Jersey Bulls FC, a newly formed Jersey football club, is seeking to enter the English league system for the 2019/2020 season.
It would be the first time a Jersey football club has competed in the English leagues and represents an exciting new challenge for the island’s top players whilst offering a pathway for juniors progressing through Jersey football.
This launch is an important step both for the club and Jersey football and comes after months of planning, which has involved liaising with the English and Jersey football associations, local clubs and players, and talking with a number of willing sponsors.
Founder members and supporters of Jersey Bulls FC include local sportspeople, politicians, lawyers, finance professionals and businessmen. Its founder and Director of Operations is former Muratti player, Russell Le Feuvre, Head of PE at Les Quennevais School who said:
“Jersey Bulls FC is a name that celebrates Jersey’s dairy heritage and focuses our desire to make this a community club, one that will make Jersey proud. Volunteers will be central to running the club for the benefit of all islanders and we will encourage our players to be active in the community, whilst also providing opportunities for schoolchildren to be involved in the excitement of our family friendly matchdays.”
Jersey Bulls FC is seeking affiliation to the Jersey FA and English FA and is proposing to enter the Combined Counties League One, with the club in advanced discussions to use Springfield Stadium as its home ground.
Players can be dual-registered for Jersey Bulls FC and for a Jersey league club, allowing players to play in the Jersey league if they haven’t been selected or when there is no Jersey Bulls FC match.
Mr Le Feuvre said:
“Our discussions with the JFA through CEO Jean-Luc Desbois and with local clubs and players has been incredibly positive and constructive, with guidance and support being provided from local politicians, Jersey Sport, the English FA, the Combined Counties, Guernsey FC and the Guernsey FA for which we are grateful. We are confident the model we have created is sustainable and that our own due diligence, combined with that of the JFA, Combined Counties and FA Leagues Committee, will ensure the future success of the club.”
He added: “Jersey Bulls FC provides the inspiration for footballers to play at a high level, it will showcase Jersey and raise the profile of the island, it will bring together the local community, and it will provide businesses with the opportunity to be involved in a project at the heart of island sport and island life.”
Senator Steve Pallett, Assistant Economic Development Minister with responsibility for sport, said:
“This proposal, which I wholeheartedly support, would provide a programme of regular matches that senior players have been in need of for many years and also give developing young talent a new opportunity outside of the Muratti and Island Games fixtures which remain highlights of our current sporting calendar. I wish Jersey Bulls every success both in their application and when they finally take the field!”
JFA CEO Jean-Luc Desbois, said:
“Jersey Bulls FC has been in dialogue with the JFA, Jersey Football Combination and its clubs for several months to progress this exciting new proposition for Jersey club football. The intention is for Jersey Bulls to complement existing club football and the project has generally been welcomed by most clubs and players. As the governing body of Jersey Football, we will continue to work with Jersey Bulls FC and other stakeholders in a balanced way to ensure the process of affiliation is managed professionally.”