Cassidy keen on uncapped duo
JERSEY’S players are fit, hungry and ready to go, as they bid to win back the Muratti Vase against Guernsey at Springfield tomorrow, writes Andy Bradshaw.
Scotsman Martin Cassidy has a much-changed squad from 2017 – only ten of the 18 remain – as he looks to overturn last year’s 2-1 defeat at Foote’s Lane, when he took charge in a Muratti final for the first time.
Cassidy, who has lifted the Vase as a player and as an assistant manager, said: ‘Things are going well, all the hard work has been done and the players are ready.
‘It’s the first time I’ve picked a squad for a game and it has not had to be changed, which is great.
‘I’ve chosen the best players and now it’s down to them to go out and put on a show and win the game.
‘It’s the best squad in my mind and there are big changes from last season.
‘Everyone is happy, there is no moaning, no negatives and everyone is keen and eager.’
Cassidy’s build-up has been restricted due the Jersey Football Combination’s fixture pile-up at the end of this season.
‘It’s not been ideal and we’ve had to get on with it,’ he said.
‘We’ve played three matches [against the Royal Navy, Upton Park FC and the Essex and Suffolk Border League] and we’ve not conceded a goal, so that’s good.’
Cassidy would not be drawn into announcing his starting XI, but he was full of praise for two uncapped players – Jersey Wanderers midfielder Kamen Nafkha and St Paul’s attacking midfielder Adam Trotter.
Cassidy said: ‘We’ve lots of different players who have impressed me at various times this season, Kamen Nafkha is a new challenger for the No 8 position and his efforts have been brilliant.
‘Adam Trotter is 22 now so it’s time for him to step up and put a marker down for Jersey for the future.
‘We’ll also look for our experienced players to manage the game well and I’m confident that we can put on good performances as a group.
‘Jack Boyle is captain and he too has been a stand-out performer this season.’
Jersey will be much-relieved that they will not have to face Guernsey talisman Ross Allen,as he has emigrated to New Zealand. The three-time man-of-the-match, who scored 16 goals in 16 Muratti appearances, was on target, along with regular Dom Heaume, in last year’s win.
Cassidy said: ‘Guernsey still have dangerous players, Dom Heaume is one, but we are not worrying about them, we are concentrating on ourselves.
‘My players will look to win their battles against their opponent, together with playing football.
‘We outplayed Guernsey last year but we only scored one goal.
‘We know Guernsey are very capable of putting up a defensive wall if they get in front, so we will look to get an early goal to get them to come out more.
‘We chased the game for a long time last year [Jersey were 2-0 down after 22 minutes] and we don’t want to be chasing it this time around.’
Jersey squad: Euan van der Vliet, Danny Birrell, Jack Cannon, James Quérée, Luke Campbell, Harry Curtis, Michael Weir, Calvin Weir, Jay Reid, Jack Boyle, Kamen Nafkha, Adam Trotter, Jake Baker, Jake Prince, Karl Hinds and Craig Russell.
Guernsey: Chris Tardif (player-coach), Jason Martin, Jamie Dodd, Alex Le Prevost, Tom de la Mare, Harry Tobin, River Marsh, Craig Young, Charlton Gauvain, Ben Coulter, Matt Loaring, Dave Rihoy, Paris Pereira, Dom Heaume, Tom Strawbridge and Will Fazakerley.