New JFA chief executive Jean-Luc Desbois has revealed that in the month since his appointment he has conducted no fewer than four site visits at the IJB Field in St Saviour, and while he suggests the association needs its own identity there is also an admission that co-operation with other governing bodies could prove beneficial.
Speaking after presenting the JFA’s business plan for 2018-21, Desbois also said that the Island requires more 3G football pitches.
‘I’ve already been up to the site [the IJ Bathe Field] four times with all manner of people – architects, people who are connected with planning and Jersey Sport,’ he explained. ‘It’s something we [the JFA] are reviewing.
‘Probably locality-wise the IJB is not ideal, but one thing I can say for sure is that the Island definitely needs more 3G pitches and we would have some funding from the Football Foundation.
‘We just need to find the location and likewise, from the States of Jersey’s perspective, they are very keen for sport to work as one rather than individual silos, because if we go off charging around trying to build a football pitch, rugby goes off to build theirs … why can’t we look at that as a combined sporting centre as an example?
‘If we had the same locality we could share costs [with sports], so certainly that is something that I intend to at least investigate over the coming season.’
Desbois also took time to highlight his wish to give Island football clubs better support.
‘Hopefully I can prove to them over the coming season that actually I do care about the clubs, we do want to help them,’ he said.
‘Next season I’m already thinking about some sort of a festival [for local clubs or anyone who wants to play football] as a way of raising money for the clubs.
‘The cost of running football now continues to increase and I think for us to be seen to help them would hopefully win the hearts of those concerned.
‘There’s lots we can do, there’s lots that has been done in the past, but for me we need to pull together in terms of actually helping clubs to raise some money themselves.
‘Yes there are several clubs that are very well run in Jersey, they’ve got good support, good backers and a good infrastructure, but my experience from what I’ve seen already is there are many clubs that have got little support and are struggling.’
The Guernsey FA, in association with Guernsey FC, are awaiting government approval for their own £2million-plus stadium.
Both parties have been working together on the project for five years, and, if successful, it will provide a floodlit stadium with a capacity of up to 4,000 and a 3G pitch for training and youth matches.