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Monday, May 18, 2015


The fixture-list for the 2015 NatWest Island Games men's tournament, to be held in Jersey in June, was released in late March, and features teams representing sixteen islands split into groups of four. The tournament kicks off on 28/6/15 with the Group A encounter between Greenland and Menorca at the Le Boulivot ground in Grouville. The two teams last met at the 2011 NatWest Island Games, which were held in the Isle of Wight; Menorca won 3 goals to 2.

Since then, Greenland finished runners-up to hosts Bermuda in 2013 after a competition consisting of just four teams - the Falkland Islands and Frøya being the others. Greenland will be hard-pressed to replicate their achievement this time around, as the other teams in their group - Åland, Menorca - who will be hosting the NatWest Island Games in 2019 - and Saaremaa finished the 2011 tournament ahead of Greenland.

Gibraltar will be sending their under-23 team to compete in Jersey, and will be up against Gotland, Guernsey and Ynys Môn (Anglesey) in Group B. The clash between the team from the Rock and the Channel Island will be intriguing; the Gibraltar FA, which is, of course, the most recent addition to UEFA's ranks, whilst Guernsey will mostly comprise of Guernsey FC, the side which appears in the Isthmian League, the eighth level of English football.

Gibraltar won the competition for the first time in 2007, and Guernsey last won it in 2003. Ynys Môn have appeared in the final on five different occasions (the last being in 2001 when they lost to Guernsey), winning only once, in 1999. Gotland have yet to reach the last four of an Island Games tournament.

The Isle of Wight, who won the competition in 2011 for the first time since 1993, will be favourites to qualify for the semi-finals from Group C, but the Shetland Islands, making their first appearance since 2009, will be fancied to finish second. However, the Falkland Islands, who finished third in Bermuda last time out, defeating Frøya 6:0 to lift the Small Islands Trophy in the process (Frøya are, like Bermuda, not competing this year), will be hoping to defeat the Norwegian island's neighbours Hitra, who are making a welcome return to the competition having last competed in 1999.

The keenly-awaited Channel Islands' derby between Jersey and Alderney at Springfield will, together with the match between the Western Isles and the Isle of Man, start the ball rolling in Group D. Alderney hosted Jersey in the semi-final of this year's Muratti Cup at the end of March but lost by five goals to nil, and it will be difficult to envisage Alderney gaining a point in what should be a very tight group. 

Sadly for neutral fans, one Channel Island which shall not be taking part in this year's tournament is Sark. Secretary and co-chairman Chris Drillot informed Pat's Football Blog that they "shall not be sending a team as [they currently] do not have enough players to make it. We are just about getting enough [players] to carry on playing friendlies." A large percentage of the players in the Sark FC team are seasonal workers and, according to Section 6 ("Conditions for Representing a Member Island") of the IGA's Operational Guidelines, are therefore disqualified from competing in the competition.  

Please find below the fixture-list for the 2015 NatWest Island Games Men's football tournament.


Åland, Greenland, Menorca, Saaremaa

28/06/15 12:30 Greenland : Menorca (Le Boulivot)
28/06/15 16:30 Saaremaa : Åland (Le Boulivot)
29/06/15 12:30 Åland : Greenland (Le Couffardiere)
29/06/15 16:30 Menorca : Saaremaa (Le Couffardiere)
30/06/15 15:00 Åland : Menorca (Le Couffardiere)
30/06/15 15:00 Greenland : Saaremaa (Le Boulivot)


Gibraltar, Gotland, Guernsey, Ynys Môn

28/06/15 13:30 Gibraltar : Gotland (Rue des Vignes)
28/06/15 17:30 Ynys Môn : Guernsey (Rue des Vignes)
29/06/15 13:30 Guernsey : Gotland (Le Squendez)
29/06/15 14:00 Gibraltar : Ynys Môn (Springfield Stadium)
30/06/15 13:00 Gotland : Ynys Môn (Rue des Vignes)
30/06/15 13:00 Gibraltar : Guernsey (Springfield Stadium)


Falkland Islands, Hitra, Isle of Wight, Shetland Islands

28/06/15 16:30 Falkland Islands : Hitra (St. John's Recreation Ground)
28/06/15 16:30 Shetland Islands : Isle of Wight (Le Couvent)
29/06/15 17:30 Isle of Wight : Falkland Islands (La Cache es Fresnes)
29/06/15 17:30 Hitra : Shetland Islands (Le Squendez)
30/06/15 16:30 Isle of Wight : Hitra (Le Couvent)
30/06/15 16:30 Falkland Islands : Shetland Islands (Rue des Vignes)


Alderney, Isle of Man, Jersey, Western Isles

28/06/15 13:00 Western Isles : Isle of Man (Le Couvent)
28/06/15 13:00 Jersey : Alderney (Springfield Stadium)
29/06/15 13:30 Isle of Man : Alderney (La Cache es Fresnes)
29/06/15 18:00 Jersey : Western Isles (Springfield Stadium)
30/06/15 18:00 Jersey : Isle of Man (Springfield Stadium)
30/06/15 18:00 Alderney : Western Isles (St. John's Recreation Ground)


02/07/15 12:00 Greenland : Ynys Môn (Le Couffardiere)
02/07/15 12:00 Saaremaa : Gotland (La Cache es Fresnes)
02/07/15 13:30 Åland : Gibraltar (Le Squendez)
02/07/15 16:00 Isle of Wight : Jersey (Le Couffardiere)
02/07/15 16:00 Hitra : Alderney (La Cache es Fresnes)
02/07/15 17:30 Falkland Islands : Western Isles (Le Squendez)


02/07/15 14:00 Menorca : Guernsey (Springfield Stadium)
02/07/15 18:00 Shetland Islands : Isle of Man (Springfield Stadium)


03/07/15 12:00 (Rue des Vignes)


03/07/15 14:00 (Springfield Stadium)


Springfield Stadium (St. Helier)
Rue des Vignes (St. Peter)
Le Squendez (St. Brelade)
Le Couffardiere (St. Clement)
St. John's Recreational Ground (St. John)
Le Boulivot (Grouville)
Le Couvent (St. Lawrence)
La Cache es Fresnes (St. Ouen) 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to Andy Varnon, General Secretary of the Island Games Association, for his kind assistance with regard to the above article. Much of the above information was gleaned from the website. 

Other information was taken from the Island Games Association website, personal archives and the Jersey FA website. Thanks, too, to Sark FC's Chris Drillot; it is a pity that Sark will be unable to compete in Jersey this year, but good luck to him and the team for the summer season.

To peruse the Operational Guidelines of the Island Games Association, please visit the following link on the IGA website:

As ever, errors and/or omissions shall be taken care of upon notification of same.

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