Millar looking forward to resuming old rivalries

A TWO-AND-A-HALF-year inter-insular break has made Jersey’s hockey sides hungry for competitive action against their old rivals.

Jersey teams take on Guernsey in the first inter-insulars since March 2019 Picture: www.guernseysportphotography.com. (32085340)
Jersey teams take on Guernsey in the first inter-insulars since March 2019 Picture: www.guernseysportphotography.com. (32085340)

That gap also means there is a new generation of players pushing through.

Four sides travel to Guernsey on Saturday to resume proceedings, although that is a slimmed-down fixture list to the traditional weekend.

The men’s and women’s first teams are in action, as are U16 girls and boys sides.

Jersey Men’s 1st XI coach Peter Millar said it felt great to be facing Guernsey again.

‘We’ve missed all sorts in the last two years and hockey has been part of that,’ he said.

‘I think it will be the same for Guernsey as well. We’ve not travelled to the UK and had no real competitive hockey for the Island side.’

The prospect of facing Guernsey has seen the numbers taking part and the intensity levels increase in training.

‘There’s a whole new generation that want to play in games like this,’ he said.

‘We’ve built up over the last eight weeks and have got a good squad that want to be involved. That’s involved fitness, training sessions, everyone has been really committed. Because of the break people know what they have missed. It’s been a good build-up.’

It was always a competitive match against Guernsey, he said.

‘It’s a difficult but enjoyable game. For us we are just looking forward to the challenge,’ he said.

‘We never focus on the opposition. We have our own philosophies, we stick to them.’

The Men’s 1sts were defeated 3-1 in 2019 having enjoyed victory for the first time in six years at home in 2018.

Millar said the fixture always had a great buzz around it.

‘It’s not something we experience every week,’ he said.

Guernsey’s only competitive outing in two years was a loss earlier this month to Oxted in the EH Tier Two Championship.

‘[We learnt from that game that] we need to be better in possession, give the ball away less, but otherwise in terms of the intensity we played the game at we were more than a match for Oxted and we need to replicate that against Jersey,’ said Men’s coach Andy Good.

‘I would imagine Jersey will be strong – they have had good runs in EH competition since we last won it a few years ago, so they have good pedigree.

‘If our squad is anything to go by with returning students strengthening our group, you would think they will be in the same boat so I’m expecting a really tough game – it’s an inter-insular, so you can never expect it to be easy.’

In 2019, Jersey’s Ladies came away from Guernsey with a 2-1 victory.

Both sides will have a mix of experience.

‘I think that this will make it quite an open game, which will make it a great to watch,’ said Guernsey Women’s coach Becky Hubbard. ‘I am confident with how we have been playing in the men’s league this season and last season, we have produced some excellent results. We work together well and play cohesively as a unit. We have altered our formation slightly from previous years and I think that this has added an extra dimension to our game.’

The U16s Girls game starts at 9am, with the Ladies 1st X1 at 10.30am, the Men’s 1st XI at 12pm and the U16 Boys at 1.30pm.

The Ladies and Men’s matches are being streamed live by Guernsey Press via www.facebook.com/gsypresssport.

Jersey Squads

Women’s 1st XI: Harriet Neal (GK), Harley Cadoret, Chloe Lagadu, Gemma Minty, Emily Sabin, Kerry Rogers, Jamey Henderson, Hannah Scriven, Izzy Heelis, Chrissie Helmholt-Kneisel, Chelsea Dollar, Effie Bowley, Lucinda Gouveia,Natacha Kay.

Men’s 1st XI: Pete Millar, Tom Millar, Tom Heelis, Alex Noel (GK), Tom Sibley, Anthony Hawkins-Kay, Stephen Le Maistre, Joel Dudley, Tom Bolton, Ned Crosby, Sam Dunstan, Phil Cuming, Sam Watling, Will Hodgson.

U16 Girls: Analise Merritt, Ava Le Cornu, Chloe Cutting, Emily Copp, Daisy Carpenter, Emily Le Gros, Grace Wetherall

Izzy Byrom, Lexie Swain (GK), Lottie James, Lucy Brandie, Olive Smith, Olivia Labesse, Phoebe Gorman.

U16 Boys: Sam Watling, Ben Heelis, Tyler McGlinchey (GK), Eddie Rothwell, Jack Stevens, Will Hodgson, Archie Scate (GK), Samuel Reynolds, Louis Kelly, Edo van Eijden, Merrion Carter, Matt Webb, Conor O’Keeffe, Theo Pirouet, Billy Martin-Davis.

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