for time since I’ve been Island coach.’

Ciaran Hamilton and Lucas Ozanne, both of whom are still relatively young, are the other two of the four new caps announced.

‘The young guys bring a tonne of energy,’ Farish added.

In particular, the long-term coach has highlighted point guard Ozanne’s potential to ‘bring chaos on defence’.

He fills the position left vacant by an injured Matt Sawbridge, who is one of the big misses in the squad.

Influential big man Nico Robinson is unavailable due to holiday commitments.

Kaine Hyde narrowly missed the cut, while bright prospect Harry Heaume will not feature at senior level, instead being tipped to excel for the U17s and U21s.

‘I think the cliche is that it’s a young team,’ the Guernsey coach said.

‘It’s going to be quite transitional.

‘They’ve got lots of energy, and we do have the balance of youth and experience.

‘We do have the stalwarts, those guys that have been around a few years, and we have got Jason Hooper, who looks like he is back to his very best.

‘To have him back – our best player of all time – is fantastic.’

Long shackled by injury, Hooper missed last year’s comeback inter-insular and instead focused his efforts on the Island Games, so this will be his first ‘inters’ in five years.

The men’s inter-insular is a match that Guernsey have not lost since 2012.

Due to this squad’s transitional nature, Farish admitted that this could be Jersey’s best chance of an upset in recent years.

‘But I’m still very confident,’ he added.

‘We’ve lost the likes of Shek [Sesay] and Martin [Yabsley] – those are some major players – but the quality of those coming up beneath them is so high.’

Squad: Aaron Walden (C), Jason Hooper, Max Hamon, Dan Marriott, Michael Beausire, James Alderton, Ciaran Hamilton, Saul Falla, Blake Carre, Harry Gent, Ed Miller, Lucas Ozanne.