Eric Macleod has named a strong squad, a blend of experience and ferocious potential, in his provisional Western Isles Mens Football squad which are preparing to compete Welsh island in Ynys Mon – otherwise known as Anglesey – has stepped in to host an unofficial football tournament alongside and against the other member islands of the NatWest Island Games,
For the first time in more than 30-years – since 1985 – football is not on the Island Games menu but the Western Isles Island Games Association (WIIGA) Men’s Football camp were glad to accept an invitation to compete at the unofficial tournament against the other island groups in a bid to keep the pedal firmly pressed on the metal of their ongoing development strategies.
And Macleod, the Mens Team Manager, has handed spots in the provisional squad to eleven players under the age of 21 - alongside established and more experienced representative players like Peter Mackenzie and Robert Mackenzie.
“Both Graeme (Miller) and I have been very pleased with how the trials have gone and we would like to thank all the players who took part over the last few months,” explained Macleod who also stressed the squad selected is a provisional squad for Lewis and Harris based players with the door firmly open for players from Uist and Barra and the mainland to stake their claim before the final squad is selected in May.
“Naming this provisional squad will allow us to continue to train on a weekly basis but the opportunity will be there for mainland and Uist and Barra based players to participate in these sessions if, and when they can,” continued Macleod.
“We also intend to visit Uist & Barra soon.”
“The squad we have picked has eleven players under the age of 21 but this is very much about looking at the future and we are hugely encouraged by this. There are some older, more experienced players in there who have plenty, Island Games experience so we are very comfortable with that blend of experience and youth within the provisional squad.”
Training for the squad begins tomorrow (March 1) with the squad aiming to train three times each week in the lead up to Ynys Mon. There has also been a friendly fixture arranged for Saturday, March 30, with Macleod also hopeful of arranging at least a couple of more matches against mainland opposition before departing for Wales in mid-June.
“Our focus now is all about working as hard as we can in the next few months and preparing the best we can for Ynys Mon and what is a challenging set of fixtures, but a challenge we are all very much looking forward to,” he added.
WIIGA Provisional squad (L&H based players only):