Jersey FA boss: ‘Get behind our boys’
MARTIN CASSIDY is urging Island football fans to create a Muratti atmosphere at Springfield for the Jacksons International Trophy, after re-writing the record books at Footes Lane.
The Jersey manager, who sends his team out searching for silverware again on Thursday, handed his starting XI a slice of history on Saturday by naming exactly the same team for two consecutive Muratti finals – something that has never before been done, by Jersey at least, throughout the competition’s 114-year existence.
Jersey claimed a fourth win in five years against Guernsey, having been taken to a penalty shoot-out by the hosts.
‘You don’t really want to be changing every year and we felt a “tried and tested” team was the way to go,’ said Cassidy.
‘They’re all young ... only three or four are in their late 20s or early 30s and I don’t think you can take any chances with the Muratti.
‘It’s a positive thing and they’re all local heroes as far as I’m concerned.’
However, the Scot is keen not to dwell too much on inter-island rivalries when another, arguably tougher test, approaches this week.
The Caesareans meet Middlesex Wanderers in the opening match of the Jacksons-sponsored round-robin tournament [Thursday, 7.45pm], before facing international sides from Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland on Saturday and Sunday.
Wanderers will be represented by players from the National League and Bostik divisions, while the Irish squads consist of top-level amateur players from the two countries.
‘We have a 24-man squad and we will make sure we’ve got a good team for every game this week,’ added Cassidy, who will be without captain Jack Boyle as he awaits results of an MRI on an injured ankle.
‘I believe this tournament will be a higher level than Guernsey, because they all get paid to play football. It’s semi-professional level so it’s not going to be a tournament with poor teams. We have some very good, high-profile sides coming to Jersey and we’d like to get a Muratti atmosphere at every game to help the team.’
The newly-formed International Trophy represents a third chance for Cassidy’s men to lift a cup this month, following defeat in the Southern Counties Cup final – on penalties – to the Army on Liberation Day. It also presents three opportunities in four days for those not selected for the Muratti final, as they bid to make the cut for the Island Games tournament in Ynys Mon. Only 18 will travel to the Welsh isle in June.
Kieran Lester, George Glithero, Connor O'Shea and Fraser Barlow have all been added for the Middlesex game, with Boyle and Craig Russell absent.
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