Just days on from their Muratti Vase penalty shootout victory against rivals Guernsey, Jersey’s men return to action on Thursday as the inaugural Jacksons International Trophy kicks off at Springfield.
Martin Cassidy’s side take on touring club Middlesex Wanderers in the opener (7.45pm kick off), with the Jersey boss hoping that the event will boost preparations for the upcoming Island Games tournament in Ynys Mon.
“I’d like to thank our sponsor Jacksons for their tremendous support in helping us set up this event,” said Cassidy. “Our aim is to host a top quality tournament with a great atmosphere from our local people that we want to come and support their island football team, especially after the players put on such a brave performance in our Muratti win at the weekend. Let’s build on that momentum and get behind the team.
“We’re looking forward to the games this week that will also help get us prepared for the Ynys Mon tournament in June.”
Jersey’s 18-man squad for Thursday’s opener includes 14 of the players who travelled to Guernsey, with Rozel’s George Glithero, St Clement’s Connor O’Shea and St Paul’s duo Kieran Lester and Fraser Barlow added for the game.
A big crowd is also expected 24 hours later as the best amateur players from Ireland and Northern Ireland go head-to-head.
On Saturday, fresh from their win against Matt Le Tissier’s Guernsey, Jersey’s Veterans kick-start a full day of action with a game against Middlesex Wanderers Veterans at midday. That’s followed by fixtures between Jersey and Northern Ireland (4pm) and then Ireland vs Middlesex Wanderers (7.45pm).
The tournament, which will operate on a round-robin league format, will conclude on Sunday with Northern Ireland taking on Middlesex Wanderers (12pm) before Jersey face Ireland at 4pm.
“We have a great squad of players that are all committed to playing for Jersey FA,” added Cassidy. “It’s refreshing to see the competition for places driving the players on – it’s a good problem for me to have and I’m confident whatever team we play it’ll be strong, competitive and full of quality.
“On a personal note, getting senior football back to the best it can be is a highlight for me while in charge, and the players deserve a lot of credit for that. They can look forward as Muratti champions to this run of games that will give them new challenges to overcome.
“I’d also like to say a huge ‘thank you’, from me and the players, to the JFA office and in particular our CEO Jean-Luc for helping create this international tournament in Jersey.”
Entry to each day will be £5 for adults, with under-11s free if accompanied by an adult. A tournament ticket is available at £15 in advance or on the opening night.
TOURNAMENT FIXTURES (all at Springfield)
- Thursday 23rd May - Jersey v Middlesex Wanderers - 7.45pm
- Friday 24th May - Ireland v N. Ireland - 7.45pm
- Saturday 25th May - Jersey Veterans v Middlesex Veterans - 12pm (EXHIBITION MATCH)
- Saturday 25th May - Jersey v N. Ireland – 4pm
- Saturday 25th May - Ireland v Middlesex Wanderers – 7.45pm
- Sunday 26th May - N. Ireland v Middlesex Wanderers – 12pm
- Sunday 26th May - Jersey v Ireland - 4pm
JERSEY SQUAD FOR MATCH VS MIDDLESEX WANDERERS
Danny Birrell, Euan van der Vliet, Jack Cannon, James Queree, Adam Trotter, Connor O’Shea, Harry Curtis, Jay Giles, Ruben Mendes, George Glithero, Kieran Lester, Fraser Barlow, Michael Weir, Sol Solomon, Kamen Nafkha, Calvin Weir, Karl Hinds and Luke Campbell.
Photo: With thanks to Andy Dovey