It’s the first time you’ve got a prediction out of me,’ he said, ‘but if we go about it professionally and close them down early, I believe it will be 1-0 to us.’He is upbeat about his team’s chances, although four of the squad he would have liked to have selected from are out through injury: Ryan Lumsden, Martin Paton, Chris Carter and Ross Crick.However, he has been impressed by the attitude of the squad he has selected, which includes Trinity’s Jimmy Reilly, who returned to the Island after a two-year absence this summer.’I’ve watched him play and he looks very sharp,’ said Matthews.
‘I’ve also brought in James Haywood, while in training some of the younger players like Chris Andrews and Chris McNab have come through well.
Others, like Lee Bradshaw and Dave Le Roux are working hard and coming into form and I’ve been pleased by Styles’ reading of the game, in goal.’Some of the players had an excellent Island Games and I want that form to continue.’This week every one of his squad trained on Sunday followed by three more training sessions, including the final one last night, mainly to work out routines for set pieces.However, he has delayed final team selection as long as possible.’It’s genuine.
I don’t know what side I’ll play,’ he said yesterday afternoon.
‘I’ve several ideas in mind.’As for Dorset, despite Jersey losing to them 2-1 away from home last season, Matthews knows little about them, other than that they are well organised; that their team chops and changes from season to season; and that there will be a sprinkling of ex-pros in their side.PressuriseInevitably, they will try to pressurise Jersey from the start, whereas his team will try to close them down over the 90 minutes and hit them on the break.’I was disappointed for my players after our 1-0 defeat by Cornwall,’ Matthews said, ‘but since the Island Games we’ve built more of a club atmosphere, and the strength of these South West Counties matches is that the players have to be at their fittest all the year round, not just from January onwards, for the Muratti.’Given two or three years at this level and with the youngsters we’re bringing on, we’ll get to the final.
I keep in close touch with Jon Welsh (manager of the under-18s) and watch their games.
With the squad I’ve got, and the players coming through, there’s some real talent in this Island.’Jersey: James Brewster (Jersey Scottish), James Styles (Wanderers), Chris McNab (Scottish), James Fortune (St Paul’s), Lee Bradshaw (St Paul’s), Gordon Brodie (Scottish), James Hayward (Trinity), Chris Andrews (Wanderers), Dave Brodie (Scottish), Charlie Smith (Scottish), Allan Brown (Trinity), Dave Le Roux (Trinity), Paul Aitken (Scottish), John Rutter (FTU), Garry Freeman (St Peter), Glen Durrans (St Paul’s), Jimmy Reilly (Trinity).
Kick-off 1 pm.