Guernsey FC is massive undertaking, says director

Steve Dewsnip
Dewsnip says the club will wear colours associated with Guernsey history

Entering Guernsey Football Club into an English league will be a huge undertaking, according to one of its directors.

The club received the FA's approval for joining a league on Tuesday.

Steve Dewsnip said: "We'll be playing somewhere between 20 and 25 games at home at Footes Lane, but also the same number away.

"As well as funding our team travelling to the UK we're also covering the costs of the opposition coming here."

He added: "That's going to involve us in a huge amount of fundraising but we have our main sponsorship in place."

If the Combined Counties League, which includes teams from Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex and London, agrees at its AGM in June then the island side would start playing in its first division from August.

"From a footballing perspective we're trying to offer our better elite players on the island the chance to play at a better standard on a far more frequent basis than they're used to," Dewsnip continued.

"We think the way to do that is to be playing in a UK mainland league week-in week-out.

"We don't believe for a moment that this will involve only 13 or 14 players we think that players who sign for and play for Guernsey FC will still be able to play for their clubs and because of that we think it will offer probably somewhere in the region of 35-40 players a season the chance to be involved.

"We think it will give the local game a massive boost because it will, we believe, raise standards - it will give so many more players the chance to have a better standard of football to aim for.

"When they return and play for their club, which we are encouraging them to do, we think that should in theory lead to a raising of standards and more importantly we think also it will give the youngsters coming through the football system a fantastic goal to aim for."

Guernsey's island team coach Tony Vance has been appointed head coach and former England and Southampton midfielder Matt Le Tissier has agreed to be club president.

The side will play in the island's traditional colours of green and white and a second kit of all sky blue, which has an island history of its own.

"Back in 1905 when it was the first ever Muratti game, between Guernsey and Jersey, Guernsey actually played in sky blue. I think they borrowed a kit from a Manchester regiment," Dewsnip said.

At the time of the match the island was always garrisoned by a UK regiment, as well as the island's own militia, and at that time it was the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment.