The rugby team that became a football club... Jersey Athletic affiliate with JFA

140720 - Jersey Reds Athletic - Credit: ITV Channel TV
Jersey Reds Athletic are hoping to play as many as 10 football matches before the rugby season starts. Credit: ITV Channel TV

With the start of the new rugby season still looking some way off, Jersey Reds Athletic are turning their hands to football in search of a competitive outlet.

The Reds' amateurs, who normally play in the Raging Bull Shield, have affiliated with the Jersey Football Association for the first time and are looking to play as many as 10 friendlies against local sides in the coming weeks.

"When I got an email through from the JFA, it said congratulations, you're now an affiliated team: Jersey Reds Athletic FC, and I was thinking it feels like there should be an R in front of that", said head coach Myles Landick.

He told ITV News he fears his side will not be able to return to league rugby until the New Year and wanted to build upon the success of the social cricket played by the club in recent years.

"With not knowing what's going to happen I think it's hugely important for the lads' mental and physical wellbeing that they are still involved with team sport".

"Not having something until January potentially is pretty devastating and some of these lads won't be used to that so filling that void is fantastic".

Landick says he has already had several offers for games and hopes to get the first lined up for the middle of next month.

"Certainly for me it's the biggest break I've had from rugby in over 10 years and it has been nice in some aspects but it's starting to set in now that we need to keep going and keep ourselves busy".

"Hopefully we'll attract a decent little crowd, the lads will enjoy themselves, and also we can put some money behind some of these bars at local football clubs because they'll be needing it at this period in time".

Having already seen his players take to the cricket field against some of Jersey's other sportspeople this summer, Athletic's head coach is confident they will match up well on the football pitch.

"We play an overs/unders game at Springfield every year at Christmas and that's taken pretty seriously".

"Mark Boarer is a general, good all-round sportsman and I know that there's a few lads that play in the [inter-parish] Trinity Shield every year, so when we played our overs/unders game there was a fair bit of talent on display to be honest so I was quite impressed with that", he said.