Captain Cockers right to speak out
Saturday 9th February 2013, 2:30PM GMT.
HOW refreshing to see the Jersey football team management come out publicly in support of a Muratti switch and, in an instant, kick a dollop of mud in the eye of those who mischievously were wanting a club v. country row.
And, in reality, it is not even that, because, as Sam Cochrane quite rightly put it this week via Twitter, the Green Lions are not a club, they are an island team – ‘Guernsey’ being the key word in their title.
It was high time an influential island player came out to defend the Green Lions. As Cochrane (pictured) again reminded critics via Twitter, the extent of commitment his team give to community projects and events is considerable. Yesterday’s Vauvert Primary School 24-hour football marathon for example, is the 260th community event GFC have attended in 18 months.
There is clearly a time to keep quiet and a time to respond on delicate football issues and GFC have been masterly, thus far, in remaining silent in the face of vindictive and often sly, green-eyed opposition.
I just hope they play carefully on the whole issue of Footes Lane and the sudden thought that one way around the drainage issues slowly sinking GFC’s season, is to tear up the grass and replace it with a 3G all-weather pitch.
Nobody should forget that Footes Lane is, fundamentally, an athletics facility and while Guernsey does not have a great culture in terms of field events, when compared to distance runners and sprinters, discus, javelin and hammer throwing remain a key part of the sport.
As the cutely named ‘Yifter the Shifter’ (a tribute to the legendary Ethiopian runner Miruts Yifter) posted on ‘Your Shout’ this week, ‘the vast majority seem to forget this is primarily a track and field facility, and the only one on the island at that’.
He adds, with a large degree of pertinence: ‘Sure, it has become somewhat a multi-use facility with GFC and GRFC using it, but, it is not ‘their’ decision to make – regarding artificial pitches or anything else.
‘In regards to the actual surface, throwers need to have a grass surface so a javelin can pierce the soil, or failing that, make a clear mark in order to be measured. The same goes for the hammer and discus.
After already witnessing the disregard for the track – mostly due to the fault of Culture and Leisure, and not GFC or the fans – it upsets me that most people are completely blinded when it comes to sport, and think that football takes priority over any other sport.’
Well said, Yifter.
What will happen now?
My guess is that GFC with the aid of a now fully alert Culture and Leisure, will get through this season, the debate will fizzle out on political and financial grounds, and the search will quietly continue for a permanent home for the Lions, one which matches the ambitions of this fine club that continues to show remarkable resilience in the face of sniping and, on the playing side, the loss of so many players.
It was only when searching the Green Lions’ website this week, I caught a glimpse of the club’s official squad picture from last season.
From that line-up, which was incomplete with several others unavailable, it underlined the talent which has been lost due to injuries, professional clubs, or others simply going travelling.
How the squad could do now with the likes of Luke Winch, Ben Coulter, Chris Mauger, Rhys Jordan, Jason Winch, Ryan-Zico Black, Angus Mackay, Matt Warren and Tom de la Mare (playing in Belgium).
It is, all things considered, remarkable how well the side have performed given those absentees.
YESTERDAY’S ‘GP’ exclusive that a regenerated King George V Field will, after all, include a full-size pitch, floodit at that too, should be the answer to the game’s problems on finding sufficient pitches to complete a GFA and social league fixture list.
In theory, it will be available for us from dawn till after dusk, and you like to think that the game, as a whole, will fully embrace the new facility which will be run by the GFA at prices they set.
I am sure it will be magnificent and be perfectly capable of staging a GFC match ‘in extremis’, a term used by Stuart Falla when referring to the possibility of National League rugby being played on it to get a game on.
Sadly, the English FA probably won’t see it the same way and will argue that it does not meet the criteria to stage a game on the grounds of a lack of covered seating.
Well, perhaps some mates of mine and I can help on that one.
We will borrow a few plastic chairs out of the main KGV clubhouse and stand over you with golf umbrellas for the course of the 90 minutes.
Ask nicely, and we will also bring down some curtains and drape them over the new 5m high fencing, so nobody can get a peek at the action.
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