From next season the club will be entering the U23 side into three midweek cup competitions in England, giving young players a chance to experience being part of the club and a pathway into the senior set up.
It is another exciting development for football in Jersey with Bulls continuing to breathe new life in the sport on the Island. The number of games in the season could be anywhere between three and ten depending on the team’s progress in the competitions and with all of the games being played in mid-week, the club are keen to emphasise that local league and cup football will not be negatively impacted.
Chairman Russell Le Feuvre said the club has contacted all JFA Combination League clubs to discuss their proposals and has so far received a positive response.
‘It’s really exciting for the club and for the players. Hopefully some of them will break into the first team,' he said. 'If not, they’ll still be richer for the experience.
'It gives the opportunity for young players coming through to experience the type of competition the first team men are experiencing, the level of commitment required and how the club operates when they travel away for games.
‘We’ve met with a majority to the Combination clubs to explain what we want to do. We want to be completely open about it. It’s important to us that the local league and cup fixtures are not compromised in any way so we will work in tandem with the clubs to know who will be available or not. We’ve got to have a good relationship and have these two-way conversations.'
A number of young players, such as teenagers Jay and Rai dos Santos and Jack Lumsden, had been brought into the fold by manager Gary Freeman at the beginning of the now aborted season and he is keen to see other promising young players feel a part of the club.
‘It gives more players an opportunity to develop themselves by playing against UK opposition, unknown faces, at a senior level and to see what it is like to play for the Bulls,' said Freeman. 'It also provides another level for player pathways and, you never know, it could open up a few more doors and might even lead to getting some professional players out of this too.’
The club will also be looking to appoint a new management team for the development side so Freeman can concentrate on senior duties. Anyone interested in the role can find more details on the club's website at www.bulls.je.