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‘Pathway’ selection is not the only way forward

Inside Track | Published:

THE staging of an FA County Youth Cup tie in Guernsey is a fairly costly exercise.

Fully committed: Charlton Gauvain skippered the U18s side last week and has showed great commitment in attending most Sunday morning training sessions, despite his GFC games schedule. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 23010045)

And whoever picked up the bill for last Saturday’s game against Essex U18s won’t have had any change out of £2k.

These games are important though – worth the expense, which beggars the question: if they are so key to Guernsey’s development, why did the home side have just three outfield subs and take to the field without so many of its better players?

On the evidence of last Saturday’s non-performance, we might as well as hand Jersey the London Channel Islanders Society Trophy now.

It was fairly wretched.

Yet, we have a ‘Pathway’ which should ensure that Guernsey’s finest are best prepared and best developed.

Well, as far as this group is concerned, that’s plainly not happening.

It is little wonder Guernsey were so poor because in an age-group which perhaps requires more in lifestyle guidance than any other, some of the best players don’t want anything to do with the Pathway which, in U18s terms, asked its participants to be ready and keen to go at 9am on a Sunday.

Ahem... excuse me.

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The time may suit the lifestyle of the coach, but never a 16 or 17 year-old, who guard their weekend sleep like they would protect gold bars or a Love Island girlfriend.

Crazy idea – as is the notion that everyone wants to be or should be in an academy to gain island representative recognition.

It’s wrong.

Where were Cameron Gaudion and Thierry Paine from Rovers and Jarod Carrington and Charlie Driscoll from Rangers?

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Paine impressed Chris Tardif sufficiently to be involved in the recent ‘in-house’ trial game. Carrington has long impressed at Priaulx League level.

Why did two others selected for the bench not show on Saturday?

Pathways sound good, but they should never be the sole means of getting to the top.

Control of the individual player seems to be paramount in the second decade of the 21st century, but as Scott found out recently, you can’t control every 17-year-old.

Selection of island sides should always be about competitive performance [i.e. U18s and senior sides], with possessing the right attitude and behavioural levels as a secondary concern. It should not just be about being a good listener and pretty Cruyff turns in training.

n MUCH has been said and written about the newly-released ‘Plan for Sport’.

It was a worthy exercise, even if the vast majority of sports clubs/associations did not give it the time of day in terms of contribution.

But, did it miss a key element in terms of not valuing the sport, as opposed to the individual, at a period in our time when the latter has never had it so good?

Perhaps the sports chose not to involve themselves because they suspected, or knew, it would produce little or nothing to help them.

One sports fan got it right when he contacted the sports desk this week to write: .... ‘as the committee for sport you should be looking after the health of sport, not the health of individuals’.

As he wrote, ‘The two are different. There’s a bit too much for my liking coming out from various quarters about the health benefits to individuals of physical activity in the name of promoting sport.

‘That argument does little for sports like angling, bowls, golf and snooker, where more energy is used up getting to the event than taking part in it. Golf is a great sport yet many top golfers have beer bellies. As someone once said, if golf had been meant to be a physically active sport they’d have introduced tackling.’

No.

Better health, fitness and the fight against obesity, are, of course, the key elements to a better future, but at the same time sports themselves need help to exist – and at a time when the voluntary force is ever shrinking, that’s not so easy.

n GUERNSEY has long had in place a ‘Hall of Fame’ recognising our greats. This week, Jersey finally caught up on that one.

At a grand ceremony staged at Jersey Sports’ inaugural RaceNation Sport and Active Living Awards at the Royal Yacht, seven Caesarean greats were recognised, while a current ‘great’, England netball star Serena Guthrie, won the top award for 2018 – the Sporting Performance of the Year.

Jersey’s ‘magnificent seven’ inductees into the Hall of Fame (only those not still competing at a high level were considered) were golfers Harry Vardon and Tommy Horton along with diver Edythe ‘Dot’ Macready, badminton’s Elizabeth Cann, former England footballer Graeme Le Saux and Olympians Colin Campbell (athletics) and Simon Militis (swimming).

Rob Batiste

By Rob Batiste
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