Duke William’s Legacy: My Initial Delve Into Channel Islands Football

Introduction

For previous blogs on island football, find the links below:

As mentioned in previous blogs, I am absolutely fascinated with football teams who are based away from the mainlands, either on the outskirts or borderlands of a country, and most especially on outlying islands in their respective countries. I love finding out the football culture and leagues on such islands, having had a degree of isolation from the football on the mainland.

In a continuation of looking at football played on various islands, I moved my gaze to football being played on a group of islands just off the coast of Normandy, west of the Cotentin Peninsula, in the English Channel / La Manche. Moving from one British Crown Dependency in the Isle of Man, it made logical sense to look at another group of Crown Dependencies, who are also separate from the United Kingdom, and delve into the football leagues on the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernseythe Channel Islands.

Initially I wanted to investigate the Jersey and Guernsey football leagues separately, as the two islands compete separately in the Island Games, Commonwealth Games, etc., and there is a healthy rivalry between the two islands (as you shall read further). However during research into the two leagues, there seemed to be a great crossover between the two league systems. Therefore it makes sense to look at them together in the same blog, along with the smaller Channel Island of Alderney.

Therefore this blog is my initial delve into both the football leagues on Jersey and Guernsey. I wanted to know more about the leagues themselves, who are the most successful teams in the islands’ history, as well as the various cup competitions. Plus I will look at how the island sides did in the Inter Games Football Tournament held in the summer of 2019, as well as the progression of Guernsey FC and Jersey Bulls, teams who currently play in the English football pyramid!

 

 

The Jersey Football Combination

Brief History

Jersey FAThe Jersey Football Association (JFA), the governing body of football on the island, was founded in July 1905 and is currently affiliated with the English FA. The JFA had applied to become a member of UEFA, following the path of fellow Island Games team Gibraltar, but alas their membership was rejected by the European football association in February 2018 after the rules for membership were changed.

The Jersey Football Combination League was established in 1975 after a merger between the Jersey Football League and the Jersey Saturday League. The JFCL were initially independent from the JFA.

Initially the league was divided between the full teams and the reserve teams, with the top two tiers occupying the full teams, and Divisions 1, 2 and 3 all having reserve or ‘A’ teams within them.

In 2019, after nearly 20 years of ongoing discussions, it was finally agreed that the JFA and Jersey Football Combination would finally merge together, with the JFA finally taking over the running and organisation of league football on the island.

 

Jersey Football Pyramid

Jersey Football Combination LogoThe 2019-20 season is the first season with the Jersey FA under control of the league’s management. As a result, the league has changed in its organisation once again, after having been changed a number of times throughout the last ten years.

The league pyramid has now changed to a three-tier system, with the JFA Premiership staying as the top tier on the island, the Championship as the second tier and Division One being the third tier. There are currently ten teams competing in the JFA Premiership, playing each other home and away, and having eighteen league games throughout the season. All the teams within the Premiership are the first-team sides of the respective clubs.

The team crowned as Premiership champions take on their Priaulx League equivalents in the Upton Park Trophy at the end of the season, which is held alternately on either Jersey or Guernsey. In addition, a number of teams within the league compete against the three best teams from the Priaulx League for the Wheway Trophy, which is organised by the Jersey FA. Guernsey have their equivalent trophy, the Jeremie Cup, where the best Jersey teams are invited to take on the Guernsey teams.

The JFA Championship has eight teams competing, and it is a combination of first team clubs, such as Saint John and First Tower United, and the reserve sides of the Premiership clubs. Again each club plays each other twice and completes the league campaign having played 14 league games.

The JFA Division One has seven teams competing, and this league is a combination of reserve sides, and ‘C’ (or third sides), as well as the first team of Sports Club of Jersey. As with the other leagues, they only play each other team twice throughout the season, resulting in a league campaign of just twelve games for the season.

The JFA Premiership clubs play in a number of cup competitions throughout the season, these are:

  • Le Riche Cup – The main cup competition (the Jersey FA Cup) on the island where all of Jersey’s first teams compete for the trophy.
  • Charity Cup – A pre-season cup which is available for all the first teams on the island.
  • Willis Cup – A cup for all of the clubs who lost in the first round of the Le Riche Cup.
  • Jeremie Cup – A cup organised by the Guernsey FA, and includes all of the Guernsey sides, as well as a few invited Jersey teams.

 

List of Jersey League Champions

  • 2011-12: Jersey Scottish
  • 2012-13: Jersey Scottish
  • 2013-14: St. Paul’s
  • 2014-15: St. Paul’s
  • 2015-16: St. Paul’s
  • 2016-17: St. Paul’s
  • 2017-18: St. Paul’s
  • 2018-19: St. Paul’s

Even though the Jersey Combination League has been running since 1975, I could only find the league winners from the 2011-12 season onwards unfortunately.

Jersey ScottishSince 2012, there have only been two winners of the Jersey Premiership, with the superbly named Jersey Scottish winning the league in consecutive seasons in 2012 and 2013. Sadly the St. Brelade-based side no longer exist in the league, alongside Jersey Portuguese, who last played in the JFA Premiership in the 2016-17 season. The Scots had to pull out of the league as they were unable to find a manager to replace their retiring manager Pat Brennan.

St Pauls JerseySince the 2013-14 season, St. Paul’s have been the dominant side in the JFA Premiership. Having finished runners-up to Jersey Scottish in both of the Scots’ winning season, they have won the league every season since then. Last season, the Clos des Pauvres situated side won their sixth Premiership title in a row.

 

 

The Guernsey Priaulx League

Brief History

Guernsey FA LogoThe Guernsey Football Association (GFA) is the governing body of football on the Bailiwick, and was formed in 1893, making it older than their Jersey equivalent by 12 years. As is the case with other football associations in the Crown Dependencies, they are currently affiliated to the English FA.

The island’s top league, the Priaulx League, was founded in 1893, five years after the English Football League. Prior to the First World War, the majority of the leagues were won by British armed forces teams garrisoned on the island, although post WW1, every league has been won by Guernsey-based teams.

 

Guernsey Football Pyramid

The Guernsey football system has four leagues on the island. The main league, the Priaulx League, is made up of nine teams – eight based on the island of Guernsey and one from the smaller island of Alderney. They play each other team in the league three times, to finish the season having played 24 league games. The team crowned as Priaulx League take on their Jersey equivalents in the Upton Park Trophy at the end of the season. In addition, the top three teams in the league compete against the teams in the JFA Premiership for the Wheway Trophy, whilst the Priaulx League teams compete against invited Jersey teams for the Jeremie Cup. The Wheway Trophy is organised by the Jersey FA, whilst the Jeremie Cup is run by the Guernsey FA.

The secondary league, Division 1 (formally known as the ‘Jackson League’ before changing to its current name in 2019), is the second-tier league and made up of six reserve teams, and an amateur team in Red Lion North. Division 2 has eight teams, whilst Division 3 has ten teams – both leagues comprising the reserve or youth teams of the Priaulx clubs, or amateur teams like the Guernsey Police team in Division 3.

There is currently no promotion or relegation between the Priaulx League and Division 1.

The two main cups on the island for Priaulx League teams are the Guernsey FA Cup, of which all first teams compete within, and the Stranger Cup, which acts as the equivalent to the League Cup.

 

List of Guernsey Priaulx League Champions

The list of Priaulx League winners and the number of championships they have won in their history:

  • 32 titles: Northerners
  • 17 titles: Guernsey Rangers
  • 15 titles: Vale Recreation
  • 14 titles: Saint Martin’s
  • 10 titles: Sylvans
  • 8 titles: Belgrave Wanderers
  • 3 titles: 2nd Batt. Manchesters
  • 2 titles: Guernsey Rovers, 2nd Batt. Royal Irish Regiment, 2nd Batt. Wilts.
  • 1 title: Athletics, Grange & 7 other army teams

Northerners ACThe first six seasons of the Priaulx League were won by British Army regimental teams, and it wouldn’t be until the 1899-1900 season when the first local side, Northerners, won the league – the first of their record 32 league titles. Another side Grange (now defunct) also won the league, although the majority of the leagues before the First World War were won by either army sides or Northerners. The most recent season Northerners won the league was in the 2015-16 season.

Guernsey RangersThe second most successful side in Guernsey football is Guernsey Rangers, who first won the title in the 1924-25 season. They won the vast majority of their league titles both pre and post Second World War, being especially dominant in the 1950s. Despite their 17 titles in their illustrious history, Rangers have not won the league since the 1979-80 season.

Vale RecreationThe majority of Vale Recreation’s league titles came in the 1970s and 80s, when the side won thirteen leagues between 1973 and 1989, whereas Saint Martin’s were the dominant team before them having won nine titles in a row between 1964 and 1972. St Martins are also the defending Priaulx champions, having won their fourteenth title last season. Sylvans matched St. Martins’ achievement by winning nine leagues consecutively between 1994 and 2002, being the dominant side of the 1990s, and having their era book-ended by Vale Recreation titles.

Belgrave WanderersBelgrave Wanderers were the first team other than Northerners and the army teams to win the Priaulx League, winning the first league after the First World War, although they won five of their eight leagues between 2006 and 2014. Their title win in 2006 was the first time they had claimed the title in 46 years.

The newest team to have won the league is Guernsey Rovers, who won two consecutive league titles in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The only teams in the league yet to win the league are Alderney FC and Manzur.

 

 

The 2018-19 Channel Islands Seasons

Jersey Premiership

2018-19 Jersey Premiership Table
The 2018-19 JFA Premiership table.

As mentioned above, Saint Paul’s regained their Premiership title for the sixth season in a row, and won the title in style. From their 18 league games, they almost achieved a perfect season by winning 17 of their league fixtures. The only blot to their league campaign was a 0-1 away defeat to league runners-up, Saint Peter, in early January 2019. However they still finished eight points clear of St. Peter, as well as having the league’s best attack and defence. In addition, they also had the league’s top goalscorer, with Kieran Lester scoring 15 goals during the campaign.

Jersey WanderersJersey Wanderers finished in third place, twelve points behind St. Peter and twenty points behind the league champions, although twelve points ahead of Saint Clement in fourth position.

Newly promoted side, Trinity, finished bottom of the table, just a point behind Rozel Rovers, who would finish second-from-bottom once again. Rozel Rovers had the worst defence and goal difference in the league, having conceded 56 goals and with a goal difference of -31. Whilst fifth placed side, Saint Ouen, were the lowest scorers in the league, only achieving 18 goals throughout the season – an average of a goal a game!

 

Jersey Cup Competitions

In the Jersey cup competitions, St. Paul’s started their season in the ideal manner when they won the pre-season Charity Cup in late August 2018. They defeated their closest rivals, St. Peter, by the only goal in the game. However St. Peter would gain revenge on the league champions, to stop them achieving a Jersey domestic treble, by beating them in the Le Riche Cup final. In what would prove to be a thrilling final, the league runners-up managed to overcome the all-conquering St. Paul’s by beating them 4-3 at the Springfield Stadium in Saint Helier.

St Brelade FCIn the Willis Cup, there would be a shock result as Saint Brelade beat the Championship champions Grouville in the final. Despite the game finishing in a thrilling 3-3 draw, the south-westerners would claim the silverware by winning the resulting penalty shootout by a scoreline of 4-2.

 

Guernsey Priaulx League

2018-19 Guernsey Priaulx League Table
The 2018-19 Priaulx League table.

Guernsey RoversIt was certainly a closely fought title race for the 2018-19 Priaulx League with only five points separating first place from third. In the end, it was Saint Martins who claimed their fourteenth league title in their history, and first since the 2010-11 season. The Saints won the title by three points from nearest rivals, Alderney FC, whilst defending champions, Guernsey Rovers, were a further two points back. The key to their title success was their mean defence, which only conceded 18 goals in their 24 league games – the best in the league. Plus their away form was superb, staying undefeated on the road.

Former champions Rovers, would be the league’s joint top scorers alongside fourth-placed side Northerners, with both sides scoring 74 goals during the season. However Rovers had the league’s best goal difference of +51.

Seven points separated fifth from eighth position, whilst 2013 and 2014 champions, Belgrave Wanderers, had a shocking season to finish bottom of the Priaulx League. They only picked up four points all season, and they all came in away games meaning they lost all of their home games throughout the season. They were also the lowest goalscorers in the league (with 25 goals) and had the worst defence, by conceding 100 goals from their 24 league games.

 

Guernsey Cup Competitions

Northerners ACIn the Guernsey FA Cup final, there would be a shock result as Northerners (Rihoy North) beat Saint Martin’s 6-0, to stop the league champions achieving a league and cup double. Sam Murray being the star man for the North as he managed to achieve a hat-trick in the final. However despite losing the FA Cup final, St. Martin’s managed to lift the Stranger Cup earlier in the season. They beat Guernsey Rovers in the closely-fought final, with Danny Hale getting the only goal of the game.

 

Channel Islands Cup Competitions

St Pauls JerseyIn the inter-island competitions, Saint Paul’s would make it a clean sweep to confirm their status of being the best football team within the Channel Islands. Firstly they won the Wheway Cup by beating Saint Peter once again, this time by a scoreline of 3-1. Guernsey’s Northerners being the best performing Guernesiais team in the competition by reaching the semi-finals before losing to the eventual cup winners 0-6.

Secondly, St Paul’s defeated Jersey Wanderers 5-0 to win the Guernsey FA organised Jeremie Cup in mid-April 2019, whilst Guernsey Rovers being the best performing Guernsey team, losing 0-4 to the cup winners in the semi-finals.

Finally in the Upton Park Trophy, St Paul’s beat the Priaulx League champions St. Martin’s 3-0 in the 100th edition of the competition. Goals from Luke Watson, Jack Boyle and Adam Trotter ensured the Jersey champions won a sixth straight Upton Park Trophy, and claimed their fifth trophy of the season.

 

 

The 2019-20 Channel Island Leagues

Jersey

To see the current league situation for the Jersey leagues, follow the link to the English FA’s website: https://fulltime.thefa.com/ff/LeagueDetails?leagueid=8379530

Jersey Map
The locations of the 2019-20 JFA Premiership teams on Jersey.

The following ten teams are competing in the 2019-20 JFA Premiership:

  1. Grouville
  2. JTC Jersey Wanderers
  3. Rozel Rovers
  4. Sporting Academics
  5. Saint Brelade
  6. Saint Clement
  7. Saint Lawrence
  8. Saint Ouen
  9. Saint Paul’s
  10. Saint Peter

 

Guernsey & Alderney

To see the current league situation for the Priaulx League, follow the link to the English FA’s website: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/Index.do?league=3911957

Guernsey Map
The locations of the 2019-20 Priaulx League members on Guernsey and Alderney.

The nine teams competing in the 2019-20 Priaulx League are:

  1. Alderney Nomads
  2. Belgrave Wanderers
  3. Guernsey Rangers
  4. Guernsey Rovers
  5. Manzur
  6. Northerners
  7. Saint Martin’s
  8. Sylvans
  9. Vale Recreation

 

 

Muratti Vase

The Muratti is an annual competition held between the representative teams of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. First held in 1905, the trophy has been dominated between Jersey and Guernsey, with the former winning the trophy 55 times, whilst the latter have won it 46 times (with a shared title in 1937). Alderney has only won the Muratti on one sole occasion, and that was when they beat Guernsey 1-0 in the 1920 edition of the tournament. In addition, they last appeared in the final of the competition in 1938.

The competition is separated between the semi-final and final. Originally it was a random draw with one of the teams getting a bye to the final, with sometimes Alderney benefiting from that situation. However in today’s competition, Jersey and Guernsey alternate throughout the years to face Alderney in the semi-final, before facing each other in the final held at the Springfield Stadium in Jersey (as they always beat Alderney in the semi-finals).

Alderney FAIn the 2019 edition of the tournament, it would be Jersey’s turn to face Alderney at the Arsenal Ground in Mount Hale. As with the past few years, the game was a close encounter, but Jersey managed to qualify for the final by beating the Blues 2-0. The final would prove to be a much tighter affair, as the game ended up scoreless after 120 minutes of play. In the end, a penalty shootout had to decide the destination of the Vase, and with Guernsey missing three of their first four penalties, it was left to the Reds’ Karl Hinds to score the decisive penalty and ensure Jersey regained the Muratti after winning 3-1 on spot kicks.

 

 

2019 Inter Games Football Tournament

Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney normally compete in the bi-annual Island Games multi-sport event, which is competed for by teams from the various islands around the world. Normally the football tournament is an integral part of the Island Games schedule, however due to the 2019 Island Games’ host, Gibraltar, not having enough football pitches to host the football tournament, it was not added to the official Games. Despite this problem, because the football tournaments are one the most popular sports at the games, it was decided to hold the matches elsewhere but with the results not being part of the official Island Games medal tally.

2019 Inter Games LogoIt was decided that the Welsh island of Ynys Môn / Anglesey would host the ‘Inter Games Football Tournament’ in June 2019, and so Jersey sent across male and female representative teams to compete in the tournament, whilst Guernsey and Alderney just sent their men’s teams.

 

Women’s Team

  • Jersey: 3rd

Jersey FlagOnly Jersey sent a women’s team for the tournament, and they were placed in the ‘group of death’ alongside the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. In their opening match, they lost 2-3 to the Manxwomen, with Jodie Botterill and Rosie Corbett scoring for Jersey. However in their next group game, they comprehensively beat Gibraltar 6-2, with a brace from Megan Wood and goals from Natasha Keen, Botterill, Corbett and Eve Watson. This win was enough to see them qualify for the semi-finals as Group B runners-up.

2019 Inter Games - Group B Women
Women’s Group B of the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament. [IMAGE: Wikipedia]

In the semi-final match, they came up against the hosts Ynys Môn, in what would be a tight encounter between the two teams. However a Lexi Crawley goal for the hosts was the only deciding factor between the teams, and sent Jersey into the bronze medal play-off.

There they faced off against the other losing semi-finalist, Hitra. In yet another thrilling encounter, Hitra took the lead twice, and scored a penalty in the 87th minute. However a penalty from Libby Barnett leveled the score at 1-1 before an injury time equaliser from Wood (scoring her third goal of the tournament) resulted in the game going into extra time. It would be Jersey who would have the momentum, and an Eve Watson goal in extra time ensured the bronze medal would be going to Jersey as they won 3-2 after extra time.

 

Men’s Teams

  • Jersey: 5th
  • Alderney: 7th
  • Guernsey: 2nd

Jersey

Jersey FlagJersey, Guernsey and Alderney were all represented in the men’s tournament, with a Channel Island team in each group. Jersey were in the very difficult Group A, alongside the hosts Ynys Môn, Orkney and the Western Isles. Jersey started off exceptionally well, defeating Orkney 5-0, and then the Western Isles 7-0, to tee up a showdown with Ynys Môn to see who would top the group and qualify for the semi-finals. Ultimately an 8th minute goal from the hosts was enough to see them claim victory, and advance into semi-finals whilst Jersey went into the Placement Rounds despite finishing second in the group.

2019 Inter Games - Group A Men
Men’s Group A of the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament. [IMAGE: Wikipedia]

In the fifth placed play-off, they played Hitra at Bodedern. They took a 2-0 lead at half time through Jay Giles and Kieran Lester, although Hitra soon reduced the arrears after the break. The victory was made safe by Jersey eight minutes from time when Adam Trotter scored to ensure Jersey claimed fifth position with a 3-1 victory.

 

Alderney

Alderney FlagAlderney were placed in Group B alongside the Isle of Man and Hitra, and sadly the Greens finished bottom of the group. A 2-4 defeat by Hitra was followed by a 1-6 walloping by the Manxmen at Llanerch-y-medd. This saw them go into the seventh place play-off against Orkney. However they would have more fortune in the placement game, as a first half goal from Josh McCullouch and an 87th minute decider by Joe Blackham resulted in Alderney winning the match 2-1 over their northern opponents.

2019 Inter Games - Group B Men
Men’s Group B of the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament. [IMAGE: Wikipedia]

Guernsey

Guernsey FlagGuernsey were in Group C alongside the Shetland Islands and Saint Helena. A roughly-fought 2-1 victory over the Shelties gave them the advantage in the group, and they followed it up with a comprehensive 9-0 win over St. Helena to qualify for the semi-finals. Will Fazakerley getting a hat-trick against the mid-Atlantic side.

2019 Inter Games - Group C Men
Men’s Group C of the 2019 Inter Games Football Tournament. [IMAGE: Wikipedia]

In the semi-final match at Gwalchmai, they came up against a fierce looking Isle of Man team, who were one of the pre-tournament favourites. It would be a tough match, and exciting for the neutral, but Guernsey just about coming out on top of the encounter. Another goal from Fazakerley and a brace from Matt Loaring ensured the Greens would qualify for the final with a 3-2 win.

In front of over 3000 people at Holyhead, they would come up against the hosts Ynys Môn in a hotly expected encounter. Initially the final started ideally for Guernsey when Keanu Marsh opened the scoring after just five minutes. However a red card for Frank Tobin on the quarter of an hour mark changed the game completely, and meant that the Channel Islanders were on the back foot for the majority of the game. They managed to maintain their slim lead until the 67th minute, before Mel McGinness broke the Greens’ hearts in the 83rd minute to ensure the hosts won the gold medal, and Guernsey earned themselves the silver medal. It was a question of ‘what could have been’ for Guernsey…

 

 

Parishes of Jersey and the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup

Parishes of Jersey LogoThe Jersey team had originally applied to become a member of UEFA like Gibraltar did, but found its bid rejected by the European football organisation in early 2018. Despite having its own government and handling the majority of its own affairs internally, it is not an United Nations recognised independent member, and thus cannot be accepted into UEFA or FIFA. The European football body changed the rules to the UN-membership rule after the Gibraltar affair.

As a result, a Jersey team was invited to join CONIFA (the Confederation of Independent Football Associations), which it accepted in September 2018. The CONIFA team is independent from the Jersey Football Association (JFA), which runs the official Jersey football team in the Muratti Vase and the Island Games, and is still a part of the English FA. However the Parishes of Jersey team has a memorandum of understanding with the JFA, and so can compete in CONIFA with its unique name (to differentiate itself from the JFA-ran Jersey team).

CONIFA Logo

The side has only played three previous games at the time of writing. They managed to beat Yorkshire in their first ever game, winning 2-1 at Saint Peter, Jersey. They then lost to Yorkshire 0-1, but then beat the Chagos Islands 9-2 in the 2019 Atlantic Heritage Cup (which was held in Yorkshire). This subsequently gained them qualification to the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup, which is scheduled to be held in North Macedonia in the summer. This will be Parishes of Jersey’s first major CONIFA event since its acceptance into CONIFA in 2018.

Prior to the tournament scheduled to be held in Skopje, they have planned to play in a pre-WFC tournament held in Surrey in May 2020. Playing in the 2020 Southern Frontier Cup, they will square off against the hosts Surrey, Cascadia and Yorkshire once again. They will then take on the Chagos Islands, Kurdistan and Panjab in Group A of the 2020 World Football Cup in late May and early June 2020.

[NOTE: More information about the 2020 CONIFA World Football Cup can be found HERE]

On the 16th March 2020, the 2020 WFC Squad was announced as the following:

 

 

The Creation of Guernsey F.C. and Jersey Bulls

Guernsey FC

Guernsey FC LogoIn 2011 a Guernsey-based team was accepted into the English football pyramid, with the aim of the club to help develop and improve football standards on the island. Guernsey FC, first joined the Combined Counties Football League Division One (tier 10 of the English pyramid) in the 2011-12 season. Playing their home games at Footes Lane, the national stadium of Guernsey, they won the CCFL Division One in their first season, to gain promotion to the Premier Division. This was followed by another promotion in their second season, to reach the Isthmian League Division One South (tier 8 of the English football pyramid).

After the initial burst of good performances, which resulted in a fourth place finish in their third season as a club, the Green Lions have hit a plateau at tier 8 currently, with the 2019-20 season being the seventh consecutive season at this level. Results have steadily dropped throughout the seasons, resulting in the club being almost relegated in the 2016-17 season. They almost lost their position in tier 8 again last season, when they finished in 18th position (out of 20 teams) in the Isthmian League Division One South East league. However a combination of Thamesmead Town resigning from the league, and Greenwich Borough being deducted three points for playing an ineligible player and having a worse goal difference, meant that Borough were relegated instead of the Green Lions.

Thankfully at the time of writing, Guernsey FC are having a better season in the ILD1SE, situated in a secure 13th position with 36 points earned from their 28 league games. It looks as if they will spend another season at this level as they are 15 points adrift of the playoff positions, and having played a game more.

17th March 2020 - Isthmian League Division 1 South East
The Isthmian League Division 1 South East table at the time of writing. Guernsey FC are currently residing in 13th position. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

Jersey Bulls FC

Jersey Bulls FCWith Guernsey FC having a beneficial impact on Guernsey football, Jersey decided to create their own team to compete within the English football league to help develop Jersey football (alongside the CONIFA Parishes of Jersey team). Jersey Bulls were founded in August 2018, and applied to join the English football system in September, which was ultimately accepted by the English FA. They are managed by former Muratti Vase winner and Saint Peter manager, Gary Freeman, and play their games at the Springfield Stadium in Saint Helier.

The 2019-20 season is the first season of Jersey Bulls FC, who were elected to join the Combined Counties Football League Division One (the same league Guernsey joined at tier 10 of the pyramid). At the time of writing, they have matched their Channel Islander rivals achievements in the league by achieving promotion at the first time of asking. Having played 27 games so far, the Bulls have won every single one of them, scoring 99 goals and only conceding 7, to sit top of the table with a maximum points tally of 81 points so far!

17th March 2020 - Combined Counties League Division 1
The Combined Counties League Division One table at the time of writing. Jersey Bulls have confirmed promotion with their 100% league record so far. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]

 

Conclusion

A massive thank you for reading my blog on football on the Channel Islands. It was a little difficult trying to find some information on the islands’ leagues, especially as both leagues had changed their structures this season. So a massive thank you to Jonny Drury for his help and guidance. If any of your readers spot any errors in the information, just let me know and I’ll update them accordingly.

Hopefully reading this blog will encourage you to venture across there either on the aeroplane or ferry to the islands and check out their superb football leagues (as well as experience its good weather and history on the islands). Certainly, researching and writing this blog has made me want to visit the Channel Islands in the near future, and catch some league football, Muratti Vase games or even catch a home game for Guernsey FC or Jersey Bulls. It will be interesting to see how both teams develop in the English football pyramid in the next few years. Will Guernsey manage to progress further or will Jersey catch up to them in tier 8?

If you have any comments on football on Jersey, Guernsey or Alderney, experiences playing or watching games there, or even if you follow a specific team from the Channel Islands, I would love to read about them. Either mention them below in the comments box, send a tweet on Twitter to @The94thMin or put it on my Facebook Page, it would be great to hear your comments.

Mercie bian!

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