JERSEY will have to be wary of a Guernsey side fired up by their home crowd but head coach Chad Morris is confident of bringing home the Women’s Muratti trophy tomorrow.
Two goals from Roisin Flynn and further strikes from Louise Van Der Vliet, Hannah Campbell and Ella Brennand saw the Island side secure a resounding 5-0 win at Springfield last year in what was the first Women’s Muratti in six years.
And Morris said the squad is ‘shaping up really well’ ahead of a packed schedule for his side, with the Island Games tournament – again held in Guernsey – following on from the showdown with their Channel Island rivals.
‘We have a really good blend of experience and youth and it is a good balanced squad,’ he said. ‘When we played Guernsey last year, they played a very cagey game and tried to catch us on the counter-attack.
‘We got in at half-time at 0-0 but knew we had the quality to break them down and focused on getting midfield runners into the box. When we scored, that opened the game up and that played into our hands a bit.
‘I am always confident in our squad of players. Whenever they put on that Jersey shirt they always give 100% and we have a lot of quality.’
Between 2017 and last year, there were no Women’s Muratti fixtures as Guernsey did not have a side with both the 2022 and 2016 games hosted by Jersey.
Last year’s final saw a record attendance for the Women’s Muratti and Morris is expecting another big crowd tomorrow.
‘This is the first one in Guernsey since 2015 so they will be up for it. That might force them to come at us a bit more so we’ll have to stay focused and play our game,’ Morris said.
‘The way the female game has grown in the last few years was proved by the size of the crowd last year. Hopefully we can continue to grow the game again this year and then again when it comes back to Jersey.’
And Morris believes that having regular fixtures in the calendar will only help improve the standing of the game in Jersey.
‘We have to concentrate fully on the Muratti before looking ahead to the Island Games,’ he said. ‘Years like this are what the players live for. They have been in contact with one another since the start of March and when you get that regular contact you get a club feel about it all.
‘Having games like this to look forward to is hugely important for the growth of the female game in the Island. We have to pick a squad from a pool of around 30 players but every year that pool gets bigger and becomes more and more difficult to pick from.’
Jersey squad: Soraya Da Conceicao; Ana Malta; Tiffany Sundby; Poppy Benest; Daniella Da Silva; Lauren Quemard; Sofia Rodrigues; Liberty Barnett; Leah Morris; Holly Muirhead; Eve Watson; Ella Docherty; Macey Wyse; Hannah Campbell; Olivia Labesse; Roisin Flynn