GFC face their ‘biggest game’
‘IT’S the biggest game we have ever had.’
The words of Guernsey FC manager Tony Vance, who is under no illusions as to the importance of tomorrow’s massive relegation six-pointer when Greenwich Borough visit Footes Lane.
‘Ultimately it can define our season, which has slipped into frustration but absolute realism,’ Vance added.
‘If we lost, it does not mean the end, but it would put a huge dent in our chances of staying up. If we win, or at least stop them from winning, it puts us in a stronger position.
‘It’s the closest thing we will have to a Muratti in terms of a one-off game where something huge is at stake.’
The Green Lions are now only above the Borough on goal difference after the bottom side picked up an unlikely 1-1 draw at Bostik South East leaders Cray Wanderers a week ago to join GFC on 28 points, although tomorrow’s visitors have played a game more than their hosts.
When the two sides met in mid-September, the Green Lions suffered a 4-0 defeat, but Vance expects to see a totally different Greenwich Borough outfit tomorrow, albeit one that provides his side with a tough challenge.
‘Since then they have had two new managers and two new teams – classic of this level of football.
‘With the situation they are in, they signed seven new players to try and get them out of it, so they will be athletic, quick and it is going to be a battle.
‘The test is there and I’m looking forward to it because it’s down to who wants it more.
‘That’s one of the areas of the game we need to develop. Technically we are up there with a lot of teams in this league and we play better football than a lot of them, but one thing a lot of “Guerns” can lack is that mental and physical strength to compete.
‘We are playing athletes who, in a lot of cases, have grown up in tough surroundings whereas our Guernsey comfort zone does not give us that grounding and we have to develop it.’
Vance faces an anxious wait to see who out of GFC’s Island U21 contingent will be available to face Greenwich Borough after their Ambassadeur Bowl endeavours this afternoon at Springfield.
Charlton Gauvain, Thomas Dodds and Will Fazakerley will all be in action in Jersey as Guernsey look to retain the trophy.
‘The bonus is that our game is on Sunday – it could have been worse, we might have had to play on the same day [as the U21 Muratti],’ said Vance.
However, he admitted that he is already planning to be without Gauvain.
‘I don’t think he is currently in good enough physical shape to come through two games in two days.
‘Also, Doddsy will be playing a pivotal role for the under-21s so we’ll have to see what that takes out of him.’
Whatever match-day squad he is able to field, Vance has called upon the GFC fans to make the difference for his side in a game of such magnitude.
‘My message to the Guernsey football fraternity and supporters is if they can come down, we would be grateful for their support.
‘We used to have huge numbers when we were winning a few years ago and it would be good if those sorts of numbers could come back, because this is a really big game of football.’
. GFC v. Greenwich Borough kicks off at 2pm today at Footes Lane.