The next interview on local football is with Ian Solomon, a man who has been a vocal part of local football, especially with St Peter FC’s Junior squads.
He gives his honest opinion on the current situation here in Jersey.
Here is what he had to say:
What are your honest opinions of football in Jersey currently?
At the moment Jersey football has taken a big knock in my opinion, from junior football into senior football. As some people may know I’ve been involved in the junior game for a good few years, even coaching you Dan. Now at first we have lots of boys and girls playing and learning the beautiful game. But as they get older some clubs can’t take a team due to lack of coaches and volunteers, and sometimes a lack of players. So when they get to, let’s say 18’s, there’s only 5ish teams which is very sad to see, they either get attracted to other sports which is good for them as they are still active or they just stop. When I was in my teens we played football every night and played two games Saturday and one game Sunday. You could say we couldn’t get enough of the game! So my question to all footballers, no matter what standard of football you play, keep it up.
Is the introduction of Jersey Bulls FC good or bad for football in Jersey?
The Bulls is a fantastic thing for the so called top players as they get to play different teams week in week out, but it will have a knock on affect to the local league as to take 18+ top players away from their clubs will only weaken the league. The league is struggling with numbers as they don’t get the players from the UK or foreign shores like they did years ago. So the lack of juniors, top players and new people to the Island, it will obviously have an effect. However, to watch the Bulls doing well is good for them as a lot of hard work has gone on to get them to where they are.
Is the league more or less competitive?
The standard is poor I’m sorry to say. People and players can do the blame game but at the end of the day it’s down to the players. They don’t train as a team so how can they play like a team. When I first came to the rock we trained Tuesday and Thursday, played Saturday, trained Sunday morning and then played Sunday afternoon. If you didn’t train you weren’t selected for the 1st team or ressies. Nowadays its ‘do what you want’ and you’ll still get a game, so hence the standard of football isn’t great.
What have your experiences been like so far this season?
I’ve watched the Bulls as me lad (Sol) and Brother in law (Luke Campbell) play, so we support them and the rest of the set-up. Locally, I’m sorry but you get unfit players telling you that they are good, but let me tell you they aren’t. I came back to officiate, as you all know the numbers are thin with the amount of officials we have here. After 65 minutes I said to myself ‘this is grim’. Players assume ref’s are dictators, but let me tell you they are human and want to enjoy the game, but some players within the game can’t work that out. Simple phrase ‘Ref’s are their to Ref, coaches are their to coach, players are their to play and supporters are there to support’, it’s not rocket science.
What do you think we could do to improve football in Jersey?
Time is a great healer. Footballers can put a lot back into the game, like coaching, supporting, mentoring, and even refereeing. But when they stop playing, 85-90% of them walk away from the game. These days players are spoilt, it’s not all about them, it’s about the beautiful game. They all need to work harder as teams to make the standard of local football better.