Isle of Man FA sides to face Airbus this weekend
The senior men’s Isle of Man football representative side will end a near three-year exile this weekend when they travel off-island to play a friendly in Wales.
Island manager Blane Slattery takes charge of his first official match and has named a 16-player squad who will travel to Broughton in Flintshire later this week to play Airbus FC on Saturday.
The Isle of Man men’s team’s last football involvement was in the FA Inter-League Cup in September 2019 when they were beaten 2-1 by the Cheshire League at the Bowl.
Prior to that, the Men played at the Ynys Mon Inter-Island tournament in Anglesey where they finished with the bronze medal.
Ironically, they stopped off at Airbus FC en-route to the competition and played a friendly against Connah’s Quay Nomads, which finished 0-0.
During this absence, the footballing landscape has changed dramatically regarding men’s senior elite football with the emergence of FC Isle of Man.
Despite this, there is an abundance of island-based quality players for Slattery to choose from, with some of the players having their first exposure of island representative football.
There are those within the local football community who will question if the Isle of Man representative side does have a future, some citing that they have become FC Isle of Man’s development side.
But one thing that the representative side does have in their favour is a heritage stemming back from 1928 which has brought the local footballing supporting public a number of memorable moments over the years.
This included success in the National League Systems Cup and Guinness Cup, beating Burnley 1-0 in the now-defunct Steam Packet Festival and representing England in the UEFA Regions competition.
This weekend will showcase that representative football is alive and kicking and that it is still important as ever to the local game, providing a good level of sport.
With Guernsey hosting the Island Games next year, the Men will have a point to prove after winning the gold in Gotland in 2017 in their last involvement in the bi-annual mini-olympiad.
Jamie Callister, Declan Cummins, Chris Duggan, Ryan Gartland, Tiernan Garvey, Daniel Gerrard, Philip Kelly, Dean Leece, Morgan Naylor, Brody Patience, Dylan Pickles, George Rawlinson, Robbie Ward, Kyle Watson, Nick White, Matthew Woods.
Blane will be joined on the trip by coaches Ben Qualtrough and Juan Watney.
l Also travelling to North Wales is the Isle of Man women’s senior representative side, forming part of a double bill where they too will play a friendly against Airbus FC’s female counterparts.
The women’s side recently played a friendly against Ballayclare on Easter Saturday, winning 3-1 in a positive and hard-fought match.
This weekend’s game is a chance for manager Wayne Lisy and his players to gain more representative experience.
They too have thoughts of being amongst the medals in Guernsey next year.
Rebecca Cole, Rebecca Corkish, Lisa Costain, Eleanor Gawne, Louise Gibbins, Kayleigh Greggor, Casey Halsall, Megan Kelly, Tia Lisy, Katie Lovelady, Stevie Mallon, Erin Sells, Holly Sumner, Chloe Teare.
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