Alderney; Isle of Man and home island Jersey. Gotland, Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
These are the names which stand between the Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) football squads and glory ahead of the Natwest Island Games.
We are truly on the road to this summer’s Jersey Games after this week’s draw paired our men’s football squad with Alderney; Isle of Man and hosts Jersey and our women against Gotland, Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
For both squads it is a first chance in five years to resume Island Games duties after both sat out the 2013 Bermuda Games due to costs.
In 2011 the women’s squad marched into the semi-finals while the men’s squad have a bronze medal in their own history after a medal winning Games debut back in Shetland 2005.
Both have been handed tough draws but at this level of internatinal competition any side would pose a significant challenge.
Alderney, the third largest of the Channel Islands, 2011 gold medal winners Isle of Man and the host island Jersey stand between the men’s squad, managed by Eric Macleod and Magnus Johnson, and glory.
The women are also up against tough opponents with Swedish islanders Gotland, 2011 women’s finalists Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
But when the Western Isles women go into that “thou shalt not pass” mode there has no more difficult task in highland football recently than breaching them.
Good luck to both as they fly the flag for the Hebrides in Jersey this July.