Volleyball: Toal and Gartshore picked for eighth Games

Volleyball: Toal and Gartshore picked for eighth Games
  • NatWest Island Games veterans to make eighth appearance for Jersey at this summer's event.

  • Indoor volleyball to take place at Fort Regent from 28 June - 3 July.

JERSEY'S men's indoor volleyball squad for the NatWest Island Games has been revealed, and it includes a wealth of experience alongside a sprinkling of youth.

54-year-old Mick Toal has been named in the 12-strong side for Jersey 2015 – making it eight consecutive Games appearances since Gotland in 1999 (barring Bermuda, when Jersey didn't send a team) – and will line up alongside the likes of 43-year-old Paul Gartshore and Steven Clarke (38).

54-year-old Mick Toal is in Jersey's indoor volleyball squad for the eighth Island Games in a row (when Jersey have sent a team)

Unlike Toal, who has appeared in every Games since 1999 when Jersey have sent an indoor team, Gartshore will be playing in his eighth successive Games (without a break) having partnered Bero Bobus in beach volleyball in Bermuda two years ago. He began his Games career in the Isle of Man in 2001.

In all, ten of the squad are over the age of 30, and six of those are over 35.

But there is also plenty of potential on show from a youth perspective, with 18-year-old Chris De Rue and 21-year-old Ruben Vieira included, and, as the Caesareans look to build on their 2014 Guernsey Open title and national cup quarter-final appearance, player-coach Daniel Grigoras is pleased with how the team is shaping up.

'Our squad has been training twice a week for the last ten months, including technique and tactics, conditioning and stamina,' said Grigoras.

'We entered into both the English national cup and the Guernsey Open in 2014 and these tournaments offered increased levels of competition against national Division one, two and three teams. They also presented great opportunities to bleed new players into the squad, prepare the squad for an increased level of competition (similar to that of the calibre of the island games) and to help the squad players bond more.

'The squad has trained hard and improved and we are ready for the Games in June. We will give everything we can to deliver for Team Jersey and we are aiming for the semi-finals, although it will be tough!'

The team are next in action in the annual inter-insular, which takes place at Fort Regent, on the new Taraflex floor which will be used in the Games, on 18 April.

Paul Gartshore, left, traveled to Bermuda in 2013 for beach volleyball

Meanwhile, beach volleyball co-ordinator Paul Adamson has called for Islanders to volunteer as preparation enters its final stages.

As is the case with the majority of the 14 sports around the Island, helping hands will be required both at the Weighbridge and Fort Regent for the beach and indoor volleyball events respectively, and Adamson is hoping the spirit of the Games will shine through and encourage people to get involved.

'Because we've got beach and indoor volleyball at the same time we're going to need about 200 volunteers,' he said. 'We need people that can do scoring, we need line judges, and we'll train everyone up to do that, and we also need ball crew to keep the game flowing.

'Volunteering was how I got involved with the sport at the Island Games in 1997. That boosted my interest and what I've done in volleyball all came from that, so hopefully it might have the same effect on people this year.'

Men: Mick Toal, Chris De Rue, David Cox, Daniel Grigoras, Matthew Morel, Stuart Black, Andre Fortunado, Steven Clarke, Leo Figueira, Ruben Vieira,Tim Silvester, Paul Gartshore.

Women: Deidre De Rue, Paula Hindley, Dominika Thomas, Ania Rowsell, Luisa Abreu, Laura Morel, Ann Cadiou, Nicki Appleton, Renata Freitas, Daniella Jakodova, Gemma Coles, Marta Kowalczewska.

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