With a matter of weeks left before Parishes Of Jersey FC jet off to Yorkshire to compete in the four way Atlantic Heritage Cup, I caught up with manager and founder James Scott.
We talked about the upcoming tournament, the squad which was announced yesterday and what is coming up after PoJ’s trip to Yorkshire.
Q: It’s all shaping up quite nicely for PoJ. What can you tell us about the upcoming tournament?
JS: Yes we are really happy with how things are going. There are lots of people working behind the scenes to tick all the boxes that need ticking prior to the tournament. The ‘Atlantic Heritage Cup’ will be a four team tournament and includes ourselves, Ellan Vannin (Isle of Man), Kernow (Cornwall) and finally Yorkshire who are kindly hosting the tournament. It will be a league format with all the teams playing each other.
Are you relishing the chance to get away with the squad for the first time?
JS: We are expecting it to be a very challenging tournament and the standard of all our opponents will be good. So to answer your question.. yes. The players have bought into what we are trying to do with the CONIFA route and hopefully they themselves will relish this opportunity.
What about the squad? Good to see a mix of youth and experience in there?
JS: I’m really happy with my squad. I believe its small but perfectly formed. Three games in three days is a big ask but I believe we have a good mix with a few older heads in there to steady the ship.
How did you pick the background staff? Are they just as important as the players for PoJ?
JS: We are trying to do everything in the correct manner and we have approached and appointed various backroom staff who we believe are all very important pieces in the PoJ jigsaw puzzle. It’s great to have you on board Dan as our official media officer and as you know, you will be working closely with our official photographer Adi Topley. You will both be very important in terms on being the link to the various media sources whilst at the tournament in order to keep everyone in Jersey updated. We have also recently warmly welcomed another key partnership of Sam Freeborn as physio and Di Fitzjohn who will do all our sports massages. I’m sure they will both be very busy due to the amounts of games we will be playing in a short space of time.
Management wise we have Mark Logue as our coach for the first time and Matt Elcock who is keen to continue as goalkeeper coach.
It’s important to mention how instrumental our president James Blower has been since we were first formed. I am basically in contact with him nearly every day for advice and guidance. All in all we have a great team within a team and I can’t thank them all enough for their involvement and ongoing hard work.
What are your overall goals for the upcoming tournament?
JS: Win the thing….and have a good giggle along the way. But of course switch on when we have too!
Any plans after this tournament? Exciting times ahead for Jersey football?
JS: Yes it’s going to be a busy summer for Jersey football. I wish the Jersey Bulls and the Jersey FA all the best with their summer plans. From our point of view we will just continue to do what we have been aiming to do since day one… create ‘opportunities’ and ‘experiences’ for our top players. It would also be great to host some sort of CONIFA tournament in Jersey one day too so that the island could see first-hand what the global organisation has to offer.
The PoJ train has definitely left the station….we are not sure where it will end up, but hopefully it will be exciting journey for all involved.
It goes without saying that it has been a very promising few months for football on the island, and this is only likely to get better with all of the upcoming games the top islanders are about to play.
Be sure to follow Parishes of Jersey’s social media pages over the next few months, and I for one can’t wait to head to Yorkshire to be part of this new footballing chapter in Jersey.