Uncertainty over Bulls’ pre-season plans

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The game, scheduled to take place at Springfield on 17 July, has now been rearranged for a second time with a new date of 22 July 2022.

Bulls’ remaining pre-season fixture is with Risborough Rangers on 24 July but with cases rising both in Jersey and in the UK it is looking very unlikely that the match will go ahead, leaving manager Gary Freeman’s preparations for the new campaign in jeopardy.

Bulls resumed training with a fitness session last week and are due back at Springfield for ball work this Thursday.

With the club’s new league season due to start on 31 July, and with an FA Cup match the week after, there is little time to consider the alternatives.

With only a couple of players having been fully vaccinated, arranging pre-season friendlies in the UK is not currently an option for Bulls either – meaning they may look to play a local club or have an in-house match that will include their under-23 players. That may give local fans, who are desperate to be able to watch their team play again at Springfield, something to cheer about.

‘We will look to do something, somehow, but what that is I don’t know right now,’ admitted Bulls CEO Ian Horswell last night. ‘We’re just hoping things will improve.’

There is a growing sense of frustration among football fans in Jersey following earlier cancellations by League Two outfit Tranmere Rovers and Championship side Hull City. Both clubs were due to visit the Island for training camps, with Hull originally planning to arrive yesterday.

Many believe this is the perfect opportunity for Jersey to capitalise on attracting such clubs to the Island as, in a post-Covid world, they may soon look to return to continental destinations such as Portugal and Spain.

England Netball’s elite squad have also been forced to shelve plans for a camp based at Strive this summer, while there could soon be doubts over whether the situation will improve in time for Leicester Tigers’ visit in August for a match against Jersey Reds.

The 12-month postponement of the Kettering tie comes just four days after the inaugural VBET Cup was called off. The four-team tournament, hosted by the Bulls, was due to feature FC United of Manchester, Hashtag United and Cray Wanderers on 10-11 July.

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