Boyle: ‘Exciting time for Island’s top players’
JACK BOYLE believes representative football is going through it’s most promising period in over a decade.
Confirmed as Parishes of Jersey FC captain ahead of their ConIFA debut on 21 October, former Airdie United professional Boyle is excited by the opportunities now presenting themselves to players available for Island selection.
Led by James Scott, the Island’s ConIFA squad will welcome Yorkshire to St Peter FC’s home ground later this month, with both sides aiming to climb the rankings ahead of the independent federation’s World Cup in 2020. Tokyo, Seattle and Somaliland have been suggested by ConIFA officials as potential hosts for that global event.
‘I’d say it is the most exciting time in a long while for Island football,’ said Boyle. ‘Maybe since the under-21 competition at Springfield when we had teams like Barcelona, Man Utd and Celtic over [the Jersey International Football Tournament].
‘There’s a good buzz at the moment and a lot of the local boys would want to be involved.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to play against different opposition from different cultures and test our ability, and I think we can aim as high as we like.
‘We have played against teams already in ConIFA, like Panjab and the Isle of Man [entered ConIFA as ‘Ellan Vannin’], and we’re at a similar level to them. And the good point about it is we’ll be playing for ranking points. Even though the [Yorkshire] game will be classed as a friendly we’re playing to get up the rankings.’
He added: ‘I know full well that James wants to compete in the World Cup if sponsorship allows. Hopefully he’ll find the backing he needs for us to move forward, get up the rankings and be known worldwide as a good amateur football team.’
Jersey’s acceptance into ConIFA came in the same month that another group announced their intention to enter a team into the UK league system for 2019/20. Jersey Bulls FC are expected to join the Combined Counties League next summer, and will likely include the vast majority of Jersey’s representative squad.
The ConIFA match against Yorkshire is being sponsored by DIS Electrical Contractors Ltd.