CSC_0514_fmtAjax come back

Ilha Futebol Academy’s young footballers and coaching staff will once again receive professional training from Ajax’s youth academy. De Toekomst, translated as ‘The Future’, is the breeding ground of AFC Ajax in Amsterdam.  It is here where some of the world’s best players have been developed such as Cruyff, Van Basten, Davids, Rijkaard, Seedorf, Bergkamp and Suarez. For decades Ajax has been at the forefront of player development, regarded as the best youth academy in world with Johan Cruyff heavily involved with both Ajax and FC Barcelona. The club’s success is built on the foundation of its youth academy and shows no sign of slowing down.  It is as close as you can get to a football factory. Chris Archer of Ilha Futebol Academy, visited Ajax in 2011 to undertake Ajax’s consultation course, it was evident to see why the club continues to develop Europe’s leading prospects. A new addition to this year’s academy training is the presence of 16 girls from within Ilha Futsal Academy, Guernsey’s first girls’ academy headed by Vanessa Brown. Sponsors Fort Group and Rihoy & Son have supported this year’s training experience. Ajax’s coaching programme is set to be even bigger and better based on last year’s success. Anyone who would like to know more about IFA’s professional coaching programmes in 2014 and 2015 can contact Chris Archer on or Vanessa Brown on



Sure thing for the Colts

THE Sure Community Foundation helped secure future away trips for the Guernsey Rugby Academy’s Colts with a £2,200 donation. The squad of 16 to 18 years olds played their first match last month wearing new Sure branded shorts. In its first outing, the kit  (probably) helped beat Kenilworth from Warwickshire by 23-17. Coach Matt Chammings thanked the Sure Community Foundation for its support, saying that it was a very welcome boost for the academy.

‘For us it’s vitally important because being on an island we need competition so that means playing competitive rugby and that costs a lot of money. Without sponsors like Sure we just couldn’t do it,’ said Mr Chammings.

Karen Jagger, from Sure, said the foundation was delighted to be able to help the talented young players gain valuable experience off island.

‘These young men are passionate about their sport and committed to being the best they can be. In order to develop they have to be able to play competitively against teams from the UK and Jersey, which all costs money… The Sure Community Foundation was very happy to be able to help out with funding towards trips away and wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.’



_MG_5714Gallery_-_Basketball_-__fmtIsland Dunkers

Women’s Basketball on the Island has really evolved over the past 15 years. Originally dominated by Basketball playing netballers, the access to and development of the game has attracted players at a much earlier age allowing the fundamentals to be ingrained before they progress into league and island competition. The influx of players from outside of the Island has also set a bench mark in terms of performance and skill levels which local players and coaches have taken on board and are now trying to reach.

The GBA currently offers a number of options for females, starting at age 5 through the Future Stars programme which caters for 5-15 year olds, both male and female, of any ability or experience. The programme is now in its third year and currently has approximately 150 children learning the game over a four hour period (12-4) every Saturday during the basketball season, nearly 25% of participants being female. Future Stars focuses on the FUNdamentals of the game, teaches basic Basketball and promotes fun and good sportsmanship amongst players who will form the backbone of our leagues and Island teams for years to come. It also prepares them of the jump to competitive Basketball. As they players near the end of their Future Stars experience, they are provided with contact information for local league teams in order to continue their progression. The Women’s league is ultra-competitive at present with some great coaches who are enthusiastic and committed to improving the standard of Women’s Basketball.

As far as Island representation goes, the Island Women’s team are amongst the best female sports teams that Guernsey has. Unbeaten in 14 years at Inter Insular level, they have also medalled in 4 of the 5 Island Games they have been involved in – two records which they intend to improve on as they head toward the 2014 & 2015 Inter Insulars and of course the Jersey Island Games in 2015.


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