Gothia Cup

Jersey will make their debut in Gothia Cup

Never before has a team from the island Jersey – the largest of the Channel Islands – participated in Gothia Cup.

Jersey Wanderers Football Club's G13 team will write history this summer. We talked to the coach Kaspar Wimberley at the club ahead of the adventure in Gothenburg.

Jersey Wanderers Football Club (JWFC) is a community focused club, providing opportunities for players of any age, gender or ability to get involved in the beautiful game.
– We're home to around 400 players, supported by a team of 70 volunteer coaches and committee members, who enable over 300 games of football to be played every season. In 2019, Jersey Wanderers FC established a Junior Girls section in response to a growing interest and enthusiasm for football amongst young females in Jersey. We are now proud to welcome over 80 girls aged 10-15 across six teams. To celebrate the end of each season, JWFC organises a Junior Girls Football Festival which attracts over 200 young female footballers from Jersey and Guernsey, says Kaspar Wimberley.

Although Jersey is a rather small island, it has a population of over 100 000 and a range of opportunities to play and enjoy football.
– Local clubs and the Jersey Football Association provide recreational and competitive pathways for over 4 000 footballers every season. For many, the highlight of the football calendar is the annual "Muratti" which is played between Jersey and Guernsey across multiple age groups and is steeped in passion and tradition. Jersey also participates at the bi-annual International Island Games competition; a unique sporting event that brings together different island communities from around the world.
There are currently four clubs in Jersey that offer girls-only football, in addition to the JFA’s Player Development Centre, which provides specialist coaching and pathway opportunities.
– Some local schools also provide mixed and girls-only football opportunities playing against other mixed or girls teams within inter-school fixtures. This developing female football environment sometimes limits opportunities for girls to play one another in competitive fixtures, as currently most games are played against teams predominantly made up of boys, he says.

You have never been to the Gothia Cup before. Why have you chosen to go to Gothenburg and play the tournament this year?
I first heard about the tournament through a children’s television programme that my daughter was watching and wasn’t sure if it really existed. I then looked into it and thought it could be an exciting trip for our team. My Aunty lives in Sweden near Gothenburg, so I knew the city and it turned out that my German cousin played at the tournament when she was younger and had a fantastic time. If you are going to go on a football trip, why not go to the biggest tournament in the world! he says.
This will be their first time visiting Gothenburg, for most of the team members.
– We will come to Sweden with an open mind and we look forward to taking in the atmosphere and the experience. We expect a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and a city filled with young football players.

The G13 players are both excited and nervous regarding their participation in Gothia Cup 2024.
– Some have been on footballing trips before, but Gothia Cup will be a new experience for all of us. We're excited about the opening ceremony and about seeing so many young players come together. As a coaching team, we're excited about the opportunity to engage with other teams from around the world and watch our players develop, as a team and as individuals, both on and off the pitch.

He tells us that they focus more on player development than results. – We hope that the tournament will be fun and inspiring for our players and coaching team. We imagine that some games against more experienced teams will be challenging, but our players will give everything regardless.
The players have done several things to raise money for the trip to Gothenburg.
After bringing together a group of players that wanted to go to Gothia Cup, we started to raise funds for the trip. The players have sold homemade cakes, bracelets and flowers at local markets and football games, and run film nights at Jersey Wanderers FC's clubhouse. We have also had some support from local charities.
– The team will have a few training sessions and two warm up games before we come to Sweden, as some players are new to the team, due to age categories in Jersey being slightly different to those being used at Gothia Cup, says Kaspar Wimberley.
He is convinced that the players will gain many useful experiences from the week at the Gothia Cup.
We hope that our players will grow together as a team and understand the value of working together to realise their on and off the field potential, says the coach.