Sunday, 29 March 2015

Rolling Boyle Simmers On

Possible GFC recruit Jack Boyle will be rolling up at the ARS on 16th May, having scored a goal in helping the CFA representative side overcome Alderney 5-1 yesterday afternoon. Nothing unusual or particularly interesting there then, but what of his potential move to the land of 'free' parking?

Well, after putting up the 'no comment' shutters to all enquiries on Wednesday, the club issued a statement on Thursday afternoon. The Dear Chairman (DC), Steve Dewsnip, included the following in the statement:

"We have always said that if players from outside of Guernsey wish to move to the island, become part of the local community and are good enough to strengthen our squad, we will consider them."

"Secondly, for Jack or anybody else to come and play for us, it is simply not sustainable for them to play regularly and effectively for GFC without becoming resident in Guernsey. Whilst it is true to say that he has approached us and we have had some informal discussions with him very much along these lines, there are very many things to fall into place, which should not be underestimated, before this might become a reality."

On the same day GFC quoted Tony Vance thus:

"I have spoken to Jack about this, and whilst I am happy to offer him the opportunity and carrot to dip his toe in the water and train with us, selection will be made on merit. To put it simply, I am sure Jack will realise very quickly that to gain selection ahead of the lads who have bought into this 100% may require a decision to be made on relocating."

Which took me back to a Q&A we did with Vancie back in the CCL days:

Q) Would you consider signing any of the decent Crapauds for GFC or would you rather steer clear?
A) Most Guerns would be desperate for me to say no but realistically if it will improve us, then yes of course, and that offer is open to anyone but only if they are dedicated enough to come and live and work in Guernsey and of course sign up to the GFC project 100%.

By Friday, however, there was a sense that the club's line might be changing. According to ITV the DC's line was that any signing was likely to start on a trial basis to see if the arrangements work for both parties.

Then, on Saturday, the Jersey Evening Post carried a piece stating that former Jersey manager Dave Kennedy had been approached by GFC in January and quoted him as saying "the discussions I have been privy to suggested the best format for it to happen was that Jack stays in Jersey and fly (sic) over for training and matches."

A few mixed messages there but there is a strong suggestion that the players preferred option (of remaining a Jersey resident) will be given a try to see if it's 'sustainable'.

Which all smacks a bit of 'the club's official approach is this, although if we can find a way around it we will'. Anyone would think the club's custodians operate in sectors such as finance and the law.....

A trial period in pre-season is not unreasonable. This would give Jack an opportunity to sort out employment, accommodation etc and build relationships within the squad. Can't see many, if any, GFC fans having a problem with that.

To carry such a trial into the league season is a different matter however. Firstly, that will be the point at which the stated aim of only signing players committed to living/working in Guernsey is blown out of the water. It won't go down well with all GFC fans.

Secondly, as the DC said in the club statement on Thursday, it's not sustainable to play regularly and effectively for GFC without being a resident of Guernsey. A look at airline timetables suggest it might work for home games on a Saturday but certainly not for weekend away games, and as for midweek.... 

So if a player can't play regularly and effectively there seems little point in taking things any further. Better to concentrate efforts on maximising availability of Guernsey resident players.

Some will no doubt be thinking that a few decent quality off-island players could be just the thing to motivate others and get promotion. Even with such players there will still be times when we go through a slump in fortunes. Think back to last Autumn, if we'd had a couple of stars surrounded by kids and the walking wounded would the results have been that different? Probably not but the stars would in all likelihood have been tempted away by one of our rivals. Then you're in the spiral of decline that so many clubs fall into, spending more and more but losing team spirit only to end up back in the CCL where the good folk at the Small Field will be pissing themselves laughing at our plight. 

Yes, we might end up back in the CCL with a squad of what we consider Guernsey players but at least we will have stuck to our principles and will be able to hold our heads high. 

And that's why Ormering asks the custodians of our Guernsey Football Club not to change those principles without consultation with (and a clear mandate from) the GFC Community, the fans in other words.

By the way, sorry for another cheesy headline.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Play-off Hopes Still Alive!

Following today's Isthmian South programme we're pleased to announce that GFC's play-off hopes are still alive. All it needs is for us to get maximum points and everyone above us to lose all their remaining matches or go into administration/liquidation before the end of the season.

This being football the administration/liquidation option can't be ruled out but Ormering suggests you ignore the mathematicians on this occasion. Anyway, here are today's results:-

Carshalton 1 Whitstable 1 ; Chipstead 0 Corinthian Casuals 2 ; Faversham 0 Burgess Hill 0 ; Folkestone 3 East Grinstead 1 ; Herne Bay 0 Redhill 0 ; Horsham 1 Whyteleafe 3 ; Sittingbourne 0 Worthing 0 ; Three Bridges 4 South Park 0 ; Tooting & Mitcham 1 Hastings 1 ; Walton Casuals 1 Hythe 0.

Interested to see in recent days mention of a new raft of taxes to come in Guernsey, as well as more raised voices on the situation at and near the harbour. Politicians are rather like people that run football clubs in that they have a tendency to ignore the will of the people unless they take direct action or have a vote. As far as votes go they know when they're going to be up for election so, in the absence of direct action, they know how much time they've got to introduce hair brained schemes that they also know will be expensive to reverse by an incoming administration.

So, if you're really vexed about the works on the seafront and the situation with cruise ship passengers, you need to get off your arse and into/onto your vehicles the next time a cruise ship is due to visit (so the owners can take advantage of Guernsey's tax friendly territorial waters) and drive round and round, nose to tail for a couple of hours. Don't forget to do what every driver simply has to do in a traffic jam - beep your horn. A lot. And don't let any coaches into the traffic flow.

Bit crude and some will think such things aren't the 'Guernsey way' but, as the politicians and the civil servants clearly aren't listening to you, what's the alternative?

Sorry, got a bit distracted there, time to get back on track.

Tomorrow a response to the club's statement and various other mixed messages about the Jack Boyle situation.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Possible change to kick-off time at Ramsgate

We're yet to get a win against Ramsagate so three points tomorrow would be very welcom. It won't be easy however as, not only are Ramsgate fighting for the Step 4 lives, we're travelling with an announced squad of just 14. And here it is:-

Tardif, L Mahon, de la Mare, A le Prevost, Cochrane, Steel, E le Prevost, Black, Loaring, Heaume, Rihoy, Pereira, McHrath, Allen.

Now for a heads up, we've heard that tomorrow's kick off, which is scheduled for 12.45, might be put back. Apparently the squad can't depart until a Blue Islands flight from somewhere or other arrives (that bit might have been made up).

Keep your eyes peeled to GFC's social media sites in the morning and, if you're subscribed to the text service,make sure your phone is charged.

A delayed kick off might be a bit of an inconvenience but the goods news is that Ramsgate has plenty of 'attractions', as a look at our away days page will confirm.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Is Boyle in the Bag?

Last week over at the Ormering forum a thread was started which alluded to the potential signing of 'outsiders' by Guernsey FC. A couple of days ago the name of Jack Boyle was mentioned as well as there being talks underway with a number of UK players with experience at a higher level than Step 4.

The Channel Islands media (possibly) picked up on this and the Press, the Beano and Crapaud TV have all been speaking to the player, who confirmed 'I have talked about it with Tony properly for four or five weeks now and, as long as a sponsor can be found, I am 99% sure that I will be a Guernsey FC player next season'.

News that is sure to arouse mixed feelings among GFC fans. No word from GFC as yet, despite much probing, and probably best not to hold your breath for anything just yet. Following the usual practice of climbing ladders to listen in on private conversations through open windows (we don't know how to tap phones you see), this is our understanding of the position:-

Tony Vance has indeed had discussions with Jack Boyle but, as yet, nothing has been proposed to, considered or decided on by the club - in other words ther is no Boyle deal in the bag.

Jack Boyle is the only Jersey player that TV believes can bring anything to Guernsey FC that isn't already there within the 10 parishes. So, for those concerned that all of St Sampson's good work might be undone in the blink of an eye, we don't believe that will be the case.

The club receives enquiries from UK based players, keen to sign on, on a regular basis. The party line remains that if you re-locate first (or at least have everything lined up), then there's a discussion to be had. 

So that's our understanding, as for thoughts on the matter....

Nothing against Jack Boyle, a good player who's played at a higher level (arguably not at Airdrie though), seems to be ambitious and has age in his favour (possibly our next Zico). Nothing against Crapauds either, and here I must confess that I have spent a sizeable chunk of my years in very close relationships with a number of them (no long term ill effects though).

Do have an issue with selection/eligibility goalposts being moved without any form of supporter consultation, noting that a number of strawpolls among supporters have suggested overwhelming support for a team of Guernsey based players only. Also, the club captain is on record saying he'd rather a team of 'locals' to be playing at Step 4 rather than the possibility of Step 2 through signing 'imports'.

So the issue of moving the goalposts needs some discussion/consultation with supporters, in other words the community that the 'club' claims to represent, which takes me back to the point made a couple of days ago about ways to achieve the vision set out in 2011.

If a signing is made without any form of consultation then don't be too surprised if a few more season ticket holders don't bother renewing for next season. Don't be too surprised if relations with GFA clubs and the GFA itself take a dip as well.

There is clear benefit in attracting good quality players such as Jack Boyle to come and join GFC but that requires a fundamental change in strategy that has to be supported by the GFC community. And let's not kid ourselves that one or two quality signings will lead to promotion to the promised land, it will take more than that to cure us of the Tuesday night away game syndrome. Again, back to the blog of a couple of days ago on the need to take measures to ensure players can afford to commit to mid-week trips.

We're all used to the club's officials (be they self-appointed or appointed by the self-appointed) harping on about a community club, now seems an appropriate time for them to demonstrate their sense of 'community'. Get more people with a sense of involvement and that can only be good for long term sustainability, surely.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

We're only making plans for Ramsgate

If you're thinking of heading to Ramsgate on Saturday a quick tap on the Away Days tab will bring up all the information you surely need to plan your trip.

With the hosts embroiled in a relegation dogfight and us playing with an eye on next season it could be an interesting match. Even if it's a bore draw the town has much to interest the average Manelander (hic).

Tonight in the Isthmian South Burgess Hill continued to tease Faversham and South Park's post Christmas blues showed no sign of ending. Here are the results:-

Corinthian Casuals 1 Burgess Hill 1 ; Faversham 5 Carshalton 0 ; Redhill 0 Merstham 3 ; Sittingbourne 0 Tooting & Mitcham 0 ; South Park 0 Worthing 7.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 23 March 2015

Time to fix an eye on next season

Friday's defeat to Merstham all but put paid to our play-off hopes but that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the club (notably Messrs Vance, Fallaize, Dewsnip and Vance (again)) a few additional weeks to start planning for next season.

They might want to look at the clubs currently occupying the top four spots in the league for a few clues as to how to get  promoted from the Isthmian South. Merstham have assembled a fine squad but it hasn't been cheap and they're well off the pace set by Burgess Hill. The Hillians success has been building for few seasons now, rather than funded through the cheque book. Faversham and Folkestone have good youth setups and Invicta, in particular seem very adept and raising funds from local businesses, as well as their fanbase, as and when required.

Of course, none of them have the burden of what must be a £250k+ bill for transport and accommodation just to compete at Step 4 (and unless the good people of Guernsey decide to join the UK that bill isn't likely to reduce any time soon). They all have a couple of things in common though; a youth system and an ability to get a strong first team squad out for each match (even if that means splashing a bit of cash.

As far as a youth system goes, on the face of it GFC doesn't have one. But then you look at the likes of the Aztec Soccer Academy and the Guernsey College Football Academy (Headmaster A Vance) and you see a youth system, albeit one that's ostensibly for the benefit of footballers in Guernsey rather than just one club, as in GFC.

When it comes to putting out the strongest available squad each game, the travel budget means that a budget for wages isn't an option (although the players do get a modest amount to help with expenses, such as airport parking, meals on away trips and so on).

Some of our players have very supportive employers who are able to provide paid leave so they can make away games. For obvious reasons a large chunk of the squad aren't in this position, hence a midweek away game is likely to be akin to a 'run what yer brung' race. And that's why we won't be in the play-offs this season.

So how to address this situation to give us the best chance of success next season? If it was down to me I would look to the club's statements as to the whys and wherefores of its existence on the GFC website.

At its inception in 2011 the club's vision was to 'create, develop and maintain a sustainable, successful, financially viable, democratic football club that creates and maintains real and lasting benefits to its members and the local Guernsey community'.

To get to the point I would look to establish a fund to ensure players that don't have the benefit of an employer that sponsors the club, can be recompensed for taking unpaid leave to be available for away matches (still requires a good degree of commitment from employers and players alike).

How? By establishing a membership scheme. Not like the one that was in existence for a while which, incidentally, wasn't exactly a revenue spinner. No, one that gives a member nothing more than a vote on who runs the club, as well as certain high level strategic issues, such as signing players from the UK.

That membership scheme could then lead to other fund raising opportunities.

That seems the way to success and democracy, whilst helping to build sustainability and viability (both of which also need closer working with the GFA and a fit for purpose island football stadium).

So nothing revolutionary (I'll probably be nominating the incumbent officials in any election) just a thought on how to realise the vision.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

'Touting' update & time for the Lions to roar at the ARS

Just a quick follow up to the extremely detailed report on the South Park match published earlier, dear reader. Ross Allen appears to be back at the top of his game, Kieran Mahon seems to have bulked up a bit and certainly cut an imposing figure on the pitch at South Park. Crusher McGrath ran his socks off once again, got very frustrated with the lack of a goal on the night then, when given the ball for the penalty in time added on, dispatched it with aplomb (despite some so-called fans spreading out behind the goal to retrieve the ball (who would do such a thing...)).

Perhaps more importantly, all in all it was a good team performance.

Last week we mentioned a piece in the Non League Paper that looked as if GFC were touting for UK based players (certainly read like an advertorial in the paper). I think most of you will be pleased to hear that touting has not become club policy.

It seems that during the interview TV re-iterated the line that any players moving to Guernsey to work would be eligible for selection and there was no indication that the email address would be published with the article.

Big game at the ARS tomorrow night. Alright, the play-offs seem a distant thought but there's the little matter of an 8-0 drubbing at Merstham earlier this season to address. Time for the Lions to roar.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Bit cheesy but....'Seven-th Heaven'

South Park 1 Guernsey FC 7

Bishopsgate to London Bridge, not very far really but when you've got a train to catch it seems to take forever. The Llama Express departed on time though and what a fabulously spacious experience it was, courtesy of the Southern Railway.

Fifty odd minutes later we alighted at Reigate, only to bump into a blazer model by the name of Ermin, waiting for a cab to South Park's ground. About 30 minutes later a cab finally arrived and the driver set his satnav (always a good sign for a local cabbie to be using satnav) and took us to the Reigate Priory ground.

A quick reset of the satnav and, at the second time of asking, we arrived at our destination.

The welcome was as warm as it was for our visit in the CCL, a polypin of the local Pilgrim Brewery's Progress was on the bar, a stack of good value and decent sized rolls was behind the bar. The clubhouse is light and spacious these days, the club having made alterations to increase its use throughout the week (with three dart boards they now host a darts league for instance).

Only one change to the ground since our first visit and that is a second Atcost stand behind one of the goals. No doubt required to meet ground grading regulations (well done FA) but, for South Park, not really necessary and not used on the night (if ever). The South Park faithful prefer to congregate near the (still excellent) teabar.

One thing that hasn't changed is South Park's 'keeper. Still James Wastell and he still gives good value. Immaculately coiffured his performance on the night really didn't merit the hammering it turned out to be. Three of our goals followed decent saves where the defence was woefully slow in reacting, 2 penalties and a touch from Ross Allen for GFC's 5th goal was, let's just say, simply exquisite.

South Park's tactics seemed to centre around lumping the ball upfield and try and find Chris Smith. Much of the time the ball went nowhere in particular but when he did receive it he showed why he's been banging in the goals this season. The first half sawy a number of close calls, although overall GFC were good value for the 2-0 lead at halftime.

Our third goal was harsh on South Park as, even peering through the gloom from the far end, it looked an obvious backpass to Chris Tardif by Tom de la Mare before we broke and scored within mere seconds. Suffice to say the home side weren't happy and most of them were resigned to defeat, the last few minutes becoming a bit of a rout.

Before the game, with the usual midweek squad issues, no-one would have imagined things would pan out as they did but the result should give the lads some confidence ahead of the visit of Merstham on Friday evening. And we do owe them one, or eight.

Allez les Verts!!

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Folkestone 5 Guernsey 2 - 'Match' Report

Folkestone 5 Guernsey 2

The stalemate between the clubs had to end sometime and so it came to pass on Saturday.

Folkestone is well served by high speed train from St Pancras (yes, there is still a railway station hidden away amongst the shops) and it was from platform 12 that the Llama Express pulled away at 9.34. Just under an hour later the train pulled in to Folkestone Central, from where it was but a short walk to find truckin' Ash resisting the temptation of bargain cuts of meat from the Brummie butcher at the town's open air Saturday market.

We weren't there for the market however so, without further ado, we made our way to the harbour where we knew, courtesy of Gazois, there to be a pub called the Ship which was ideally placed to begin the journey harbour to ground.
Folkestone Harbour has seen better days. The ferry terminal closed years ago with the advent of le Chunnel but there is still a tidal harbour used by a mix of fishing and pleasure boats. Not a patch on St Peter Port as far as facilities for the boats goes but the quayside has a range of seafood stalls, caffs and restaurants that make you scratch your head and wonder why you can't get such a range of fruits de mer at reasonable prices on any of the piers in Guernsey.

Folkestone_1415_Harbour.jpg Folkestone_1415_Gull.JPG Folkestone_1415_Mermaid.JPG

Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that Gaz had missed a boozer. A few doors up from the Ship is the Mariners and that, dear reader, is where the day really began. Cracking pint of Sussex Best in there, in pleasant surroundings, followed by a short walk to the Ship for a not so cracking pint of 6X. Nice pub though, pickled eggs behind 
the bar to boot.

Folkestone_1415_Mariners.JPG Folkestone_1415_Ship.JPG Folkestone_1415_BritUnion.JPG

From there it was a short walk through steep, cobbled streets to the British Lion, the oldest pub ion Folkestone. These were streets with a bit of atmosphere to them. Close your eyes and you could easily imagine the press gang seeking out willing volunteers to join the Royal Navy back in the day (c1975). This was the pick of the three hostelries we sampled before getting a cab to the ground, although Fenians might struggle with the cushions that adorn the banquettes.

The ground has change a little bit since we were there last year. The storm damaged stand that was out of bounds last year has gone so that side is now a biggish uncovered terrace. The grandads' stand opposite, which was covered terrace with a few seats here and there, is now all seated. The clubhouse, stripes, remains excellent with a couple of polypins of ale available. The chow (I think) was there and smiling and the teabar seemed better organised than last season (chips were very good).

Folkestone_1415_Openterrace.JPG Folkestone_1415_Chow.JPG

So to the match. Didn't see the opening goal as I was applying salt and vinegar to some chips. Highlights show us being just a bit pedestrian at the back though. Folkestone's second was an absolute screamer though, scored by Ian Draycott and absolutely nothing 1F could do about it. So 2-0 down in a short space of time but we got ourselves back into the match, creating a number of chances in the first half. In the main they were just too close to the Folkestone keeper, if only we'd sent the ball in the direction of the bottom corner a few more times it could have been oh so different (on the two occasions we did, the 'keeper did well however).

Shortly before half time Ross Allen, who played out of his skin throughout, turned the defence outside in and inside out, several times, before pulling a goal back for GFC in spectacular fashion. If you just saw that and Draycott's wonder strike on the afternoon you would have been more than satisfied that you'd got your money's worth.

The second half saw a couple of goals in quick succession by the hosts, their third had us scratching own heads wondering how the (not great) strike managed to worm it's way past the walk into the corner of the net. Ross pulled one back which gave hope but Invicta rubbed salt in the wound in injury time.

There didn't seem that much of a gap between the two team, although 5-2 doesn't lie and we certainly should have done better defending at least 2 of the Folkestone goals (as in we shouldn't have conceded).

Folkestone manager Neil Cugley received a fair amount of stick during the game, he was wearing brown shoes with a blue suit though, so what did he expect? After the final whistle we all adjourned to the bar above the dressing rooms where fans, players and officials from both clubs mixed, chatted and wound down before heading off to wherever it was they need to be.

Folkestone makes for a good day out and, for that reason alone, I hope they're still in the Isthmian South next season. I do have some empathy with Mr Cugley's view on kick off times however. A 3pm kick off would be enable us to make much more of the town centre's attractions.


Keep it Green!

Monday, 16 March 2015

First, let me disappoint you, our last remaining reader. No waffle about the trip to Folkestone as yet, too busy keeping bankers on the straight and narrow today I'm afraid. Still, day off on Wednesday so double waffle then, then.

Tomorrow's opponents South Park were going well up to Christmas then they struggled to shake off the festive excesses, losing 6 matches on the trot. Since then they've won 2, drawn 1 (home to Merstham) and lost 3, including a 6-0 thumping at Folkestone last Tuesday.

So, despite us losing 3 on the spin, the form book suggests we're favourites. Here's the squad:-

Tardif, Machlowski, Hutton, Cochrane (to be confirmed), de la Mare, J Winch, Mackay, Steel, E le Prevost, Black, K Mahon, Loaring, Heaume, McGrath, Allen, Young. Paris Pereira is on standby should Cockers not be available.

Heck of an attacking threat in that group of players but, one way or another, a number of enforced changes once again at the back. I can see more than one back four amongst that group but the defensive unit is the part of the team where most coaches would choose consistency if they could (if it were that simple). In the absence of consistency, no charging forward from the back lads, play it quickly through the midfield and terrorise the South Park defence. Oh, and wear black boots.

With the club house opening at 6 and locally brewed real ale available it promises to be another entertaining evening following the Guernsey over land and sea on llamas.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

As 5-2 defeats go yesterday's was a good competitive match at Folkestone, between 2 sides. A full ramble will follow but, having spent a couple of hours in the town before the match, I really recommend Folkestone for an away day.
Narrow cobbled streets, steps, seafood,  pubs with pickled eggs behind the bar and friendly locals all add up to a place where your average Guern will feel right at home. Equally warm welcome from everyone at the football club as well. Had a brief chat with Neil Cugley after the game and, whisper it, he's not so bad after all.
Folkestone_1415_Harbour.jpg Folkestone_1415_Gull.JPG Folkestone_1415_BritUnion.JPG
On Tuesday we head to South Park, if you're going you can find some essential information by clicking here.
Here's a message from South Park's secretary Nick Thatcher:-
"We would like to advise Guernsey supporters coming to South Park for our Ryman League Division One South fixture on Tuesday that our clubhouse will be open from 6.00pm.The bar will have a local real ale from the Pilgram Brewery in Reigate together with draught lager and cider and a selection of bottled bitters.We look forward to welcoming you on Tuesday."
See you all at 6 on Tuesday then....
Keep it Green
Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Tomorrow we head to the Kent coast and, in particular, high flying Folkestone Invicta.

Invicta boss Neil Cugley is looking to break the run of 3 draws between the clubs by gaining the 3 points he reckons they need to guarantee their playoff spot.

The Invicta website editor is once again spouting nothing but positive thoughts about GFC, the current bone of contention being the difference in strength between travelling midweek / Saturday squads. No mention that the club most impacted by this is, er, Guernsey FC though.

Before you get too uptight about Invicta's website editor, spare a thought. How would you be if you were downwind of Dover?

Anyway, here's the squad for tomorrow:

Tardif, Hutton, L Mahon, de la Mare, J Winch, Strawbridge, Dodd, Steel, K Mahon, Black, Loaring, Heaume, Allen, McGrath, Young.

Good to see Craig Young back in the squad but, with Cockers, Gus Mackay and Dave Rihoy unavailable we're missing some key and influential faces.

The lads will need to be at the top of their game to deny Mr Cugley his 3 points, especially as the home team are following up on a 6-0 stroll against South Park on Thursday.

If you're going check out the away match info page for all you need to know. Llama Express leaves St Pancras at 9.34 or 10.37, if you want a lie in.

Keep it Green.

Allez les Verts!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Three matches in the Isthmian South tonight and the results didn't matter a great deal as far as GFC's destiny this season is concerned. The 'shock' result of the night was Burgess Hill only managing a 1-1 draw away to Redhill. The shock could have been greater as Burgess Hill only equalised in the 86th minute. Hythe went to Tolworth and thumped Corinthian Casuals 6-1, South Park entertained Herne Bay and lost 2-0.

The team most affected by tonight's events is Hastings Utd as games in games in hand for East Grinstead and Redhill mean the pull of the relegation zone is getting stronger by the week.

In this age of austerity we're joining the cost cutting bandwagon and are considering shifting to a blogger site. Please click here to take a ganders at what is very much a work in progress. Any feedback would be welcome as there's a while to go before we have to make a decision, if you do have a comment use one of the 'contact us' options and provide detail as to your set up.

If you're thinking of going to Folkestone on Saturday check out the away days tab at the blogsite for info you may find useful.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Well it was a clash of styles, albeit not in the way we hoped. just as it was in Kent a few months ago Faversham were big but they came with less of the ugly and more of the very very effective. We didn't find our mojo until the last third of the match, by which time it would have been all over were it not for Chris Tardif putting in another superb display.

Shortly after finding the aforementioned mojo Faversham scored their second and, although a few chances were created and we came agonisingly close to score it was another case of too little too late.

With nine matches left to play we're still just 8 points from that final play-0ff place. Not beyond the realms of possibility, although one out of Whyteleafe and Worthing should have what it takes to make the spot their own.

We really do need 3 points from our next match to keep in with a shout and that means away to Folkestone next Saturday. Invicta played out a drab 0-0 draw at Corinthian Casuals yesterday and are due to play host to South Park on Thursday. South Park also play on Tuesday, so Folkestone may not need to be at the top of their game to secure the result on Thursday. Whatever we need to be at the top of ours next weekend.

A couple of interesting things in the news over the last few days. Firstly Tony Vance has been appointed as GFC's Commercial Manager. The post of Commercial Manager is usually the first, often only, salaried position at a non league football club (playing staff apart). With everything else that TV does around the place this additional responsibility must surely make it near impossible to hold down gainful employment outside of GFC/the GCFA. So I don't envisage anyone begrudging him a salary, if he's getting one. If TV's not being adequately compensated for all that he does we'll just have to speculate about what Messrs dewsnip and le Tissier know about him that the rest of us don't.

In today's Non League Paper Tony Williams (who's been writing about non-league for donkey's years) used his regular column to reminisce about a couple of seasons he spent playing in Guernsey. He then went on to recommend that any singleton footballer fancying a change of scene should consider going over for a trial. 'If work can be found, they could enjoy at least two seasons on the island....' he said, ending the piece with 'Anyone interested should contact Tony Vance...' giving TV's email address.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Faversham Town visit the ARS tomorrow and I suspect that, to a man, they will relish the opportunity to play the part of pantomime villain in front of the frenzied, passionate faithful in the Garenne. They're big and ugly and struggle to stay on their feet, except for when they're in the referee's face.

They certainly know where the back of the net is though, having scored 89 goals in the league so far this season. Well placed to finish 2nd behind Burgess Hill, they are not infallible however. Their last 6 matches have seen 3 wins and 3 losses, the defeats being to Whitstable, Hythe and Corinthian Casuals.

When we lost 3-0 in the away fixture we had a scratch squad and were (very) low on numbers. In the circumstances the performance overall was a lot better than the scoreline suggested. The aquad for tomorrow's match is a little bit different from back then:-

Tardif, Cochrane, Strawbridge, Dodd, Winch (J), Mackay, Steel, Mahon (K), Mahon (L), Black, Hutton, Loaring, Rihoy, Heaume, Allen, McGrath.

Expect a clash of styles and a playing field, on paper at least, a lot leveller than it was in September.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Eeee it were cold at Three Bridges last night. A night that comprised travel problems, goalmouth scrambles, missed opportunities, as clear a penalty shout as you'll ever see (hear?) ignored and, unfortunately two goals for the home side. One of those nights when we just couldn't seem to get a firm boot behind and 'through' the ball in the oppostition penalty area.

A meandering piece of waffle loosely describing the evening from the point of view of an inhabitant of Ormering Towers will follow soon but for match reports we commend clicking on the Three Bridges website here, or GFC's news page here.

From Jersey we here that the newly installed 3G pitch at Springfield has been caged in at the behest of the FA (who provided a grant towards its installation). This is not surprising as the FA, not unreasonably, insist on such a cage when pitches are installed in locations that are not secure. Springfield is part of a publicly accessible open space and, as a result, has suffered significant vandalism in the past. Although the JFA applied for planning consent to fence in the football ground, permission was refused buy the Jersey authorities. Local residents complained about the impact on their views of beautiful St Helier apparently.

Meanwhile back in Guernsey we learn that Bels have support from the ever so popular Environment dept to construct a swanky new stand with hospitality facilities and all mod cons. Their vision is to install a 3G pitch one day too.

All of which is to be applauded and supported but is it really a viable proposition for a club in the Priaulx League? Surely a partnership approach between the landowners, the GFA and the only local club with the potential to secure significant gate revenues has to be explored, even if that means personal differences/opinions need to be set aside for the longer term good of Guernsey football.

Finally, a recent post on our forum seems bound to provoke some debate and will, no doubt, divide opinions (but that's debate for you). The view from Ormering Towers will follow in due course (when we can get the splinters out of our arses!) but, in the meantime, the more debating the merrier.

Keep it Green

Allez les Verts!!

Monday, 2 March 2015

It was just this morning that I noticed a somewhat odd little article on the Beeb's Guernsey sports news page, you can find it by clicking here.

Odd as in the timing - it was popsted on friday lunchtime when a preview of the Hastings match would have been expected (no mention of it though). It was also odd as in the content, one example being Tony Vance quoted thus " There are some full-time managers, certainly everyone's part-time (at Truro). ......". Answers on a postcard please as to what Vancie's on about (or on as the case may be).

Tomorrow we head to Three Bridges who are 1 place and 3 points below us in the table. One of a handful of clubs to have conceded more goals than us this season they've also only scored 3 fewer than us. Their last six matches have seen 3 wins, 2 draws and one defeat. A light dusting of icing sugar meant the original fixture was postponed shortly after the GFC travelling party had landed at nearby Gatwick Airport. This not only cost GFC several thousand pounds but meant that Three Bridges now have the misfortune of facing our 'midweek squad'.

That in itself should be enough of a pre-match teamtalk but, as it happens, the travelling squad looks more than capable:-

Tardif, Geall, Pengelley, Cochrane, Dodd, J Winch, Mackay, L Mahon, Steel, Black, Loaring, Rihoy, Heaume, McGrath, L Winch.

If you're going pre-match refreshments from 4.30 at the 'Spoons in Victoria Station or, if you're not travelling from London, the Plough near the ground before headingto the clubhouse.

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 ...