It’s been a busy weekend in the build-up to next year’s Inter Games football championships on Anglesey.
Fifteen men’s and women’s teams from 10 islands around the world have been confirmed for next summer’s tournament.
The ten men’s teams will be split into groups in a draw being made on Monday evening. Aside the host island, the line up includes:
- the Isle of Man – last year’s gold medalists at the Gotland Island Games
- the Channel Islands trio of Jersey, Guernsey & Alderney,
- the Scottish islands of Orkney, Shetland & the Western Isles
- Hitra – off the west coast of Norway
- St Helena – the first football team to compete from the tropical island in the South Atlantic.
The Isle of Man, Jersey, the Western Isles and Hitra will also send women’s teams for a league tournament. The week-long event will run from Saturday 15th to Saturday 22nd June 2019.
There was another boost for the championship on Friday when the FAW and the FAW Trust were named as the tournament’s official partners.
FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said: ”We are sure they will be a huge success both on and off the field. Anglesey will represent Wales in a positive way both in terms of the football and it’s location.”
The Ynys Môn Island Games Association says its keen to stress the importance of hosting the tournament – brought about after football was dropped from next year’s event in Gibraltar due to a lack of facilities.
A similar ‘satellite’ event was held on Anglesey for gymnastics three years ago. Then as now, organisers view the football tournament as a ”real opportunity to showcase what they can do” as the island looks towards bidding for the official Island Games in 2025.
Project manager Gareth Parry said: ”To have fifteen teams coming to Ynys Môn next June to compete at the 2019 Inter Games tournament is fantastic and a great endorsement for this competition – we are looking forward massively to welcoming everyone and showing the world what we can do with this tournament.”
”We’re very proud to be making history by having our island hosting the football for the first time ever, but even more so to have an extra bit of history tied to the competition, with St Helena making their way to Ynys Môn next summer to compete in the men’s football for the first time ever.”
”They’re a totally unknown quantity, and could be the tournament’s surprise package, and with the fifteen teams in attendance plus all of the plans we have for this tournament, things are shaping up very nicely and we’re looking forward to putting on a fabulous tournament next summer with teams from all over the world in attendance.”
On the pitch, men’s team manager Campbell Harrison continues to prepare for the tournament with a second trial match taking place on Wednesday night at The New Oval in Holyhead.
Organisers say a public meeting will also be held to discuss plans for an island academy before the game – with a new group of players seeking a place in the men’s squad. Kick off is at 7.30pm and entry is free.