Campbell revels in ‘amazing’ cup win

HISTORY-MAKING defender Luke Campbell was thrilled to bring home the FA Inter-League Cup trophy after a run that stretched back 590 days.

LUKE CAMPBELL celebrates Jersey's FA Inter-League Cup victory with his team mates on Sunday Picture: ESAPHOTOS/TONY FOWLES (30815903)
LUKE CAMPBELL celebrates Jersey's FA Inter-League Cup victory with his team mates on Sunday Picture: ESAPHOTOS/TONY FOWLES (30815903)

The Covid-19 pandemic played havoc with the tournament schedule but it was brought to its conclusion on Sunday when his Jersey Football Combination-select side overcame their West Cheshire League opponents 5-1.

It was the second-time Jersey had won the cup in its history — the first region to do so — and the second-time Luke Campbell had won it ... and score in the final ... the first player to do either in an historic trio of firsts.

Unlike last time, when they won in 2012, the team will not go on to represent England in the UEFA Regions, something which added a tinge of disappointment to an otherwise euphoric occasion.

‘It’s really amazing to be honest,’ said Campbell, who scored a penalty in the win. ‘Yesterday was a great day. With the tournament going on for so many months, it’s nice to finally bring the trophy home.’

The interruptions caused by Covid-19 meant that it was hard for coach Martin Cassidy and his management team to get the side together.

‘We’re a tight-knit group and when we do get together it doesn’t seem like we’ve been apart for long anyway.

‘We see each other out and about or playing.

It’s not ideal with it being so long and spread out because of Covid, but it didn’t affect us significantly.’

The team was focused on winning the cup more than the chance to represent England, something Campbell described as a bonus to the main prize.

‘There’s a bit of disappointment not going away to represent England, but to win it is an achievement on its own. All the boys are buzzing.’

Jersey set out to start the game quickly, just like they had in the semi-final. Jake Prince, Campbell and Sol Soloman put Jersey three goals ahead within the first 15 minutes. Soloman and Luca Margaroli added two more in the second half, with Louis Gorman scoring for West Cheshire in between those efforts.

‘It seems strange to say it, but sometimes you can get off to too good a start and the other team then come back into it. But we did well, we set out what we needed to do and managed the game well,’ added Campbell.

‘I thought we were comfortable. Without being arrogant, I would always back our team. We kept playing, playing the ball. There were a few moments when they scored their goal, but I always had the confidence that we wouldn’t give away a three- or four-goal lead.’

He said that the standard of football was slightly higher than playing with the Jersey Bulls.

‘A lot of people will turn around, look at some of the final scores, and say it wasn’t that tough a game. But we are a very good football team, the talent of players we get in Jersey is amazing for such a small island compared to the UK where they have a bigger pool of players to choose from.

‘We are a good football team and we showed that in the final.’

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