Saturday, 26 December 2015

Sunday in the (S)park

Last weekend saw something of a goalfest at the ARS, although it's fair to say that the margin of victory was enhanced not only by the, er, clear penalty that made it 1-0 but, also, by the reaction of a few of the Tooting & Mitcham players. If they'd just taken a deep breath and counted to ten before getting on with it the result might well have looked a little more respectable for them.

Highlight of the match, for me anyway, was Craig Young's ballet move before setting up Matt Loaring for the 5th. Craig is one of several that have really upped their game on recent weeks, not through increased effort but applying a bit of thought, keeping it a lot tighter front to back as well as across the pitch.It certainly doesn't hurt that we have a player of the calibre of Ross Allen ploughing a lonely furrow up front until support arrives from midfield. He's been excellent in that role of late and it's surely no coincidence that the goals have been flowing once again.

Far too early to be thinking about play-offs or promotion and neither should we be looking at the form book and assuming any game is going to be easy. Take tomorrow's trip to South Park.

The form book suggests we'll win, especially after the recent win at Worthing with a bare bones squad. The teams know each other quite well and, despite having taken 3 points at the ARS earlier in the season, the hosts will be keen to avenge last season's result at Whitehall Lane when a crazy last few minutes saw us win 7-1.

The weather forecast isn't too bad so the match should be on, although expect a heavy pitch. The squad has picked itself again, with a fair smattering of youth involved in the shape of Robbie Legg, Miles Pengelley and Etienne le Prevost, all of whom have demonstrated they're more than capable of holding their own at this level. Gus Mackay is back as well and the bookies have him at 2-1 on to pick up a yellow within 5 minutes taking the field.

So looking forward to a good contest tomorrow, if you're going check the 'away days' page for news of travel, admission, clubhouse opening etc.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 18 December 2015

From the Bog End to the ARS, with Crapauds to boot

It's a case of Bog End to the ARS tomorrow with Tooting & Mitcham United out for a day trip in what will be unseasonably mild, bordering on warm, conditions. They've not exactly had a stellar season so far but have won the last 2 matches, 3-1 away to Dorking Wanderers followed by a 4-0 home spanking of low flying East Grinstead.

Get your arse down the ARS and the match might even provide a distraction from the ever popular antics of our favourite piece of fuzzy felt, beer swilling Roary the sodding lion. When that's all over the clubs Christmas raffle will be drawn. Chances are you won't win the big cash prize but you might win a return ferry crossing. Or it could be a one way trip or, most likely, neither pf the above.

One of the stories of the week in the Isthmian South was the news that Peacehaven & Telscombe have had to slash their playing budget. The news led to one or two of their three or four supporters bemoaning their inability to compete with certain other clubs in the division paying hundreds a week to certain players. When they won the league at a canter a couple of seasons ago it was all done for peanuts you see. Anyway Brian Wotsisname seems to have disappeared, presumably looking for another Sussex club to return to the comforting embrace of county league football.

Really do have to feel a bit of sympathy for all those at Peacehaven that only ever just wanted and worked for a sustainable community club - hopefully they can keep things together.

Funny story of the week comes from those odd people over the water. Former Jersey FA president Ricky Weir told BBC Jersey that he has no doubt the Crapauds could host international football if their bid to join UEFA is successful. The article then informed us that Gibraltar play qualifying matches in Portugal as their ground doesn't meet UEFA standards, holding just 5,000 spectators.

Then the trumpets came out as Jersey's largest ground, Springfield, holds 7,000 leading Mr Weir to be 'absolutely convinced that Springfield would be the place'. 'There may be some additional enhancements that need to be done' but he's convinced they would happen.

He could be right of course. All it would take is another 3,000+ seats, segregation for visiting supports, lots of secure zones for VIPs, press and so on and so forth. Probably easier to achieve than the failed bid for permission for a 6 foot fence around the place.

Keep it Green

Allez le Verts!!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Worthing, streaming, fencing and one word. Marvellous.

After a bit of huffing and puffing in a match against arguably the strongest team in the league (well they are propping everyone else up) we ran out reasonably comfortable winners against Whitstable a couple of Saturdays ago. Extending an unbeaten run to 4 matches, notching up 10 points from 12, things were looking good.

Going to the 2nd placed but highest scoring team in the league, with what can best be described as a minimalist interpretation of a bare bones squad, the chances of the run continuing didn't look good. Indeed only a swivel-eyed green tinted specs wearing loon (that'll be you Craig!) would have been expecting a point, let alone all three.

On a day when my legs and various other bits (you choose) didn't get going in time to catch an early enough train I had to watch the match the best way I could (thanks Craig!). And what I saw would have warmed the cockles of the coldest heart.

It doesn't seem that long ago, after the defeat at Folkestone as it happens, that I was moaning (not for the first time) about a midfield not keeping in touch with the back four and so on. This is an aspect of our game that has shown signs of improvement of late and yesterday they got it spot on.

The ubiquitous Ross Allen (who's not far off getting his mojo back) up front on his tod with support from the midfield. But not all of them. Which meant that when Worthing got themselves into some semblance of order in the second half they didn't, or couldn't, create much to concern Chris Tardif.

All credit to the players and all credit to the coaching staff. In a word, marvellous.

A performance and result that made me smile almost as much as another bit of Channel Islands football news made me PMSL. Anyway, piss myself laughing I did when I read of the Crapauds applying for membership of UEFA.

I leaked a little bit more seeing some of the comments from inhabitants of that place. Some of them seem to think it'll be good for Jersey, you know tourism and the like.

The reality is that, even if UEFA change the rules and let them in, it won't bring a single visitor to Jersey unless somebody stumps up the £20m+ necessary to build a stadium that meets UEFA's minimum standards for international football. They'd also need a site and planning permission. As consent wasn't forthcoming for a 6 foot fence around Springfield they'd be better off focussing on a Jersey FC and joining the English pyramid. Won't get far without that fence though.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Welsh shellfish and beans for Andre......

Whitstable Town head to the rock tomorrow and, let's face it, we should be able to dish out a bit of a drubbing. Firmly rooted at the bottom of the league their recent form is played 6 lost 6. So it will be easy won't it?

The word of caution is they've got a new management team who made their first signing earlier in the week, a chap by the name of Dean Grant who's had spells at Dover, Margate and Ramsgate among others.

OK, just one new player but a new management team and that can be enough to stir things up a little bit so not a match that calls for complacency (not that complacency is a trait of Messrs Vance and Fallaize).

Ignore the form guide and resist the temptation to immerse yourselves in Guernsey's world class retail experience. Get yer arse to the ARS instead and get behind the the lads - a win could push us into fabled land of the play-off place.

If you're really lucky the visit of Whitstable might give you the opportunity of meeting a pissed up Welshman aching to start a fight. A rare opportunity indeed.

While your about it the club is collecting food bank items tomorrow. Non-perishable goods that will be distributed to people in need. After all, not everyone suckles from the breast of the finance industry and associated activities. So please support your local estate agents and give generously....

Seriously though, this is a good initiative and worthy off support, go to the club's website for more info.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Milestone and more...

The last week or so has seen a couple of contrasting performances at the ARS. OK, my view was somewhat limited, being a couple of hundred miles away at the time, but the midweek showing against Herne Bay seemed (and I'm now applying positive spin) a little lacklustre.

Saturday saw the visit of Dorking Wanderers who have risen from somewhere to be Dorking's premier club these days. Some would say they're more Box Hill than Dorking but none would dispute they're having a very good first season in the Isthmian South. And they probably went to the ARS expecting 3 points.

The first half performance was positive, in more than one sense. The second half was different, although still positive in so far as we dug in as a team to keep them out.

The match has made the national media for Ross Allen passing the 200 goal mark. Rocco, to me at any rate, has not performed consistently at anywhere near the standard he's capable of this season. He's still the leading scorer in the league though and he is THE player that truly worries the opposition.

Ross went off early in the second half to be replaced by Robbie Legg. Not seen much of him but I have heard a bit from people back home. He's got a lot of talent but don't expect him to be too effective operating up front on his own any time soon. Patience will be rewarded as, with a fair wind on the injury front, this lad will do well.

It's not all about the strikers though. If Chris Tardif hadn't pulled off a number of excellent saves, and the team as a whole not kept reasonably 'close', the result could have been different.

More on tactics another day but I woke up on Sunday to find Tony Vance staring at me out of the pages of the Non League Paper. A full page article which didn't contain much that GFC fans weren't already aware of. Except, perhaps, that last Summer the Isthmian League asked the FA to move us to the Southern League.

Also on Saturday a Priaulx League XI lost 1-0 to a Southern Amateur League XI, after extra time, in the FA Inter League Cup. Coach Steve Sharman told the Guernsey Press that 'we knew we were facing a side with players who could play higher if they wanted to, but choose not to.....'.

Which kind of ignores the fact that 9 of the Priaulx squad have played at a higher level than County League.

Much is said about the talent coming through the GFA Academy system and this is on display for all to see through the likes of Robbie Legg. Real success will be seen through an improvement in inter-island and inter league competitions however, not just through producing a player a season for GFC.

Maintaining the interest of teenagers is not that easy though (I should know, was one a long time ago) and that is possibly the biggest challenge to strengthen local football.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Some went missing in Walton-on-Thames

Surrey police issued a missing persons alert shortly after the attendance figure for yesterday's match at Walton & Hersham was announced. They are concerned that at least 85 people must have disappeared without trace shortly after passing through the turnstiles, if gate of 135 is anywhere near accurate

There seemed to be, at most, 50 paying punters in the ground and the majority (by some margin) were wearing green.

With the local council seemingly desperate to force the club to leave Stompond Lane for a toxic environment near the river on the other side of town, things are looking grim for the Swans. The club is run by a very small handful of volunteers who, in the circumstances, do an excellent job. But with a landlord, i.e. the council, focussed on the £s available from a housing development and, on yesterday's evidence, a fanbase that can be counted on the fingers of,, at most 2 people, they must sometimes wonder of it's worth the effort.

The match was both relatively uneventful and encouraging at the same time. Walton & Hersham had by far the bulk of possession on the first half with, in particular, Aaron Watson causing the usually blistering fast Simon Geall to have kittens on a number of occasions. Clear cut chances were few on the ground however and the couple that presented themselves saw the aforementioned My Watson suffer what can politely be described as stage fright.

We created next to nothing until a peach of a through ball from Guille Fernandez left Dom Heaume in space in the Walton penalty area. The 'keeper got a hand to his shot but, having been hit with sufficient power, it was but a minor detour on the ball's journey to the back of the net.

Shortly afterwards the lead could, maybe should, have been doubled when Ross Allen found space in the box. With just the 'keeper to beat he managed to get no lift on the shot, which hit the 'keeper's legs before sloping harmlessly away.

With just a minute to go before half time we conceded what, even from a vantage point several score metres away, looked a bit if a soft free kick. Andrew Mensah reacted quicker than any of our lads to rise at the far post and put away a relatively straight forward equaliser.

Possession wise the second half was a lot more even, which meant we sorted the problems with the game plan and largely closed the match out. The highlight should have been Ross Allen's very neat finish from another Guille Fernandez defence splitting through ball. Rocco's 199th goal for GFC was somewhat overshadowed by the home side's captain, Andre Scarlett, tremendous reaction to the referee's judgement that he'd committed a foul when booting someone up in the air near the half way line.

He ranted at the ref for what seemed like hours, before tearing off his gloves and throwing them off the pitch in the ultimate display of disgust at a perceived grave injustice.

As a performance it fell well short of 'total football' but, for an away match with a shorthanded squad, it couldn't have been better. Ross Allen was the isolated lone man up front but he held play up when it mattered so the reinforcements could reach him. I didn't see a poor performance from any GFC player but Craig Young's contribution in midfield needs calling out. Tenacious and disciplined throughout.

Not a classic performance in the so-called 'Guernsey way' but tactically it was spot on. We could do a lot worse than use it as a bench mark for future away games.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Living, as some of us still do, in a world seemingly besotted with 'social' media, it's all about trending. As far as GFC goes what's trending is Tuesday Tonkings.

And fans of trending weren't disappointed at another tonking on Tuesday at Molesey. 

The 4-0 thrashing wasn't all doom and gloom however. Tony Vance introduced a little humour when telling the Guernsey Press 'I could come out with a barrel-load of excuses but there would be no point really' before going on to bemoan the shortage of players at his disposal.

He could do worse than look to youth and, to be fair, that is happening to an extent with the likes of Jacob Fallaize and Robbie Legg getting a look in recently. 

Next up we're to Walton & Hersham. Directions and suggested refreshment halts can be found on the away days page. On the league table page, you will find the current table, the form guide and a prredicted end of season table. 

Both sides appear well matched (according to the stats). A leading on-line bookie is likely to be quoting odds on the game tomorrow by the way.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 16 November 2015

Chin up? Not 'arf.....

Well then, a win on Saturday that would have warmed the heart of the most miserable bugger's cockles.

A sumptuous finish by Tom de la Mare, St Luke unlocking the door for Gus Mackay, Dom popping up like a rabbit out of a hat and more besides.

It was just against Peacehaven & Telscombe though, one of the poorest sides in the league, albeit mainly for the usual Isthmian League reasons. Tony Vance said as much when, talking to Auntie Beeb, he challenged the players to keep it going.

Tomorrow's opponents look like a different kettle of fish. 

Molesey are 4th in the league, top of the form table and riding on a similar wave of confidence that we enjoyed in our first season out of the Combined Counties League. They also had a great win in the FA Trophy at the weekend, coming back from 3-1 down against Harlow Town to win 4-3, the winner coming in the last minute. All the same this is a game that we should be approaching thinking we have a decent chance of winning.

Looks like I'm going to be stuck in the treatment room again but, if you are going by train, there are plenty of opportunities to 'rest' after exiting Hampton Court station (Bridge Road then Walton Road.

You can be sure of a warm welcome from Molesey as well. Cover available on all sides and admission is £8, what's not to love?

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Chin Up

With the Press website carrying no news as yet on the arrival of either tomorrow or Jamie from his hols, the time may as well be spent ruminating on our trip to Folkestone last Saturday.

The trip down from the comforting embrace of London was hampered by what the rail operators describe as obstructions on the line. A leaf or two in other words but this did mean the planned visit to the seafront had to be put on hold whilst we gathered our senses in the clubhouse (Stripes) at Folkestone's Fullicks Stadium.

Two bars with a range of fizzy things on tap, fruit based drinks and a couple of polypins from Gadds of Ramsgate. With cheese and chips available from the teabar next door the errant leaf was soon forgotten, the teams entered the field of play and a football match broke out.

It made for pleasant enough viewing as well, no sign of the sleepy start so often seen from GFC and the team seemed connected from back to front. Ok, going forward the tactic was stick the ball through for Ross Allen to run on to and do what he can do. Not really the long ball game that some would have you believe.

In truth a realistic approach away from home against the team making all the running in the league. And it paid a dividend when Folkestone captain Frankie Chappell stretched to stop the ball running through to Rocco, who would have had a clear run on goal. The ball was duly intercepted but the stretch meant it rose into the gusting wind which, to the despair of Mr Chappell, carried it goalward beyond the reach of the 'flailing keeper'.

A tremendous moment indeed, but did it come because we'd dominated proceedings? No, We had gone toe to toe with the team at the top of the league however and, despite the disappointment of conceding shortly before the half time whistle, with the heavens starting to open, we headed for the sanctuary of Stripes.

It's an oft repeated opinion that football is a game of two halves. An opinion that, in turn, often transmutes into fact.

Within a gnat's crotchet of the whistle for the start of the second half, the gusting wind evened things up, as far as its own contribution to the match was concerned. It wasn't long before Folkestone scored a third and this was the point at which it became clear the game was lost.

Whereas we'd been fairly tight in the first half an injury meant Liam Mahon was replaced by St Luke at half time. So a midfielder replaced by an attacker and, not surprisingly, things loosened up between the front and back lines and Folkestone took full advantage.

They were full value for their win and the feeling, behind the goal at least, was that the margin could have been wider.

Now, I'm not an expert when it comes to football tactics (I tend to get distracted by things that make a noise when bashed) but I couldn't help but notice that whilst we were getting ragged in midfield, the home team kept their shape.

The other key difference between the sides was that Folkestone attacks tended to utilise the full width of the pitch, giving options if route one ended in a cul de sac. And when attacking they weren't shy of passing to each other. We on the other hand, particularly in the 2nd half, had 2 or 3 running at the Folkestone defence but the body language suggested that, each time, 2 of the 3 weren't expecting the one with the ball to pass it any time soon.

The situation wasn't helped by travelling with a small squad, meaning a lack of options on the bench. Yes the travelling affects GFC more than any other individual club in the league and this has an impact on player availability. Conversely we don't have a raft of other clubs a few miles down the road scheming to poach players and coaches either. Player availability is a challenge the club needs to work at overcoming, not an excuse for a defeat.

After the match a couple of refreshments in the clubhouse then a cab to the harbour, for more refreshments would you believe, before getting the train home. At the station we bumped into a certain Frankie Chapell and had a bit of a chinwag, more on that another time.

A bit of a tonking at Folkestone is one thing. More of the same at Chatham is something else and the boss was quite right before the trip when he said he expected something from the match.

Tomorrow Peacehaven visit the ARS. One of the few teams in worse form than us at the moment and we have a point to prove following our feeble 2nd half capitulation against a really not very good side back in August. If you're to the ARS, chin up, do your bit and get behind the lads.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 9 November 2015

A very brief word on Folkestone

If you weren't at Folkestone on Saturday and, influenced by things you may have read here and there on the internet, you think we were a tad unlucky, you are excused.

We weren't(unlucky that is).

'Nuff said for now, more tomorrow (lucky you).

Sorry about that but, until the Guernsey Press confirm that Jamie made it back from Egypt in time for his Aurigny flight, everything else will just have to wait.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 6 November 2015

St Luke and a day trip to Folkestone

If you don't take your chances when you're on top in a match, don't be too surprised if you lose. Particularly if a bit of red mist descends and one or two decisions go against you, although you maybe should have been almost out of sight by then. And so it was on Wednesday at the ARS.

Luke Winch has taken some stick here and there for his rash action a few minutes after coming on in the second half. He can be annoyingly unpredictable and flapping an arm at someone you're not even looking at is ridiculous when he could have turned around around lumped him one to at least get some value for the red card...

Yes he can be (very) annoying but I like the fact you tend to only get one extreme or the other with Luke. No boring middle ground and rarely a dull moment. when he errs there's a kind of honesty about it, it's there for everyone to see. For me that's preferable to a player that does things off the ball when he knows the officials are looking the other way and, like most clubs, we've got one or two that are prone to that from time to time.

So no calls here for him not to be picked again. I do hope Tony and Fal can coach the red mist out of him though because he could be a hell of a player for years to come.

Tomorrow we head down/up/across to Folkestone and with them being top of the league it would be good to turn up with a strong squad. We'll have a decent starting 11 and we'll have a couple of decent subs but, once again, just 13 travelling. Yes we've got a few in the treatment room but again, what about the other 80 something the programme editor would have us believe are on the books? Thrashing Centrals in the Railway this evening perhaps.

Essential travel details can be found on the away days page. If you're going from St Pancras there's a train getting in to Folkestone Central at 10.12 which gives ample time for a gentle stroll through the town, maybe stopping off at Greggs, down to the harbour in time for opening and an interrupted walk back up the hill.  If you haven't got time for all that sightseeing Folkestone's clubhouse will do you just fine.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Scores, South Park and a smidgeon of innuendo,

Performance of the night tonight in the Isthmian South came, arguably, from Faversham Town who went to Hastings and won 4-1. Worthing moved into 3rd spot with a 3-0 home win against the, current, highest placed amateur side in the land, Corinthian Casuals. Elsewhere Eat Grinstead 'fans' will have been thinking about a second dry sherry as their side scored a brace at home, sadly however visitors Carshalton scored 3 so the jaspers remain 8 points adrift of Sittingbourne, who are 1 place ahead of the bottom three.

And so onto tomorrow with South Park visiting the ARS. The mere thought may one or two on the island checking their insurance policies. Others may simply be looking forward to an abundance of chocolate salty balls. I couldn't possibly comment.

Before all the possible shenanigans there could be a decent game of football however. Level on points but they have a game in hand. OK, most of their league wins have been against teams that will seemingly be glad to stay up this year but they have notched up away victories at Faversham in the league and Leatherhead in the FA Cup, so clearly not a match to be taken lightly.

We're no strangers to South Park of course and it's good to see that a proper low budget, volunteer driven, community club still retains a good number of familiar names in its first team. Kieran Lavery and Dale Burgess are the outfield players that instantly spring to mind as providing the threat of scoring goals against us. They're but a sideshow when we consider South Park's prime asset however.

Yes, I speak of goalkeeper James Wastell. A fine figure of a man with a full head of hair and an easy target for good natured abuse from behind his goal. He gives it back of course and rightly so (certainly in my case). According to the young people it's 'bants' or something. Worth throwing aside your blanket and leaving the marbled halls of the Garenne to enjoy the slightly more earthy side of non-league football.

If you're to the ARS tomorrow, enjoy it. If you're not, better luck next time.

Keep it Green.

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Indomitable service.....

After a tough 4-1 defeat at Carshalton where the result maybe didn't tell the full story, although we were well beaten nonetheless, it was important for the lads to pick themselves up, brush the dust off and get a result against Three Bridges. And that's just what they did, with a rarely seen clean sheet to boot.

For those of us with a penchant for 'total football' it was probably not a match to merit a #classic in a breathless 140 character summary of the afternoon's events but it did provide a moment to savour for those that like seeing young chaps providing a service to the community on a Saturday afternoon. And so it came to to pass that the magnificently unpredictable Luke Winch served his community by popping over a nice little cross for the inDomitable Heaume to stick the ball in the back of the net. Quite a long way out for Dom as well.

This week sees two intriguing fixtures against south Park at the ARS on Wednesday then away to Folkestone on Saturday. We'll spend a few seconds previewing both games another time but if you're only planning on seeing one away match this season do try and make it to Folkestone.

Other midweek matches to keep an eye on are Hastings v Faversham and Worthing v Corinthian Casuals tomorrow, then Ramsgate v Walton Casuals on Wednesday.

The recent upturn in our fortunes brings thoughts of promotion back into our minds and, indeed, that man Heaume was only telling Auntie Beeb a day or so ago that the aim is a play-off spot. The view from the top of Ormering Towers remains one of regular thrashings were we to be promoted with the current squad and, in particular, the difficulty in travelling with our strongest 16.

That's not to say we're not fully behind a push for promotion though. After all if you don't want to try and win the league, or at least finish as high as you can, what's the point?

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

We beat the ref 2-0.....

Another of those when we would have bitten off any hand offering a point before kick off. None did though so we didn't have to. Which was fortunate for us because, if one did and we had done so,we would have missed a team performance that must surely rank as one of GFC's best yet.

We seen some good goals recently and yesterday's continued that trend. Firstly a neat run and through ball by Glyn Dyer presented an opportunity for Marc McGrath, who finished with aplomb. Then Ross Allen gave the 'keeper no chance with a fine free kick from just outside the box.

Faversham were a little fortunate to go in at the break just two down. We learnt that being sent sprawling in the box following a 2 handed shove in the back doesn't merit the award of a penalty but tripping yourself up with nobody claiming a free kick will get you booked for simulation. To be fair to him, by the end of the match both sets of fans had referee Oliver Jackson trailing behind an outbreak of cholera in a snap popularity poll.

The second half mainly took place in our own half. A brief cameo from Blair Howitt was followed by unrelenting pressure from the home side. Chris Tardif played another blinder, in front of the defending was bordering on heroic. It was all hands to the pump, even Ross Allen was getting stuck in mere yards from our own goal line. If you haven't seen them already the GFC TV highlights are well worth a look.

A fantastic effort all round and a hard earned but well deserved three points.

Tomorrow sees a trip to Carshalton Athletic. A look at the league table then a scroll down to the form guide suggests we go there as favourites for the win but from what we were told at Salters Lane expect a scratch squad to be announced for the journey.

If you're thinking of going a bit of useful information can be found on the 'away days' page. Steve, when I said the Sun yesterday I meant the Hope, but the Sun's good too. Unlike the tawdry rag of the same name, of course.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Who's to Faversham then eh?

Off to Faversham tomorrow then for Nutty's 2nd 50th birthday celebration and, to be fair, he doesn't look a day over 100. Take a look at the Away Days page for a bit of travel info and a bit more info on refreshment opportunities.

Time's getting on so, as far as the travelling squad goes, I'm going to be lazy and do a straight cut and paste from the club's website:

"Injuries to Alex Le Prevost and Tom De La Mare on Wednesday mean the duo drop out the squad for Saturday's Ryman South trip to Faversham.

Tom Strawbridge, Luke Winch, Ryan-Zico Black and Craig Young also do not travel due to unavailability, while Matt Loaring is still away and Sam Cochrane has not recovered from the knock he sustained against Chipstead. Angus Mackay is still out.

Those back in the squad include Leroi Riley, Blair Howitt, Glyn Dyer and Kyle Smith.

The full 14-man list is as follows: Tardif, Riley, Geall, Isabelle, Dodd, Steel, L Mahon, Dyer, Fernandez, Howitt, Heaume, Allen, McGrath, Smith."

No doubt a few more raised eyebrows at what doesn't look like a great turnout for a Saturday, at a time when things are starting to look up. Injuries can't be helped but we'll just have to draw our own conclusions as to' unavailability' and 'still out' and scratch our heads as to what's happened to all the other lads that turned out in the past, looked promising and, er, seemingly been lost without trace. Hopefully to conclude 'can't be arsed' will be well wide of the mark.

The form guide, as you can see below, suggests we should go to Faversham with reasonable expectations. We know we can expect a fairly tough, physical encounter though and the squad, or should I say lack of options therein, suggests we're going to be up against it once again.

Faversham Town621357-27
Faversham Town8215610-47

Hoping to hobble aboard the 10.52  Llama Express from St Pancras, arriving in Faversham at Noon.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Luke, Luke, Nutty & Dom (not necessarily in that order)

A few eyebrows will have been raised when the starting 11 for tonight's match against Molesey was announced and the name Luke Winch was absent. A few more will have been raised when Molesey, who were top of the form table prior to kick off, took the lead after 13 minutes.

It went mostly well after that though and the virtually ever dependable Dom Heaume seems to have played a big role in bagging the three points. Oh the joys of following a match via Twitter, the 21st century Ceefax (sort of).

It's all looking so much better for GFC than it was a few short weeks' ago and with matches against the likes of Faversham, Three Bridges and Folkestone in the next few weeks, we'll soon have a much clearer view of where we are likely to be at the end of April 2016.

Still far from convinced that we would stay up if promoted even if Luke Watson signs, as some local media reports today suggested may well happen soon. Incidentally, Luke followed our Twitter account last night, surely conclusive evidence that he will be signing.

But say we do go up and stay up, what would that mean? It would certainly be good for GFC and the GFA would enjoy more exposure in certain parts of the UK media for Guernsey football. But what about Guernsey and, indeed, Channel Island football as a whole?

Leave you to ponder that for now, in the meantime scroll down to read about Nutty's visit to the rock last weekend, with colour pictures to boot.

Keep it Green.

Allez les Verts!!

Nutty's 50th Manelanders Invasion Special

What a wonderful weekend it was (and as thoroughly expected, a somewhat boozy one) as Hersden's very own shy & retiring wallflower & a handful of Manelanders celebrated his big 50.

Friday night saw Nutty, Mr Diggler & I meeting up at Gatwick's North Terminal Premier Inn. I duly baggsied the single bed, with Nutty having the dubious honour of sharing a bed with the Diggling Stick. We headed onto the transit to the South Terminal and found the land side 'Spoons, The Beehive, where the first weekend of their real ale festival was underway. Marvellous, as Lord O would say and who was sadly absent and missed on this trip.

Burgers and several pints of the festival ales were consumed, including a rather fine Norwegian stout. We also learned interestingly that Diggler "never says thanks" in certain situations. Read into that what you will.

After just a few hours of sleep, we made our way bleary eyed to our 8.30 departure on everyone's favourite monopoly owning airline.

The flight was, in all fairness, pretty damn quick and before I'd even had chance to read all the sports pages in the paper, we'd touched down on the rock. There we were met by Mother Ormer, who very kindly offered to collect us and take us to our accommodation for the night; The Yacht Inn on the seafront, just a seagull's caw from Castle Cornet. Literally seconds after pulling up, we were met by our other roomee for the night, Tony Leighton, who'd just arrived on the Condor. After dropping our bags off, we joined Tone in the Harbour Lights for some "breakfast", and ran into Lil Craig, whose phone camera had not as promised been retired for the weekend, much to our chagrin. We then strolled up to the White Rock CafĂ© for a proper, more stomach lining full English, with black pudding, which was rather excellent and hit the spot. Incidentally, Diggler & I had consumed our traditional "breakfast" at Wetherspoons at 7am back at Gatwick; another pint of the Norwegian stout, Nordic Noir. My head was beginning to pay for the previous evening's excesses.

After Tony had chatted to half of the locals in the cafe (we found out he knows everyone in Guernsey), we had a swifty in The White Hart before jumping in Sally's Taxi up to the Doghouse, where we had planned to meet up with a few others. The ale there was completely undrinkable, so we didn't hang around long and made a relatively early departure, arriving at the ARS an hour before kick off (unbelievable scenes!)

En route, we were jumped on by Emma David and having been kindly provided with free entry (Thanks again Sticks), we bought a couple of 50-50 tickets from Darryl and Nigel B and grabbed a buckshee programme from Fran Torode, before heading up to the bar in the Garenne for more drinks and chats. Shortly after this, we bumped into Ermin and Sticks who told us to follow them down into the deepest depths of their ARS. There we were led to the changing rooms and were lucky enough to be welcomed in for a look around and a chat with Tony Vance. 

After a quick stroll pitch side, a chat with the Grahams and a beer more, it was time to head behind the goal for the match. Here a motley crew assembled - Manelanders, friends & family (including my cuz, Dom) and somewhat surprisingly a whole pack of directors, including the DC, which chuffed the birthday boy.

As for the first half, well the most entertaining thing was a certain Bosnian director telling Chipstead's Serb keeper to go forth & multiply in their own language. Steve Sharman asserted the following morning that it was "worse than garbage" and it really was - Chipstead had acquired a new coach and 8 new players and looked far from a team who had only earned 2 points all season, as they knocked it around the clueless Green Lions, who were unable to string two passes together. The Chips went in a goal up having converted a penalty early on. At this point, I was beginning to get a little worried - in a moment of silliness the previous evening I had stated "if we lose tomorrow I'll jump stark bollock naked in the Bathing Pools". A dip was looking a distinct possibility until the second half turn around. Thanks to Bungo and Luke Winch, who came on at half time, the game completely turned - the pair of them were, quite frankly, excellent and offered pace & threat from the moment they came on, Winchy earning a penalty within the opening 10 mins or so, resplendent in his brand new lime green boots. Unfortunately, Rossco had left his beige clown shoes on (see attached pic) and skied the pen. Thankfully Winchy saved the day storming down the right wing and smashing a 25 yard first time shot into the postage stamp in the top corner - a truly stunning strike which behind the goal looked like it had hit the side netting. Just a few minutes later, he hit another beautiful curling free kick from outside the area into the bottom corner of the net to wrap up the points and save me from a swim. Relief was definitely the overriding emotion at the final whistle.

At half time, Nutty and Deb (aka Nibbler) had been invited onto the pitch to do the 50/50 draw and here Nutty was presented with a Nutty 50 emblazoned GFC away shirt by Dave "Pedders" Rihoy, paid for by the GFC players.

Post-match, more beers ensued (and a cake for Nutty presented by Man of the Match Winchy), before a stroll back to the Kennel where we were joined by a few of the players, and the great and the good, like Penfold, Scott Fusellier and Sticks.  

A few of us headed back to the hotel and then met up for a feed at the Pickled Pig, where Dawn Thomas had kindly agreed to catch up with us, despite only returning from Spain that evening. It was great to see her and we told her about our own tribute that afternoon, a rousing rendition of "One Mikey Thomas". The evening was splendid and turned into a crawl and later a bit of a jog.

The following morning, after a leisurely breakfast at the Yacht, we were picked up by Sticks who very kindly took us Manelanders and my cousin, Dom for a cup of tea at his lovely gaff and a chat with his brother, Le God, who had flown over for his mum's Sunday roast. What a lovely way to end a superb weekend and what a top, down to earth chap he was - not fussed one iota by our presence or our gormless questions. Dom, being a big Saints fan, was over the moon to meet hero.

Even a two and a half hour delay to our flight home couldn't dampen what had been a truly tremendous weekend, where we had been welcomed and treated like royalty and Nutty had had a birthday that he'll never forget.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

An opiate infused ramble...

A look at the league table or the form guide last Friday would have led you to believe a stroll in the park was going to be the order of the (following) day. But those cads from Chipstead turned up with a much changed side from the one that had amassed just 2 points from 13 matches.

The ability for clubs at this level to make wholesale changes as many times as they can (hopefully) afford during the course of a season arguably skews things more than a few sides having to travel to Guernsey midweek, but I digress so back to topic.

Anyway a lacklustre, to put it mildly, first half performance saw Chipstead take a shock (to anyone following via Twitter and the like and therefore not aware of quite how woeful we were) lead from the penalty spot. 'Worse than garbage' was Steve Sharman's assertion the following morning (at the airport presumably not a bathroom at the Yacht (will explain tomorrow)).

Following what was probably a full and frank one-sided discussion at half time changes were made things certainly changed in the 2nd half. And the hero of the 3/4 of an hour was the mercurially talented, sometimes flawed, occasionally mis-understood talent that is Luke Winch. A marvellous first goal, a splendid second and he would surely have had a tremendous third if the penalty had come after the goals not before. No way would he have allowed Rocco to pull rank if he was fouled in the box when on a hat trick.

A good three points at the end of the day and the regular patrons at the ARS got to know the enigma we call Nutty Neale. Gazois has just sent in his jottings about the trip over to the rock which I will share with you tomorrow  but reports from Kent suggest that Matron had the best weekend for a long time having been freed of her charge or a couple of days.

Quite a test tomorrow with Molesey visiting the ARS. The form guide based on last 6 matches can be found if you scroll down from the league table and they're sitting at the top of that particular tree. We are not far behind however so tomorrow should see a good contest. We need to be up for it from the off though as if we do have aspirations of playing at a higher level then the sluggish starts (that we got away with in the CCL days) have to be consigned to history.

Elsewhere in the Isthmian South on Saturday there was a minor tremor at Folkestone who were beaten by Faversham, our hosts this coming weekend. Some Folkestone fans appear to be a little concerned about their drop in form but the form guide suggests it's not been that bad. Coming weeks will confirm if there should have been a 'yet' there of course but Folkestone remain the team we need to compare ourselves against when pondering the possibilities of promotion.

If you're to the ARS tomorrow enjoy the game and look forward to reading about Nutty's trip down the yellow brick road when you get home. Until then I'll keep taking the class B drugs that my GP has kindly given me for considerably less than I'd have to pay down at the local park.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

The quiet weekend ahead.......

A few decent results on the trot have got our tails up but now comes the hard part, to keep it going.

For our next match on Saturday it couldn't be any better, on paper. Chipstead are firmly rooted to the bottom of the league table and their form suggests they might struggle to make amass a points total in double figures this season.

To compare form over the last 6 games here's ours and Chipstead's:


It looks a no brainer, which means it's got 'banana skin' writ large all over it.

What will alarm islanders more than the prospect of a shock defeat however is the arrival of a small but motley group of drunken Manelanders for the weekend. 

Not only will the infamous Dirk be heading to the ARS with diggling stick in hand but notorious tee-totaller Nutty Neale is organising things, this being the first celebration of his upcoming half century anniversary.

Some of you will already be familiar with Nutty but, for the rest, here's a link to the promotional video produced by GFC Manelanders TV (at great expense) ahead of the weekend's celebration:

Needless to say, Matron is looking forward to her day of rest.

Have a good trip everyone.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Dreams, commitment and Fancy Dans

Football is, arguably, the world's most popular sport for a variety of reasons. One is its capacity to offer supporters a glimmer of hope in the gloomiest of circumstances. Another is the dream of many a boy and, it's whispered, even some girls to score the match winning goal in a cup final with a wonder strike.

Then there's all the things that spring up around football, like the chance to sample food from outlets so good they make the Ritz look more like the tuck shop at the old Boys Grammar in Brock Road.

OK, as GFC supporters any gloom and despondency we've been feeling is actually more like a bright place for many other clubs' supporters. We haven't seen anyone in green and white score a match winner in a final (cup or vase) of late either.

We have seen 4 points from 2 away matches in the last 5 days though, when we pitched up with a squad of 13 on both occasions. Hands up who was expecting that a week ago? Can't see many hands.

We've seen some good goals, including a Ross Allen hat trick against Walton Casuals. Three good goals overshadowed by a finish that Josh Steel will probably try to replicate at every training session from now without success. What a strike though and in the unlikely event you haven't seen it I suggest you go to the club's site or search 'GFC Manelanders TV' on YouTube as soon as possible.

Just goes to show what can sometimes happen if you have have a go, rather than looking for a pass for another  to take responsibility.

The last couple of games have seen some steel in midfield as well, not just through Josh but Fernandez (and others) getting stuck in as well. An approach to the midfield that's crucial for success at this level and above.

Added to this Ross Allen has ditched the ankle socks and Mr Heaume has remained his indomitable self. At the back things have been tighter, not quite as a duck's arse yet but our back line has looked a much happier unit over those last 2 games.

Tony Vance has talked of player power, as in the power to retain the shirt and what he means, and I agree with him, is that the players that haven't featured in the last 2 match day squads won't automatically return when they are next available. They have to work to earn their place.

Josh Steel is an obvious example when it comes to commitment and based on his current form it will (should) take a very good player indeed to take his place in the starting eleven.

Another player I'd like to call out is Simon Geall. He's not blessed with speed and he's not the most gifted (as in Fancy Dan) but he's a proper fullback (i.e. can boot Fancy Dan up in the air when necessary)  who knows and plays to his strengths. He's also suffered a couple of injuries whilst playing for GFC that would have meant hanging up the boots for many. Added to which he might be Bailiff one day (although my money's on Mrs G). An asset to the club that's not to be sniffed at (especially if he does become Bailiff).

Being hampered by a dis-functional leg I've been relying on Li'l Craig's stream to see these last 2 games. Hard to believe that he's just using a 'phone and a tripod yet manages to stream in better quality than the pro's can do using thousands of pounds worth of kit. Also he's the only one that managed to film Ross Allen's goal at Herne bay.

For that goal, go to his YouTube channel (search for GFC ManelandersTV). For live streams go here:

The only downside about Craig's stream is that he stands next to the BBC commentator which can be a painful experience (i.e. at Merst Ham on Saturday).

If anyone in Guernsey wants to stream home games for us Manelanders run a trial and, if it works, we can have a whip round to cover the costs (about £30 per month looking at Sure's tariff). Best run it past the DC first though.

I hope to be back watching 'live' at Faversham.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Blair Who?

Blair Howitt and he's been named in GFC's squad for the trip to Merstham to play Walton Casuals tomorrow.

There's a good chance you've never heard of him. Either because your a Manelander or you've concluded that the best use for the Guernsey Press is to line a rabbit hutch well before you reached the sports pages.

He graduated from Uni before the Summer hence you might be thinking he's come from nowhere (bit harsh on Rovers) but before leaving for his studies he made a bit of a name for himself in the Junior Muratti and so on.

In other squad news, more changes than any coach would like which is petty much par for the course. Here it is:-

Tardif, Isabelle, Geall, Cochrane, Strawbridge, le Prevost, Dodd, Steel, Fernandez, Howitt, Heaume, Winch (L), Allen, McGrath.

Nutty Neale won't be pleased to see just 14 in the squad and that's putting it mildly. Others will raise an eyebrow and might be thinking notes from mum need to be produced and shared in future.

Not me though, as I won't be there either (waiting for replacement body parts which, it seems, Argos can't deliver same day). So I'll be watching Li'l Craig's 'getting more official by the week ' unofficial live stream.

If you are going you can find the pre-match pub recommendation and the address for your satnav on the away games page.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Leroi, contempt, factions, gosh.

And so another glorious FA Trophy campaign ends almost as soon as it began.

We played some decent football, although the Thurrock 'keeper was only rarely called on to make a save. Leroi Riley was far the busier in his first competitive game for GFC and he can be justifiably proud of his debut performance. Nothing he could have done with either of the Thurrock goals which were both a case of defensive lapses.

Effective defences work as a unit and, for various reasons, we struggle to put out a stable defensive line from week to week that has a fighting chance of turning into such an effective unit.

On Saturday we started off with not a lot by way pf defensive options. The situation wasn't helped when Jason Winch had to go off in the first half following a knock to the knee (yes that knee). Winchie is one of those players held in high regard by fans for his attitude and approach to games and fingers are crossed that it's 'just' a knock.

In the second half we appeared to witness Matt Loaring drop off to fill in at left back. Not ideal and certainly not playing to his particular strengths.

Who knows, if we'd turned up with a 16 man squad we might have come away with a win from what was, overall, a competitive match. And that's where the focus needs to be, even if it means spending a few quid to make it happen, which would be a few quid better spent than giving season ticket holders a free programme for example. Or giving anyone any freebies for that matter.

More of the fine lines that Tony Vance referred to in his interview with Rob Batiste in the Guernsey Press last week.

As for other fine lines he said 'it might mean us finding another 50 supporters to come along every week...'.

The article went on to say that 'Vance does not try to hide his contempt for those who scoff at the thought of bringing in a Jersey Muratti star, such as Jack Boyle, while at the same time applauding the arrival of Spaniard Guille Fernandez, who did not draw a whisper of complaint'.

That could be because Fernandez had a job and moved to the island first, whereas Boyle (based on not only his own assertions to the Beano) seemed to be set up to meet the rest of the squad at the airport, before the contemptuous types started moaning and the story changed.

Of course the use of the word 'contempt' maybe down to the journalist not Tony Vance and, if that's the case, a brief explanation via the GFC website would be helpful.

Luke Watson is the latest Crapaud to be linked to a possible move to GFC. This is clearly on the basis that he will need to move to Guernsey first and no one (or at least only a few) will have a problem with that.

Tony also spoke of his desire to get all factions of the local game working together. Could be easier said than done but the suggestion of a GFC 2nd XI probably won't go down too well unless there's a radical proposal that maintains/reinstates (depending on your view) an acceptable level of quality in the Priaulx League and ensures competition at a higher level for the island's best players.

There's been much talk about GFC's sustainability, so let's be clear. Without a healthy local football scene it will not be sustainable.

Arguably the win-win situation is for GFC to remain as a step 4 club because players come through and are snapped up by clubs at a higher level. That would seem to be entirely in keeping with the aims of the club when it was launched.

Finally, let's not lose sight of the fact that the club is still in its infancy. Rome wasn't built in a day and it's probably unrealistic to expect Tony, the DC et al to get things right (in our eyes) all of the time. All of us need to temper our enthusiasm for setting deadlines for promotion.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 2 October 2015


So we emerged blinking into the sunlight this morning, after a night when several vats of fermented llama spit were consumed, to find the GFC website proclaim 'Eyes on the Trophy'.

There followed a short article where Tony Vance promised his side will 'give their all to try and progress...'.

' is an iconic competition and we are lucky we can compete in it'.

Then the squad was announced and here it is: Riley, Cochrane, de la Mare, le Prevost, Winch, Steel, Mahon, Fernandez, Young, Heaume, McGrath, Loaring, Allen.

When you consider the GFC match day programme lists something like 35 players 'on the books', it's hardly surprising that the casual observer raises an eyebrow on discovering that giving it all in an iconic competition means travelling with just 13 players.

Usually placid, mild mannered fan Nutty Neale was moved to exclaim 'piss poor turn out for a game'.

That said, if the travelling players are on their game (and we get the rub of the green as far as knocks go) then the squad is capable of a win tomorrow but Thurrock have won 5 and drawn 1 of their last 6, so it will be a bit of a challenge.

Directions and suggestions for refreshment can be found on the away games tab, hope to see a few of you there tomorrow.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Return of the Vance

He's looked a bit cheesed off and detached of late but events over the last few days suggest Tony Vance might have got his mojo back (if he ever lost it in the first place), and it's good to see.

A full and frank 'discussion' in the dressing room ahead of Sunday's match against Ramsgate was followed by the best team performance in a long time. It seems the players were left in no doubt as to where socks needed pulling up and their initial response was just what the doctor ordered, including a Ross Allen (who has appeared to be wearing ankle socks at time this season) goal from a free kick that players earning £100k+ a week would be proud of. Best summed up in one word. Sublime.

OK, Ramsgate's pre-match preparation wasn't ideal and they might have been a short of some first choice players. Some sympathy with that but I don't recall them being too upset about playing weakened GFC sides on a Tuesday night at their place in the last 2 seasons. With regard to the flight problems we can at least all look forward to Mr Austin's dead buzzard sketch the next time he plies Messrs Vance and Fallaize with hippy crack in front of a video camera.

The last couple of days have seen the Guernsey Press run a couple of pieces on Tony's view of the necessary future direction for GFC. Today's article is well worth a read if you can access it. If you can't access the GP take a look at the forum where there's a thread on the article as the views expressed will give you a good feel as to the content.

The view from the top of Ormering Towers will follow tomorrow, along with a bit of info for anyone heading to Thurrock on Saturday (you never know we might get further than recommending a good pub to visit near Fenchurch St before getting the train. There are a few by the way.).

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Back to life, back to reality...

Great to be back in comparatively cold but ever so soggy Blighty after a trip to Crete but hey ho,can't be helped.

My last view of GFC was that of a forlorn Tony Vance trudging through the car park at Sittingbourne's (not in Sittingbourne) ground, clearly eager to bag a prime spot for his bag on the coach.

Not the first time we've seen distance between coach(es) and players after an away game this season and not the first shambolic second half either.

This was followed by a home victory against (frankly piss poor) Hythe before a return to form against the country's top amateur team, Corinthian Casuals, on Saturday. Yes we had a decent amount of possession, particularly in the first half when, it has to be said, the opposition spent most of the time standing back and sizing us up.

After the game the boss told the local meeja that Doddie's sending off (with the score 0-0) cost us the game. Some where somewhat surprised that the meeja didn't enquire why personnel changes weren't made until we were 2 down (a touch of Muratti syndrome perhaps).

Our problems on the pitch are obvious - we can't defend (as a team, not just the back line).

There don't seem to be any signs of an answer to this problem off the pitch either.

The pressure to succeed comes largely from the coaching and playing staff (not all though), after all it's the boss that thinks the club will be finished if we're not established at step 3 in 4 years time. Many of us are just keen to support a Guernsey team playing at the highest level it can achieve, whether that be 3, 4 or 5.

Tomorrow we head to Molesey for a fixture that we really should be confident of winning. Offer us a point before the game and we'd take it though. Trains from Waterloo to Hampton Court every half hour (hourly on the way back), bit of a trek to the ground but plentiful (good) places to stop and refuel on the way.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Friday, 4 September 2015

Bus news, Spanish lessons and a stream

If you read the away days page (before it was edited last) and were thinking of getting the 343 bus to the Kent Science Park think again. That route no longer exists and there is now no public bus service out there on a Saturday. Sittingbourne FC run a minibus service from the station at 12.10 unless you fancy the 2.5 mile walk up the hill.

Just a 14 man squad travelling tomorrow and this is it:-

Tardif, Geall, Pengelley, Strawbridge, Cochrane, le Prevost (A), Mackay, Steel, Fernandez, Mahon (L), Black, Loaring, Heaume, McGrath

Not good news on the injury front in that Dave Rihoy is highly unlikely to play again this season having gone off early at Peacehaven with now confirmed knee ligament damage. Also Ross Allen's dead leg seems a bit worse than the ones you used to get in the playground all those years ago. Tony Vance is quoted thus by the BBC:-

"I'm not sure when we'll see him again, only he'll know that. At some point he'll come back into the frame, but for now we'll have to work with the players that we've got". Make of that what you will.

Reading this column recently you might not believe it but the season so far isn't all doom and gloom, there's Guille Fernandez. Seems to have settled in nicely, shows some deft touches and looks like a player that thinks about his game.

He's also a very nice chap, so nice in fact that Gazois wrote him a song and here it is for you to learn (it's to the tune of la Bamba):-

Para jugar por Guernsey
Para jugar por Guernsey
Es necessari
Un poco de burro
Un poco de burro y cojones
y cojones
y cojones
Guille Fernandaez
Guille Fernandez

The Spanish might not be 100% there but roll those Rs and emphasise the cojones and nobody will mind.

Hope to see you in Sittingbourne, if you can't make it go to and search for GFC Manelander TV where, mobile signal permitting, you will find a live transmission.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Lewes to Sittingbourne with Pasties (blimmin good ones as well)

Ah well, at least this season's FA Cup campaign lasted slightly longer than the last one.

Everyone's a bit cheesed off with the manner of the defeat and Tony Vance is 'getting a bit bored of making excuses'. This time he wasn't making excuses though and yes, dear reader, he does realise that we're not too hot when it comes to defending.

Not too hot to the point of being sloppy quite frankly. The four goals conceded against Phoenix Sports suggest that the occasional jump to attempt to put head to ball would help, as would keeping the opposing players within touching distance (or at least knowing where they are).

Defending is a bit of a dark art and a good defence takes pleasure in denying the dashing types that play up front their opportunity to score. If you can kick the oppo in the air, without being noticed by the match officials, that's an added bonus.

So after that little lesson a clean sheet is expected against Sittingbourne on Saturday (all so easy to say from the sidelines eh dear reader!).

Talking of Sittingbourne, essential travel info plus a bit about the club can be found on the 'away days' page. The home made pasties in the cluibhouse last year were superb by the way.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Tomorrow's trip to Lewes sees several changes from the squad that went to Bexley on Saturday. On paper it's good enough to ensure the FA Cup is played outre mer for the first time in its history. We reveal one or two cards there that Phoenix Sports haven't seen yet and they could well be the key.

We all know that there's more to it than the players on the pitch though, so fingers crossed. Here's the squad:-

Machlowski, Geall, Strawbridge, Dodd, J Winch, Mackay, Steel, Black, Fernandez, Dyer, Loaring, Heaume, Young, Allen, McGrath.

You might be thinking that Lewes have got it a bit easy, being able to scout their opponents in the next round without too much effort. The deal to host GFC away cup ties was struck before the draw was made and the club is more than happy with the terms (those agreed with Lewes, not the ones imposed by the FA.....).

Plenty of history at the Dripping Pan, if you're able to go tomorrow directions can be found here:  Admission is £8 or a fiver for concessions with under 16s £1.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

A sausage, a wrap and a mild mannered janitor.

With the trials and tribulations of last season fast receding and o the back of three impressive displays, unbeaten against teams expected ...