St. Peter FC's Under-18s are this weekend hoping to make a major statement for Jersey junior football as they battle for a place in the semi-final of the Kent FA County Youth Cup.
If successful against Glebe FC on their home turf at Chislehurst in Bromley, it will be the third time the team has reached at least the semi-final stage in the four years they have entered the competition.
Run by the Kent Football Association, the competition features 64 teams overall from across Kent.
St. Peter won the competition in 2021, beating Bexley FC in the final, which made them the first Channel Island junior club to win an English FA county tournament.
They were hoping to replicate that success again last year, but went out at the quarter final stage, losing to Sheppey United.
Pictured: St. Peter FC's winning side in 2021.
Glebe are a formidable team, having beaten Corinthians FC 8-4 in the previous round and Cray Valley Paper Mills FC 4-1 away in an earlier round.
Glebe FC's first team play in the Southern Counties Premier League, which at level 9 in the FA pyramid system, the same level as Jersey Bulls.
This season's talented squad includes six outstanding players who have been called on by the Bulls for their Under-18 and Under-23 teams: goalkeeper Harry Gladdish, captain Joel McKinley, Sammy Henia-Kamou, Harry Scott, Seaney McColgan and Taylor Jack Woodley.
Pictured: Back row left to right - Harry Scott, Jack-Taylor Woodley, Gianni Margaroli, Finley Davidson, Joel McKinley (captain), Harry Gladdish, Leo Barker, Harry McManus, Jay Bertalli. Front row - Sam Pinel, Ben Shirley, Seb Guy, Seaney McColgan, Jared Trevor, Seb Barrow.
Head Under-18 Coach Jody Byrne said: “It has taken a little while for the players to recognise and play to the strengths of their teammates, but as the season progresses we are developing into a potent team unit.
"We performed very well in very demanding and atrocious conditions at Hawkinge Town in the last round and we have only played three games since then and just four league games all season, which isn’t ideal preparation. The lads train well and fortunately from a fitness level most of them play for the senior teams on Saturdays.”
He added: “We are looking forward to testing ourselves against another high ranking and top quality UK team in Glebe FC and we will go there with some confidence and conscious that we have a reputation to live up to, with our performances in this competition over the past four years.
"We are under no illusions that this will be a very tough game for us but we will go with the intention of producing high energy levels and playing our normal open attractive football.”
Pictured: Seany McColgan scores the opening goal at Dartford FC being congratulated by his team mates.
Mark Oliver, Lead Coach for St. Peter’s Academy, added: “St. Peter FC would like to express their sincere thanks to Cyan Regulatory Services Limited for their support in assisting with the costs involved in our participation in the Kent FA U18 Youth Cup.
"The Club is extremely grateful to Cyan as without their valuable support , the rising travel costs we have encountered, would have made it difficult to complete this year’s tournament. This would have deprived these talented players the opportunity to test their abilities against some of the best Youth teams in the South of England.”
The match is set to take place on Saturday 28 January in Chistlehurst with a noon kick-off.
Pictured top: Skipper Joel McKinley sets up Harry Scott to make it 6-2 to St. Peter over Dartford FC in the first round.
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.