A JERSEY under-21 select side were well beaten in the first of two matches playing against Northern Ireland schoolboys on Monday night, losing 4-1.
Having found themselves 3-0 down after 60 minutes, Jersey managed to pull one back through Sol Solomon from the penalty spot but were unable to make further capital from the game. The squad featured many of the Centre of Excellence U18 players and a vastly different and more ‘senior’ team is expected to face the same opponents for the Lynne Nicholson Memorial Trophy tonight.
The trophy tie also marks the first game in charge for Jersey U21s’ new head coach Dave Kennedy and he is expecting his players to give Northern Ireland a much sterner test this time round. ‘We know this is a really difficult fixture’, said Kennedy. ‘Northern Ireland play with a lot of pace and aggression and we’ve got to try to match them in every department.’
This is the 21st year that the two sides have contested the trophy, with Jersey yet to win it and Kennedy knows that his team will have to show a much different attitude to the one shown on Monday night if they are going to cause an upset. There was a distinct lack of competitiveness from the Jersey-side on the night, something that Kennedy is keen to put right this evening.
‘It’s a huge privilege for the boys to be playing a competitive international fixture,’ continued Kennedy. ‘I’ve got high expectations and I expect them to be matched by the players. We’ve not had much opportunity to work on set-pieces and shape but I’ll be looking for us to play good attacking football off the front foot and hopefully be able to take any chances that come our way that can win us the trophy. We’re looking forward to it and I’m expecting a fully competitive performance.’
Kick off is at 7.45pm and entrance to Springfield Stadium is free.
Squad: Adam Le Lere, Sam Masefield, Harry Curtis*, Joe Kilshaw (all St Paul’s), Daniel Birrell*, Josh Coutanche (both Jersey Wanderers), James Carr*, Toby Ritzema, Sol Solomon*, Ben Le Rougetel (all St Peter), Brad Le Mercier, Max Rivers (both Grouville), Callum Huckerby, Jake Huckerby, Jake Prince (all St Ouen), Thomas Harris (St Clement).
*Denotes dual registration with Jersey Bulls.
'I'm sick to death of going completely around in a circle... we should be telling the public as soon as possible'
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