Ross Allen: Returning Guernsey FC striker excited by 'new challenge'

Ross Allen celebrates
Ross Allen has scored three or more goals in a game for Guernsey on 28 occasions, including once netting six in a match

Guernsey FC's record goalscorer Ross Allen says he is excited about returning to the island side.

The 32-year-old is returning home after almost two years away in New Zealand, where he helped Team Wellington win the 2018 Oceania Champions League and played in last winter's Club World Cup.

Allen has scored 239 goals in 226 appearances for the Green Lions.

"After being away for a little bit of time it's going to be a new challenge for me," Allen told BBC Guernsey.

"I've had a great couple of years in New Zealand and there was always a good chance of me staying another season with Team Wellington.

"But looking at the last couple of years maybe the number of games I've played, and ultimately looking at it this season, we hadn't qualified for the Champions League this year so there was only going to be 18 league games, and at this stage of my career I need to be playing as often as I possibly can.

"It was a very attractive prospect to come home and have a full 38-game schedule."

'I'm excited about what I can bring'

Allen helped Guernsey FC win back-to-back promotions in their first two seasons, as well reaching the FA Vase semi-finals, and scored a golden boot-winning 54 goals in 2013-14.

But in his absence the island side have struggled - they finished 21st in the Isthmian League's South East Division last season - their worst-ever finish since the club's formation in 2012.

And it is hoped his experience and goalscoring record can help bring on the next generation of local players.

"They can learn off somebody, and they can learn off someone who has a proven track record," Guernsey FC coach Steve Sharman told BBC Guernsey.

"For the young players will it mean less game time? Well if Ross is scoring a goal a game then he's going to be in the starting team. But I think it will only help them."

Allen has not played a game since May and despite keeping up his fitness, is realistic about his prospects of walking straight back into the team.

"There are guys that have been doing it for the last couple of years while I've been away, so I've got to come in and have a point to prove before I can earn a shirt.

"Obviously being one of the senior guys in the group I'm excited about what I can bring to the squad just from my experience and things I've learned over the last couple of years in New Zealand.

"It's never going to be easy, expectations are going to be high, I know that.

"I'm going to be fighting against a younger version of myself, but I know if I do what makes me tick and work hard then things will happen and go right on the pitch, and scoring and providing goals for people will come."

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