Will GFC need to lean on UK-based?

THE light at the end of the tunnel is there for all to see.

Only 17 months ago Uk based goalkeeper Tom Le Tissier was forced back into GFC colours.
(Picture by ESA Photos,28247358)
Only 17 months ago Uk based goalkeeper Tom Le Tissier was forced back into GFC colours. (Picture by ESA Photos,28247358)

‘Live’ Guernsey sport is around the corner, although that bend may take a few months in passing for some.

But for some clubs the immediate future must be intensely worrying.

We are talking, particularly, Guernsey FC and Raiders.

The worry, in particular, does not surround just funding, but simply having somewhere to play when the 2020-21 seasons get under way way across the water and the real danger that they could be left behind, shut away on a small island, when it does.

Mark Le Tissier, chairman of the Green Lions, admits he would rather not think about it, but I am sure he has worried over a scenario that the Isthmian starts and his team cannot take its place due to being unable to fly in and out of the UK and visiting sides come here.

The nightmare picture will also have been considered by Le Tissier’s opposite number in the oval ball game, Charles McHugh, and those who run Jersey Bulls and Jersey Reds in the sister isle.

In theory, the respective plans and ambitions of all these teams could be wrecked by a long-term lockdown that stops its representatives from getting to the real action.

The hope will be that a start date for their respective leagues will coincide with a lifting of the travel restrictions.

But if it doesn’t...?

Would the Channel Island clubs lose their places in the league they currently sit?

Will the football and rugby authorities take a sympathetic view and simply defer the CI club’s respective positions for a season?

Will the CI clubs have to withdraw and reapply to join the leagues?

It would take a remarkably heartless bunch of individuals to inflict the latter punishment, but at the same time you wouldn’t expect the English leagues to hang around for the Guernsey and Jersey clubs to start their new seasons.

One answer, certainly for the footballers, would be for the clubs to sign on a squad of solely UK-based players for the campaign and ground share somewhere in the south for a season, or until the Channel Islands can welcome in sports teams again.

Indeed, I am sure both Jersey and Guernsey already have a decent number of islanders in the UK, who might consider answering an SOS call from ‘home’.

In GFC terms, perhaps Tom Le Tissier or Kyle De Garis can share the goalkeeping duties, London-based Harry Tobin can play at left-back. Sam Hale centre-back.

Would Bristol City free Alex Scott to play, would City lend us some players full stop?

Then there are the university students. Fin Whitmore is a very handy player, Zac Felbabel too. The cultured defender Christian de Carteret is another uni lad.

In terms of rugby, could Raiders realistically be represented by an off-Island group?

Yes, but as they are playing at a significantly higher level in the pyramid, you might expect it would be so much harder, especially when you consider the greater resources required in a 15-man team game.

In normal circumstances Jordan Reynolds would be working off a first-team squad of 30-plus, as well as the safety net of the St Jacques Vikings group.

And, of course, there is a second Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of GFC and Raiders.

Even if off-island travel is permitted, you can bet the cost of your Garenne Stand seat that there will be no massed crowds permitted for quite a while, meaning both clubs taking a big hit on much-needed revenues.

Worrying days all-round for the Island’s flagship sides.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News