Date Posted: 31/07/2019
Ross Allen has can't wait to pull a green shirt on again after his return to Guernsey was confirmed this week.
The Green Lions' all-time record scorer is heading back to the island after near-two-year stint in New Zealand, where he played for Team Wellington in the country's domestic top flight. Having scored a hat-trick against Shoreham in his last appearance for the Green Lions in December 2017, he went on to score 26 goals in 34 games with 'Tee-Dubs', winning the Oceanic Champions League. This ensured qualification to the FIFA World Club Cup in the UAE, where he came off the bench in extra-time against hosts Al-Ain with the game poised at 3-3. He smashed the his side's first penalty of the resultant shoot-out into the top corner, but unfortunately his team were eliminated on spot-kicks.
Allen remains the Sarnians' record goalscorer with an incredible 239 goals in 226 games - that included three or more goals for Guernsey FC on 28 occasions - 20 hat-tricks, five four-goal hauls, twice scoring five times in a game and once netting six times against Crawley Down Gatwick in a club-record 11-0 win in January 2014. One of Allen's best seasons was in 2013-14, when he scored 54 goals as the Green Lions reached the Isthmian League Division.
Allen said he was excited to return and was grateful that manager Tony Vance didn't pressure him into doing so, but wanted to make sure it was in the best interests of the striker.
"I've been speaking to Tony for a couple of months about the possibility of returning," Allen told GuernseyFC.com. "To be honest, he's been amazing and his advice has been incredibly impartial, given his position. Obviously he wanted me to come back, but only if I'm fully invested in the season and if it's what I feel is best for me.
"This is a decision I am making with my head as well as my heart. I want to do what it best for my football at this stage, and that simply means getting as many minutes as possible. I had an amazing time with Team Wellington and come back with some great experience and memories, but with only an 18-game league schedule and no Champions League this season, it was going to be tough to get the game time I need at this stage of my career, and I had not started as many games as I'd hoped. By coming back to Guernsey, I can fight to earn a place in 38 league-game squads, which is what I need. I wouldn't be coming back if I wasn't going into this with everything I have."
Allen is also looking forward to working with some new faces that weren't playing for GFC when he left, and also being reunited with former team-mates.
"I can't wait to get back with the lads. I see this is a totally new challenge, starting with a battle to earn a shirt. It's a really exciting prospect for me to come back in with new players like Will [Fazakerley] and Carlos [Canha] now in the mix, and Robbie [Legg] back from injury. I hope to pass on some of my experience to the younger players. If I can do that and help them, and the club, progress, it will all be worth it."
Welcome back Rocco!