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Published by cdavis, 2020-01-24 03:55:26

017 Merthyr No Bleed

017 Merthyr No Bleed

Lee Molyneaux


IT’S quite telling that Danny
Cowley mentioned his and
brother Nicky’s Non-League
roots in the opening press con-
ference as Huddersfield Town
From the Essex Senior League to
the Championship in a little over a
decade is some rise – and they
will never forget where they came
The Cowley brothers
By Edd Paul

adults seniors juniors

HEARD the one about the football we were playing Jersey and we were the Friday night before the second
team that have to play 16 games 1-0 down,” Atkins told me. “We Saturday lunch time – imagine that in
away and only eight at home? Meet equalised in the second minute of the Premier League!
Alderney FC – the club who have injury time. They went mad, the
to raise £50,000 in an Island Games crowd went mad, I went mad. Unfor- “No one is ever whinging
year, play four double headers a tunately we then went and conceded a about it – we all enjoy our football
season in Guernsey’s Priaulx minute later! that much that we just get on with it,”
League and haven’t won a Muratti manager Josh Concanen says. “We’re
Vase game in 100 years. “So we have run them happy to help the club out financially
close. In 2002 was the first time we because it’s a huge expense for an
That’s only part of an amaz- had a chance of winning when, would amateur football team. Especially
ing football story being played out on you believe, Chopper Harris was with how much flights are to get off
the small Channel Island located 60 Jersey manager. the island. You get fogged in but
miles from the south coast of England that’s just part of it.”
and less than ten miles from France. “We got it back to 2-1 and
hit the bar in the 90th-minute. They Atkins has big ambition off
But despite their declining hadn’t allowed for extra time and the pitch. They want to extend the
resident population clocking in at just booked to be on the earlier plane.” clubhouse, which currently only
under 1,800 people, Alderney foot- holds 35, while improving their
ball is in a positive place. Travel on and off Alderney changing rooms before eventually
can be an issue. It’s not uncommon laying a 3G pitch. He also hopes an
Having finished runners-up for players to get stuck off the island sports hall will be built one day as,
in their league last year, they are once when the fog sets in. In the winter currently, there is nowhere to train
again battling it out for the title. flights don’t run so their regular indoors.
leagues games in Guernsey are
And they’re dreaming of crammed in before October to avoid a Jumble sales bring in funds
ending their century long wait for a late season pile-up. and people can also pay £10 to be-
win in the Muratti when they take on come a Vice President.
Guernsey in March. When The NLP speaks to
Atkins, he’s just off the phone after Whether 100 years of Mu-
A recent email into The rearranging an away game that can’t ratti hurt will end this spring remains
NLP inbox asked if we’d fancy tell- be played because of a waterlogged to be seen. But imagine the scenes in
ing the story of football on Alderney. pitch. The alternative of playing on Victoria Street, which is always
It was an interesting piece to write. an artificial surface would have only decked out in blue & white ahead of
My knowledge of the Muratti pretty allowed for 30 minutes to get the big game.
much started and finished with changed and back to the airport. And
Guernsey and Jersey playing in the that wasn’t taking stoppage time into “They have the programmes
final every year and the rivalry being consideration. printed before the semi-final has
fierce. finished,” Atkins says. “It will be
What is also remarkable is printed Jersey v Guernsey before the
But Alderney have been the players’ commitment to the cause game is played. One year we’ll really
getting closer to a final appearance and their league programme. Of the upset them. It will just be lovely.”
and they dream of upsetting the odds 24 games, they have to play two- By Matt Badcock
– and the programme printers, with thirds away. Each player forks out
chairman Reg Atkins joking they are £900 towards the costs of flights and
printed before the result of Alder- hotels for the double-headers.
ney’s semi-final is even played out!
They’ll play one game on
“Two-and-a-half years ago


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