Football:Island juniors to face Caen

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Jersey’s U18s will play Caen U16s away on Saturday 3 April 2004.U18 manager Jon Welsh said: ‘The match will be part of my squad’s final preparations for the Muratti against Guernsey.’Two years ago my U18s played well but were out of their depth in a 6-0 defeat by Caen’s U18s so this time we will play Caen’s U16s.

Playing against professional sides can only help improve our players.’Jersey U18s’ games programme has come a long way in the five years since Welsh took over as manager.

Previously a Muratti squad was selected in January or February and they had two games away before playing against Guernsey.This season Jersey has had three FA County Youth Cup matches and several friendlies.

Welsh is hoping to secure tour games against U16 sides from Chelsea and Southampton and a week after the Caen game they host the Army U18s at Springfield, their final match before the Junior Muratti.Following Jersey’s match against Caen, the U18s will watch the Normandy club’s first-team, currently in fourth place in Division II, at home against mid-table Creteil.Guingamp, who defeated Jersey 6-0 at Springfield on Monday night, are currently on a mid-season break in the Island, and Jersey Football Association president Charlie Tostevin says strong links with the Brittany club have been made and further matches are expected.Tostevin, said: ‘It was an excellent day all-round culminating in the gamet.

Guingamp officials have been very impressed with everything that has done for them and there is a possibility that they will return at the end of this season or pre-season next season.’I’ve been very happy with the support of everyone.

Springfield staff were excellent in allowing Guingamp to train indoors at Springfield in the morning while the ground staff must also be congratulated for getting the pitch ready for game.’Guingamp were impressed by our team’s attitude and commitment and hopefully we can get together with them and arrange some games for our under-21, U18 and U16 teams against them.Tostevin added: ‘We had a young side, seven of Monday night’s squad have come through Jon Welsh’s U18s in the past five years and that bodes well for our future.’It was extremely pleasing to see a good crowd and many old faces back watching football again.

I hope everyone enjoyed the night and I hope they will be back supporting us again in our South West Counties Championship matches in the next couple of months.’

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