New body to look at Guernsey FC's impact on football

Guernsey FC
Guernsey FC attracts well over 1,000 fans to every home match at Footes Lane

Guernsey's football authorities have launched a new committee to ensure that Guernsey FC does not adversely affect the sport in the island.

The Football Strategy Committee (FSC) has representatives from the Guernsey FA, Guernsey FC and the island's League Management Committee.

It comes after criticism that Guernsey FC, which plays in England, was adversely affecting the on-island game.

The group says Guernsey representative teams will be the top priority.

Last month the Guernsey FA were forced to field a weakened team in the FA Inter-League Cup because most of the island's top players opted to play for Guernsey FC instead.

Guernsey FC was established over the summer and is currently playing in the Combined Counties League Division One.

The island's Priaulx League is still active, but most of Guernsey's top players have opted to play for Guernsey FC.

"Clearly Guernsey FC is enjoying a fantastic first season and we're very encouraged at the progress being made," said Guernsey FA chairman Chris Schofield.

"However we also have to be aware that we have a well-established club structure which we don't want to see damaged, and that we all need to work side by side to progress Guernsey football together."

His thoughts were echoed by the League Management Committee's chairman Keith Mansell.

"Guernsey FC is an exciting venture and we support their success, but it is equally as important that the local game remains strong. I hope that the FSC will be a good enabler for us all to benefit together."

Guernsey FC chairman Steve Dewsnip acknowledged the work done in the island's domestic leagues.

"The long established local clubs in the island have done a fantastic job over many years in developing football, and talented players and coaches in particular.

"GFC looks forward to continuing to offer opportunities for the island's senior elite players to play regularly, together, in more challenging environments at the highest level possible and in doing so, delivers a product and experience which the Guernsey public can continue to be proud of."