Jersey’s top wonders widespread

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WITH Luke Harris coming on as a late substitute against Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday, the Island’s sports community had an opportunity to be proud to see a Jersey-born teenager play at the highest level in domestic club football.

Meanwhile, former Janvrin pupil Marlon Fossey was also coming off the bench for Standard Liège in the top division in Belgian football.

At the other end of the footballing spectrum, in the ninth tier of the national league system in England, the local lads who make up the Jersey Bulls team continued their winning ways with a dominant 4-0 win at Camberley Town.

But there are many others from the Island also playing regular professional and semi-professional football in England and Scotland.

North of the border, after a short stint in India, you will find Kurtis Guthrie competing for a starting spot for the Scottish Premier League side Livingston.

The brother of former netball superstar Serena Kersten has made seven appearances for the West Lothian side this season, scoring once, which came on his debut as a substitute in the 2-1 loss to Dundee United in the Premier Sports League Cup.

In the fifth tier National League, the last rung of full-time football in England and top of the old non-league pyramid, versatile midfielder Cavaghn Miley has been an ever-present helping Southend United’s push to return to the Football League.

Below him, there are a number of other players plying their trade in the lower non-leagues while studying at nearby universities.

The most high profile is Sol Solomon, who is already making waves at Northern Premier League (seventh tier) side Marine having moved to the Merseyside club last month.

Down a tier from there, Loughborough University student Toby Ritzema is a regular for Leicestershire side Shepshed Dynamo in the Northern Premier League Division One Midlands.

At the same level, Hartpury University student James Sunley is turning out for Gloucestershire club Slimbridge in the Southern League Division One South while two St Clement team-mates, Jack Lumsden and Rai dos Santos, have both made appearances for Chichester City in the Isthmian League South East Division. Both have also undertaken undergraduate courses at the city’s university.

Ritzema, Lumsden and dos Santos are all dual registered with Bulls, as are the three who are currently studying in Liverpool alongside Solomon. Harry Curtis is a regular for Lower Breck, who play in the same tier as Bulls but in the North West Counties League Premier Division, while Darryl Mvalo and James Carr are team-mates for South Liverpool in Division One North of the same league.

Meanwhile, former Bournemouth, Bristol City, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth hotshot Brett Pitman surprisingly decided to wind down his career at tier nine-club Portchester of the Wessex Premier Division. This, despite the 34-year-old last season playing League Two football for Bristol Rovers and, later, on loan to National League side Eastleigh as a team-mate of Miley.

And it is not just the boys who are kicking around the English leagues. Goalkeeper Sara Luce plays for Southampton Women’s FC in the fourth tier FA Women’s National League Division One South West, while Megan Wood turns out for Ebbsfleet United in the tier five London South East Regional League. Both teams face each other on Sunday, when the two teams meet in the first round of the Women’s FA Cup. However, Southampton use another goalkeeper for cup games, so it is expected that Luce will be on the bench.

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