Captain ‘Salad’ expecting raw meat menu at Foote’s Lane
VOTED Jersey Reds’ supporters’ player of the year and named the club’s top try-scorer for 2017/18, Nick ‘Salad’ Selway has a rare opportunity to bag an end-of-season trophy hat-trick tomorrow, writes Jason Fox.
The 28-year-old said he felt ‘humbled’ at the pre-Siam dinner on Wednesday night when picked out as the fans’ favourite, but that humility has now turned into determination ahead of a trip to Foote’s Lane.
He wants to lift the Siam Cup.
Selway – approaching his fifth encounter against Guernsey since arriving from Cinderford in 2013 – is one of just two professionals available to Siam coach Myles Landick and will lead the Reds out for what is set to be Jersey’s toughest senior inter-island fixture since 2008 or beyond.
He may not be Jerseyborn, but extended time in and around the St Peter clubhouse has erased any doubts over the game’s value.
‘My first one  was when we were in that relegation battle to stay up, so the focus was never on the Siam,’ Selway explained.
‘It was about staying up in the Championship. We all looked at the Siam as a no-pressure game that year, but after that they changed the rules and the [professional] boys have slowly started to realise what it means to people on the Island.’
While Guernsey’s coaches refuse to accept that Jersey arrive as underdogs, the fact remains that the Caesareans’ class of 2018 includes 20 amateur players. The Sarnians have included a handful of Colts in their squad, but the remainder are not bound by the same three-year residency rule imposed on the visitors.
Landick says victory will be Jersey’s best in over a decade, and his captain believes that feat is more than achievable.
‘Guernsey have come off a hell of a year,’ he said.
‘They’ve got promotion [to National Two] and fair play to them, and they’ll be wanting to finish on a high. But so are we.
‘Every game is a tough game. Siam games are always emotionally-charged and as soon as you take that first contact you realise how tough it’ll be. The skill level obviously isn’t like the Championship, but the physicality is definitely up there.
‘One thing I won’t have to do is gee the lads up up ... they’ve been buzzing this week in training. But it will be important to keep them settled – we need to keep things simple and as long as we keep going forward we’ll be fine.
‘They’re all great lads, and we know they’re going to be giving it 110 per cent.’
Asked to sum up his feelings on being made captain, he added: ‘Proud, definitely, especially because a lot of them [the squad] are my mates. It will be good to play with and lead out a good bunch of lads and for me it’s a game where you can give something back to fans, because they’re always here supporting us throughout the Championship.’
Selway is joined in the starting XV by retiring Tongan powerhouse Uili Kolo’ofa’i, with the duo surrounded by 20 names from Jersey Athletic’s Zoo Sports Shield squad.
Around 15 of the Reds’ first-team are also due to make the journey across the water to boost the away-end support.