The future is looking bright
Saturday 2nd March 2013, 2:30PM GMT.
NOTHING moves on without some degree of a gamble.
For decades, football backed off a punt for fear of the unknown – but not anymore it doesn’t.
The prevarication is over. And football, first sparked into life by the Green Lions, is now bounding along in belated terms of youth development – with first the Steve Sharman-inspired High Performance Pathway and, now, the island’s first unofficial ‘university’ of football.
The Guernsey College Football Academy can only be a win-win for the game here, and while it may not produce instant dividends it can greatly help the regeneration of senior club sides, keep more players in the game and, for the very best, feed a Guernsey FC squad that will need revitalising at some stage.
Tony Vance will, I’m, sure, have one eye on the exciting talent spread across the island in the 13-to-15
age-bracket, because by the time they come through to senior football many of the GFC stars of today – men such as skipper Sam Cochrane, the phenomenally consistent Dom Heaume, and winger Dave Rihoy – may have started to think that the constant grind of weekend football, much of it away from home, is too much of a burden.
All three are at the peak of their careers, but as some of those outstanding under-14s hit the senior ranks, they will be into their thirties and wanting, I guess, to ease down.
The new ‘school of footy’, as some might call it, will fully complement the work that the island’s domestic clubs continue. And that the best players will get to play UK academy or college sides on a regular basis, will provide a tougher testing ground than the GFA development leagues riddled by player imbalances.
If GFC was the most exciting developmental tool the local game has seen in a century, then the GCFA promises to run it mightily close.
Fair play, I say, to Tony Vance for believing in it passionately enough to get the project off the ground, and also the GFA and Education for backing it every inch of the way.
Also, the sponsor, Lancaster Trustees, whose very significant financial contribution ensures that when the academy welcomes its first recruits in September, they will find the scene no different to many of those academies sucking up the footballing talent the other side of the water.
I SMELL burning rubber and oil in the air.
A motorsport season is just around the corner and Inside Track can reveal there will be an exciting additional event this summer to get the competitive juices of bike and car racers flowing.
Officially, the event – another hillclimb – remains under wraps but we know the course will provide an exciting new challenge on a smooth section of road in pleasant surroundings and be 600m in length, fractionally less than Le Val des Terres.
I MUST admit being in trigued and more than a tad annoyed by comments emanating from the Jersey Sports Council’s Hugh Raymond this week.
As Jersey launched its green paper on the state and future of its sport, Raymond, known locally for his link to
tennis, made what I’d consider, and I’m pretty sure Stuart Falla would agree, an astonishing claim with regard to how things work over here.
‘The Guernsey Sports Commission seems to be just working well for the big sports.
‘The lesser sports struggle.’
What are you talking about man?
This is inane nonsense Mr Raymond – who also added: ‘I wouldn’t want to see this happen in Jersey and the lesser sports lose their voice.’
I suggest he casts a look at the Sports Commission’s website and takes a peep at the extent of its reach, which not only caters for dozens of sports but is also baling out our Education in terms of developing basic sport in primary schools where there is rarely any expertise.
I find the comments rich from someone
connected to as antiquated an organisation as the Jersey Sports Council.
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