GFC boss relaxed on future CBs

TONY VANCE admits he will continue to need Guernsey to produce old-style battling centre-backs to suit the needs of Isthmian League football, but has no long-term concerns over the position within the local player pathway.

New man at the top: Jacob Fallaize is one centre-half who has developed enormously in the past 12 months. Beyond his expected return to his US studies Vance expects him to be a GFC centre-half for years to come.
(Picture by Martin Gray, 29418364)
New man at the top: Jacob Fallaize is one centre-half who has developed enormously in the past 12 months. Beyond his expected return to his US studies Vance expects him to be a GFC centre-half for years to come. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29418364)

On the day he is featured as No. 18 in the All-Time Top 100 countdown, the Guernsey FC manager and GFA Academy director said he understood comments from Tom Strawbridge, Rovers and GFC centre-back, when he highlighted the lack of heir-apparents, while speaking as a guest on the Guernsey Press Football Podcast.

In an era of ball-playing defenders and teams playing out from the back, Strawbridge questioned when the next Jamie Dodd and his like would be coming through.

Vance spoke highly of the progress being made by Jacob Fallaize at Sylvans and said yesterday: ‘In terms of centre-backs, where I think he was coming from was where was the next John Nobes, Kevin Graham, Tom Strawbridge type of defenders?

‘But being involved in the player pathway and seeing all the kids in the Soccer Schools and Academy, I can tell you there’s some talented individuals coming through.

‘So I’m not concerned. There’s some real talent coming through.’

He said it was best not to programme players to a specific position so early.

‘You don’t want to buttonhole 12-year-olds and the way the game is going, people are developing footballers to suit the style of the game. For instance, a modern goalkeeper is asked to be a player and 80% of their game is about passing. But in 10 years’ time it might all go back to long-ball and we will change again.’

As for the Green Lions’ prospective return, Vance is readying himself.

‘There is now more than a glimmer of hope and I’ve started thinking about it,’ he said while wondering how despite all the financial worries surrounding non-league level football, a rival club can afford to sign up their manager on a full-time two-year contract.

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