Yesterday we kicked off the series of interviews looking at football on the island through the eyes of people involved first hand.
It was Elliot Powell yesterday talking from a local manager’s perspective (see below), with the young manager making so many good points.
Today it is the turn of James Scott, as the former island footballer spoke to me from the perspective as an ex-footballer on the island,
Here is what he said:
What is your honest opinion of Jersey football on the whole currently?
I’ve not been involved with club football this season but I wouldn’t think too much has changed. On the whole there is some great work going on at clubs by small groups of volunteers that all chip in and do what they can. However, cracks have been forming for many seasons in senior football….and those cracks are getting deeper and wider! We all know about the shortage of officials, decreasing numbers, club debts, etc which are worrying signs. However, I really believe the root of the problem is PLAYER COMMITMENT. I fully appreciate that lifestyles have changed and there is more to do than ‘just play football’ but you get out what you put in. Players these days find too many excuses and blame this and that. That negativity spreads like wildfire and unfortunately the clubs suffer the consequences.
Is the birth of Jersey Bulls a good or bad thing?
I believe it’s exactly what was needed. Injected some life back into local football. If you have been along to a game at springy and seen the amount of spectators it speaks for itself. From a football point of view I’d like to press the fast forward button and skip a couple of seasons so that the games were more challenging for the players, but completely understand why they went in at that level. It’s much easier to attract sponsors when you are winning! Fair play to everyone at the Bulls. I tip my hat to them all.
Is the league more or less competitive?
Standard has undoubtedly dropped with the introduction of the Bulls as it’s taken away the better players away. However, from the couple of games I’ve watched it’s definitely competitive with more teams pushing for the top spots. With respect, some of those clubs wouldn’t have competed in the same way last season. The score-lines in most games are undoubtedly tighter against the so called stronger teams.
What have your experiences been this season?
Very limited this season to be honest. I reffed a St. Paul’s v Trinity game when they didn’t have a official. All the lads responded well and understood the script. Apart from that just I’m working with the future generation on Sunday mornings and working hard behind the scenes to take Parishes of Jersey to the next level this coming summer.
What are your recommendations to improve football on the island?
Unfortunately there is no quick fix. Just a case of seeing how things pan out. I think it will take 3/4 seasons for the league to find it’s feet again, due to knock on effect of the Bulls. It’s important to point out that 11-a-side adult football is struggling right across the UK, with more and more teams folding, league numbers reducing, so it’s not just in Jersey.