Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Surprise Island Games entrants?

A club side from the Isle of Man are in negotiations with the IoM Football Association to represent the Manxmen in the 2013 Island Games in Bermuda. 

Four teams - the hosts, Greenland, the Falkland Islands and Froya - were confirmed yesterday as the only entrants so far by the organisers, who hoped to add a fifth, as yet un-named side, to the line-up. Malcolm Blackburn of St John's United has revealed that his side could yet travel to Hamilton.

He says: "St Johns United Football Club in the Isle of Man has put itself forward to take part in the Island Games in Bermuda and has been accepted by Bermuda but is awaiting a decision from the Isle of Man Football Association which should be received next week.
"So fingers crossed and there could be a team from the Isle of Man joining the other four confirmed entries."

St John's United are currently second in the Canada Life Premier Division. The club won the Isle of Man FA Cup in 1971–72 and 1975–76 and have been second division champions on four occasions.

The Island Games football tournament has been decimated by the organisers decision to take the tournament out of Europe for the first time. What has been a 16-team tournament in recent years will in 2013 have its smallest ever entry due mainly to the cost of getting to Bermuda.

The Isle of Man are regular participants in the tournament and have been runners-up on three occasions, in  1993, 1999 and 2003. Two years ago in the Isle of Wight, the Manxmen lost a play-off to Minorca to finish eighth.

If St John's United's negotiations are successful, that ranking will certainly be improved on. With a weak field, St John's will have a good chance of emulating the national team's three final spots.

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