Jersey to play Union Sportive St Malo in friendly match

Jersey face Guernsey in the Muratti
Jersey play rivals Guernsey for the Muratti Vase every year

Jersey will play French fourth-tier side Union Sportive St Malo in a friendly on Sunday, 4 January.

The game is the first match for the island side since Jersey's Football Association made

Springfield Stadium is being redeveloped for next year's Island Games, so the match will be at St Brelade FC with a 13:00 GMT kick-off.

"They'll be an extremely tough game for us," said the JFA's Iain MacKenzie.

St Malo are 10th in Group D of the French Amateur Championship (CFA), with the winners of the four regional groups promoted to the professional third tier of French football.

Jersey fixtures 2014-15
20 October 2014: at home
22 October 2014: at home
4 January 2015: Union Sportive De St. Malo (home)
28 March 2015: Alderney away (Muratti Vase semi-final)
4 May 2015: Essex and Suffolk Border League
17 May 2015: Guernsey away (Muratti Vase final, if Jersey beat Alderney)

"They [St Malo] have brought in five new players and with that number of players it takes them time to understand the tactics that they want to play so their focus is on next year," MacKenzie told BBC Sport.

"They're hoping to push into the national professional leagues."

Jersey's lack of a games programme for its best players has long been a contentious issue in island football, with former Jersey manager Craig Culkin looking into

But the island has had and last month JFA chief executive Neville Davidson said the island

"I am delighted with this fixture and I am looking forward to the game and 2015 in general with the Muratti and Island Games coming up and the new 3G pitch getting laid," said island manager Jimmy Reilly.

"It is exciting times for the players, the JFA and the Jersey public. This is a really good match to get us started for the season ahead and I expect a very difficult game against what will be quality opposition."

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