Jersey U18 footballers plan for another away-day Muratti win

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The leading under-18 players of both islands will be eager to put on good show of football and therefore repeat last year’s spectacle, but Jersey will hope it’s not the same result as Guernsey snatched a stoppage time goal for a thrilling 4-3 win.

Matt Loaring – who is again available tomorrow – was the Sarnians’ hero then with a hat-trick; the speedy and tricky winger scored two fabulous goals but Jersey could well have won had they not squandered several chances.

Jersey manager Dave Walsh, who has named a squad of 18 players, said: ‘We paid the price for missed opportunities last year and hopefully that will not happen again.

‘It’s important, too, that our big players perform on the day; we have good quality throughout our squad and it’s vitally important that everyone plays at the top of their form for themselves, the team and the Island.

‘We had a full match on Tuesday and we through without any injuries which I was very happy about.

Raised the bar

‘Our preparation has been good; we played Scotland U16s at the start of the season and more recently we played Northern Ireland’s schoolboys and we worked extremely hard to get a 2-2 draw.

‘That night we raised the bar in the way we played and hopefully we can do the same against Guernsey.’

Midfielders Jack Boyle, who will captain Jersey again, and Michael Weir played full games last year while defender Sam de la Haye was used as a substitute. Declan Sowney, John Borg and Seb Poole were also in last year’s squad.

Guernsey are expected to select an attack-minded side; they have strength in depth and some promising individuals – five who played last year, including Loaring.

‘I would say the balance of the squad is good and we look positive,’ said Guernsey boss Paul Ockleford.

‘It’s a good group to work with and I’m quietly confident with it. We have goal scorers, which is key and we have a lot of players with Priaulx League experience.

‘We need to have a bit of composure and not panic and pass the ball around.’

Although Guernsey lost 4-1 to Dorset in the South West Counties U18 level, Ockleford believes they were the better team, but were hampered by some grave errors that day.

Guernsey played warm-up games over Easter winning 4-0 against Rangers and sharing four goals with a strong Bels team.

Ockleford is well aware Jersey have some talented youngsters at their disposal too.

‘I think Jersey will play a lot of short play through the middle and may go 5-4-1. We will counterattack that and see what happens. We will attack them – we have more options going forward,’ he vowed.

Guernsey have won the last two Junior Murattis in Jersey, but Jersey have done likewise in Guernsey, so the home side will be looking to upset the trend.

Jersey: Max Jouan, Daniel Gillett, John Borg, Mark Chipperfield, Sam de la Haye, Liam Walker, Fabio De Jesus, Adam Le Cornu, Michael Weir, Jack Boyle, Jay Reid, Chris Mourant, Adam Lester, Seb Poole, Calum Brennan, James Murray, Declan Sowney and Fabio Dos Santos.

Guernsey: Ashley Williams, Scott Rowe, Garry Dodd, Miles Pengelley, Aaron Walden, Simon Shaw, Brady Lesbirel, Jack Domaille, Scott Bougourd, Matt Loaring, Matt Le Prevost, Tom de Garis, James Mullen, Kieran Mahon, Wayne Bishop, Daena Bodie, Nigel Hutton, Dave Cusack and Robbie Williams.

Kick-off at the Track, 2 pm.

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