Date Posted: 28/11/2017
Guernsey FC will be without Ross Allen for the remainder of the season and likely the foreseeable future after that, with the forward revealing he was leaving the island within the next week to live and work in New Zealand.
Allen visited New Zealand as part of his spell away travelling during the 2016-17 season and, in his own words, ‘fell in love’ with the country and has harboured a desire to go back since he returned to the island in March.
“This is the last year I could apply for my working holiday visa, so the opportunity is too good to pass up,” Allen told GuernseyFC.com. “I feel that travelling woke me up to a few things and it was time to make a decision.
“The plan is to find some work over there and get set up with a team, whilst exploring as much as I can.
“I love Guernsey FC but I have to do what’s right for me. I’m eager for new adventures and experiences, and I have the freedom to pursue those challenges myself.”
The 30-year-old, who leaves GFC with a phenomenal record of more than a goal a game - 239 strikes in 226 appearances to be precise – believes the club is in a strong position to progress without him.
“There have been some talented young players knocking at the door for a while so now is the time for them to step up and develop in my place,” he said. “The squad is in a better position than when I went travelling last season.”
There are no guarantees we will see Ross in a Guernsey FC shirt again, but he hasn’t ruled it out completely.
“When I went travelling I knew it would just be for a few months, but this time I am moving to live and work so I can’t say when, or even if, I’ll be back as I just don’t know how things will pan out at this stage.
“But I’d like to think my journey with GFC is not yet done.
“I want to thank everyone within the club for their support and understanding, and the fans for helping to make these past six-plus years so memorable.
“I have been privileged to pull on the shirt so many times and am proud of my goalscoring record.”
Allen is due to leave the island this weekend and so is very unlikely to be selected for the squad against VCD Athletic on Saturday as GFC boss Tony Vance prepares for the future.
Vance was naturally disappointed that his star striker will no longer be part of his squad, but wishes the number 10 all the best and looks forward to seeing if other players will take their chance.
“Ross has been an outstanding player for us but we completely understand this big life decision he has made.” said Vance.
"Privately, I’ve known for a while Ross would be going again – we just didn’t know exactly when it would be – and so we have been trying to prepare for this in recent weeks. He could play on Saturday but it is more important that we look to continue with our other options as we did at Hastings last week.
“We’ve already seen a bit of a changing-of-the-guard this season with plenty of young players stepping up as well as new faces training with the squad. Having had 20-plus players available for almost every game in the last two months shows that we are in a strong position and if those players stay hungry and keep fighting, there is plenty of cause for optimism about how we go forward.
“I’ve said this before but this is a fantastic opportunity for one of the many attacking players who have been keen to stake a claim for a regular spot to kick on and make a name for themselves.”
We would like to thank Ross for his contribution to the Guernsey FC journey so far, wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life.