Following negotiations with the Premier League and the English Football League, the Jersey FA is pleased to announce that promising young players from Jersey will now be eligible to take part in trials with a variety of professional clubs from the age of 12.
Previous rulings for trialists from the Channel Islands meant that boys and girls under the age of 14 could only travel to Category 1 clubs on the south coast, restricting opportunities due to the limited travel options and the number of clubs meeting the criteria. The new ruling now allows players from the age of 12 air travel time of one hour, plus an extra hour travel from an airport.
David Kennedy, Jersey FA CEO said, ‘This is a significant development for the islands most talented players. Opening up these opportunities will mean that players will have more of a chance to experience football at differing levels, as well as have a greater chance to be registered with a Professional Club Academy.’ Kennedy added, ‘In the past we have seen players attend a trial at a south coast club which may not have worked out for them, and their opportunities after that have significantly reduced. This development allows us to now consider some strategic partnerships with key clubs in England within the new travel guidance.’
In order to reflect the rule change, the Jersey FA has rebranded the Centre of Excellence to the Jersey FA Performance Centre. This is to reflect the role of the Centre in the player pathway which has seen significant success in the development of players such as Luke Harris, Callum Osmand and Luca Picotto.
Paul Renton, Jersey FA Performance Centre Manager said, ‘Each year there is an increased interest from professional clubs of players across all our age groups. As a result, the Performance Centre will include all youth, U21’s and Senior Sides. Renton added, ‘Having seen Luke breakthrough to the first team at Fulham shows our pathway is working, we can now consolidate that with the new ruling and hopefully see more players like him make the grade.
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