Island juniors handed cup boost
JERSEY’S under-18 footballers will play in an eight-team competition next season, after being accepted into the South East County Youth Championship.
Two weeks after suffering the disappointment of finding out they would not be playing in the FA County Youth Cup, due to an administration error, the Island’s top juniors now have a competitive tournament and a minimum of three games spread each side of Christmas.
JFA chief executive Jean-Luc Desbois said: ‘I spoke with a fellow CEO on a visit to Wembley and low and behold the day after I told him we’d missed the County Youth Cup we got a note through saying that they wanted us to participate in the South East County Youth Championship.
‘The benefit of that is we have three guaranteed games, we will play in one of two groups of four teams with the winners then playing a final.
‘Jersey have been drawn with Kent, London and Sussex, so we will have two fixtures before the end of the year with another to be played before the end of March.
‘Then, obviously, depending on our results, potentially a final after that.
‘I’m very excited about this and it’s just a demonstration that if we start speaking to people, the other CEOs at the FA, we can actually develop these types of games for our teams.
‘This type of competition will also mean that the players will get a lot more out of them than actually playing in a friendly.
‘There is also an U16 Championship, but it’s one step at a time at this moment in time.
‘We’ve been accepted into the U18s and because there are eight counties involved, we will get to network and work with them over the coming season and the idea would be that we broaden that out if we can.’