Date Posted: 29/09/2020
The decision for Guernsey FC to withdraw from the Isthmian League for the 2020-21 season was a tough one, but the right one for the good of the local community. GFC's players will spend this season in the Priaulx League.
GuernseyFC.com spoke to boss Tony Vance to get his view on the situation and how the club can make the best of it...
What is your reaction to having to drop out the league? It's a shame players will miss out of a year of development at this level but it had to be done...
It is certainly disappointing but totally the right decision. We are so lucky to be in the position we are here in Guernsey and with there being so much uncertainty in England, I am relieved we won't be travelling over there to be honest. If things don't change I can certainly see the league halting again, so from that perspective financially we would have been taking a huge risk travelling too.
Do you hope that when things restart, a few more talented younger players will have the hunger and and enthusiasm to give it a go at this level?
We have already had a few youngsters training with us, which is great to see. Hopefully by next season we will see a couple of these break through. Over the next few years there is a cohort of players coming through that I believe have what it takes to improve us. Unfortunately some of these players are not allowed to train with us yet due to their age so a lot can happen between now and then, however I am excited to see how many will step up and fulfil that potential.
Generally, though, it will be interesting to see what impact this break will have on some of the current players as to whether they are able to step up again or in fact if the season away has had a negative effect.
Could that go for coaches and backroom staff as well maybe? Perhaps it is also a chance for you to recharge after years of intense commitment?
I’m not going to lie, this break is going to be very welcomed for me as the last nine years have been absolutely relentless! I saw a picture of me from our first ever game and it’s fair to say I’ve aged dramatically! I’m therefore hoping that this break in terms of the pressure and intensity of managing this club will give me a new and invigorated lease of life!
Can this enforced break help the club take stock and look at how it can develop in other areas as well as on the pitch?
From a club point of view, this is a fantastic opportunity to look at ourselves, maybe realign certain areas whilst the pressure of week in week out football is not there. It is important to evolve and I don’t believe we have looked at this enough off the field, so now is the perfect time to do this.
What are the plans for the year from a coaching perspective? Are the plans to still have regular training, or perhaps regular friendlies against Priaulx clubs? Will you be going to watch as much local football as possible?
We are planning to still train once a week and will be aiming to develop regular friendlies, although it is important that these are not only relevant/competitive but we need to ensure a balance is maintained. What people have to remember is these are not our players as such – ultimately they are lads who enjoy playing football so they will all be looking at playing elsewhere locally during this season. This provides a challenge to us, so as coaches, we are looking to develop a programme that will be designed to keep up some momentum and ensure good habits and physical conditions are maintained as best we can.
A key area we will be looking at within this period will be the next generation of players coming through as this is a great time to start developing those who have the potential but need to understand what it takes to be a GFC player whilst the pressure is off to a certain degree where points and results mean everything. Between us all, we will definitely be able to take in more local games now, which I’m looking forward to.
Are there any other ways you hope to make the best of the situation from a GFC perspective?
Hopefully the absence away from Footes Lane will only fuel people’s passion even more to want to come back next season. Certainly the crowd, excitement and interest generated from the Isle of Man game served as a reminder of what the club can deliver.