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The second bi-annual triangular Appleby sponsored UK Offshore Island tournament kicks off this Friday which involves the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight and Jersey, the format being played on a round robin basis.
Expectations will be high for the Manx with them hosting the competition, playing their first competitive tournament on home soil since the 2001 NatWest Island Games. Although they did finish the UK Offshore Island tournament with the wooden spoon two years back, they will be looking to bring their NatWest Island Games form to this competition. The Isle of Man have finished as the highest placed British team in the past three mini-Olympiads and last year in Aland, smashed their own records and collected their first ever medal, finishing with the bronze.
Looking for revenge will be the Isle of Wight with the bulk of their players coming from Shanklin FC, who are in mid-table in the Southern Region League Premier Division this season. The Manx met the Solent side twice in Aland last year and beat them twice, in the opening day fixture 4-1 and the bronze medal play-off 3-1.
Jersey will also prove to be a stern test as the Isle of Man have not beaten the Channel Islanders on three previous meetings. Jersey will enter this tournament full of confidence following their record breaking 8-0 thrashing of Guernsey in the Muratti Vase Final just over a week ago with Player of the Match Jess Viera and captain Jodie Botterill both scoring twice. They were also the first winners of this tournament, defeating the Isle of Wight 9-8 from a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw and will be looking not only to become the first team to retain this trophy, but also to win it on foreign soil.
"We are really looking forward to get on the pitch since the NatWest Island Games and play against some proper opposition. The girls would like to prove that they are the best within the islands," said Isle of Man Manager Keith Lunt.
Friday 14th May - Isle of Man v Isle of Wight (6pm)
Saturday 15th May - Isle of Wight v Jersey (12.30pm)
Sunday 16th May - Isle of Man v Jersey (2.30pm)
all matches at The Bowl, Douglas
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