Guernsey Press

GFA Cup final: North looking to shed their ‘bridemaids’ tag

North boss Jose Alvarez says it is time for his side to ‘stop being the bridesmaids’ as they prepare for tonight’s FA Cup final against their Grand Fort Road neighbours, Vale Rec.

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North won the most recent Grand Fort Road derby but Vale Rec are aiming for a fourth trophy of the season tonight. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33103197)

The chocolate-and-blues were narrowly beaten by Rovers in last year’s final and finished second in the Priaulx League for the third year running.

Rec have already secured three trophies so far this campaign and were most recently crowned the Channel Islands champions for the first time in over 35 years.

‘We’re confident – we have been on such a good run in the last few months and if we can perform at that level again I’m sure we can get the result,’ said Alvarez ahead of tonight’s clash at the Track.

‘We know how tough it is going to be, though, as they have had one of the best seasons ever in Guernsey football and deserved to win the league.

‘They’re so difficult to play against because they’re so physical and they do not need the ball to score.

‘They are the best team in the island at soaking up pressure and on the counter-attack they are devastating because of how many players they have that can cause problems.’

North were successful against Vale Rec in the most recent Grand Fort Road derby back in March, as they came out 3-0 winners at Northfield to inflict just a second league defeat of the season on their rivals.

‘We are not focused on that result at all, it will not influence our thinking,’ said Alvarez.

‘What we are focusing on, though, is our form since January, as the guys have done fantastically well.

‘We’re focused on ourselves, and I am confident for this one.’

The North manager confirmed that his side would be ‘more or less the same’ as the semi-final against Rovers last week.

‘We have to check on some guys who were involved in the Muratti, and we have suspensions and quite a bit of unavailability, so we will work with what we have and should be able to put out a similar side to that Rovers game,’ he said.

Vale Rec coach Mark Romeril said he expects a ‘tough’ game against the in-form North.

‘They’ll be going all out to win this one, and we’re not in the best shape after having had five of our guys involved with the Muratti and training squad,’ he said.

‘Our main concern at the moment is Brad [O’Regan] as he took a nasty tackle in the semi-final and that cost him a Muratti place, but hopefully he gives us the all clear for tomorrow.

‘I have been told that no team has ever won these four trophies in one season before, but to be honest we’re just treating this as a one-off game.

‘The fact it’s against North also gives it that extra spice since it is the derby, and I think it’s 50/50 on who wins it.

‘We have had such an unbelievable season – the lads have exceeded expectations beyond belief and will give everything they can to secure trophy number four.’

  • The Guernsey FA Cup final kicks off at 7.30pm today at the Track.