'We’ll be ready, whenever that may be'
‘WE’LL be ready and raring to go’, was the message from Jersey manager Martin Cassidy when asked if he has any concerns regarding preparation for the Muratti and the FA Inter-League Cup semi-final.
Cassidy has no further knowledge of when the games will be played but is hopeful that Channel Islands bragging rights will be settled before the new season is due to start in August. And when the games have been re-scheduled, he knows exactly who will be in his squad gunning for glory.
‘I’ve got a squad of 30 that we’ve been working with since the start of the season,' he explained. 'We can’t go ahead with the Muratti until Guernsey play Alderney anyway, so its not even in our hands at the moment. It would be great for me if it was the first game of the season before the new campaign starts, but we need to accept that we won’t be going back to normal straight away, no matter what the start looks like.'
‘As a manager, I’m prepared because I really had my squads picked for the run-in which would have been the Dorset game in March [Inter-League semi] and then, if we beat them, we’d be looking forward to the final in May here in Jersey against [West] Cheshire and then the Muratti. So we had two or three massive games to prepare for.'
Cassidy named a 16-man squad for Jersey’s quarter-final win over Southern Amateur League, including a first time call-up for Jersey Wanderers forward Logan McGhee, who had been enjoying a prolific season for his club.
‘The only player who would not have been available for the semi-final was Karl Hinds [suspended]. You know, the squad was kind of coming together anyway and I was working with roughly the same players. Maybe the one thing is whether Jack Boyle’s injury [ACL] might have cleared up.
‘But in terms of planning, I’m ready to go.
‘If it was next week, I’ve got my squad ready. The players I had been picking, I can’t see that changing. Obviously, we need to make sure the players are in good physical condition and we would need to put in a fitness plan in as well.’
Like many others in the local game, Cassidy is also interested to see how his bosses at the JFA eventually decide how to conclude the different divisions in the Jacksons Combination League and the Condor Ferries Women's League.
‘The one thing is Wanderers looked favourites for the [Premiership] this year so its a real shame if they don’t get the opportunity to complete the league,’ admitted Cassidy. ‘I think, for them, playing their last five games in two or three weeks wouldn’t have been a problem. I don’t think it is something that couldn’t be done. But they still had St Paul’s to play and if St Paul’s had beaten Wanderers it’s a little bit close to call. It’s a shame because I feel sorry for Chrissy Andrews at Wanderers because they have been, probably, the better team this year.’
The JFA’s decison on the conclusion of the league season, after considering the views of member clubs, is expected to be made before the end of the month.
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