NatWest Island Games: Botterill on the beat
IT IS not unheard of for Islanders to compete in more than one sport at a NatWest Island Games, but there can't be many occasions where those that have fought on two fronts in the past have done so just five hours apart.
That is exactly what Jodie Botterill is preparing to do next month when Jersey's basketball and football sides begin their campaigns in St Helier.
Guernsey 2003: Ladies football bronze
Rhodes 2007: 11th
Aland 2009: Group stages
Isle of Wight 2011: 8th
Jersey 2015: Ladies football and ladies basketball
The former Wales football international, who has travelled to four previous Games (winning football bronze in Guernsey in 2003), will line up at Fort Regent on Sunday 28 June for Jersey's ladies basketball team's first Island Games fixture in 14 years. The 12 pm encounter – against Group B rivals Guernsey – will be followed by a trip down to Springfield to help the hosts when they tackle Greenland's footballers at 5 pm.
A tough ask, and one that may well be repeated in the knockout stages later in the week, but as we dip under the 'four weeks to go' mark the 30-year-old has said that, while fitting in training for both teams isn't proving too difficult, there is a slight sense of apprehension.
'It's working out alright,' said Botterill. 'I'm managing to get to most training sessions and they don't clash too much. It is quite tiring but I've just got to manage it, when I get too tired I will take a step back.
'I'm definitely getting nervous. Over the last couple of weeks with inter-insulars a lot has been going through my head, I've been thinking "is my body going to be alright for the week of the Games?" I've still got a lot of work to do and time is running out, so I need to step it up a gear.'
On the basketball squad's 79-21 inter-insular defeat to Guernsey last week, and their hopes for Jersey 2015, the police officer continued: 'It was difficult at the weekend in the inter-insular. We were expecting to do better, but at the same time I think we played better than the scoreline suggests.
'It is a developing team who are playing in their first Games for a long time, but we are getting better each week and our aim is to be competitive. It would be great to get a decent placing but if we can walk away thinking we weren't just there to make up numbers we'll be proud.'
The Jersey FA Centre of Excellence coach also went on to discuss her delight at seeing youth players – including her sister, Sophie, and fellow Centre product Holly Muirhead – make it into the Games football squad as they look to fight for top-spot.
'It makes me feel old, but it's great seeing them do well and I feel very proud, not just for me but also for the Centre in general. And it's especially good seeing my sister involved as I know how hard she's worked.
'There are a few people who haven't played in the Games before, but they've still got experience playing for Jersey, so there is a good mix. We have a really strong squad throughout – we're not just relying on our starting eleven.
'Based on the draw and results we've had recently it would be silly to target lower than gold. We're just going for the highest achievement possible, especially with it being a home Games.
'We want to win it at home. We have a great squad and great coaches, so the only thing that will let us down is ourselves.'
The ladies football squad are holding a round the Island cycle event on 13 June to raise funds for the Donna Annand Melanoma Charity and a pre-Games trip to face Everton FC. Donations can be made via www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/jerseyladiesfootball.
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