We caught up with goalkeeper Jordan Kelly...
𝗝𝗼𝗿𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗞𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗟𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘀𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘄, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀. 𝗛𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗸𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘆𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗱, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝘀 𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗯𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗰𝗵.
While it was great to make my tenth appearance for Guernsey FC during the away game against Chipstead, of course the circumstances were far from ideal. It was a shock for everyone seeing James get injured the way he did, and when I saw him at half-time he wasn’t in a good way. He had soldiered on for 15 minutes after his injury, so that did give me some time to get my head around the fact I might well be called upon to replace him. In a way, being focused on how he was doing meant I couldn’t really dwell on that possibility too much, so I didn’t have much opportunity to get too nervous, I just went on and did my job.
It wasn’t an ideal result for us as a team, but from a selfish point of view I was very happy with the way I played, I made a good double save, and then I made - in my opinion - the best save I’ve made for GFC, which got given a goal kick. Ultimately I felt I did my job, and to be honest it was just nice to get out there and get up to speed, because it’s definitely a step up from playing local football.
It was my tenth appearance for the club, and I am the sort of person who appreciates milestones like that. I’ve had people giving me a few jokes for a while about not being in double figures yet and so on, so it’s nice to finally get that one ticked off.
After the pandemic forced us all to have a break from the GFC set-up for almost two years, it’s been awesome to be back involved again at last, absolutely awesome. To come back to home games, being around the fans, just being back as a group – it’s incredible. And even the away day: as much as it was a long day, it was just a good bunch of laughs. The team spirit was brilliant, being away as a group again after so long.
It’s going to be easy to guess what my personal targets are for this season, as they’ve been the same since I’ve been here in the squad. Obviously, my overall aim is to play as many games for GFC as I can and push to get that number one shirt. Hopefully at some point, whether it’s this season or in the future, the hard work will pay off.
If you were to add up my stats in terms of how many away games I’ve travelled to and how many home games I’ve been involved in, clearly the ratio comes out very much in favour of the bench appearances compared to the appearances on the pitch. Obviously sometimes it’s frustrating that I’m not playing, but I just have to put all that aside and help support the team the best way I can.
I spend a lot of time making sure the goalie that’s playing is in the right frame of mind, and giving him support: for example, I’ll pass on messages from the coaches to the goalkeeper in a way that they might best be able to understand it. When we had James in, for example, I got all the tactical information through to him to make sure he was settled. Overall I love being involved, and although I’d rather be playing, even when I’m on the bench I’ve still got a role to play in the team. Hopefully I can add to those appearances on the pitch, but as I’ve been told by the coaches the job that I do for the other goalies is also valuable. I think the fact that I’m working as a goalkeeping coach as my day job undoubtedly helps me with that insight.
It’s probably hard for people outside of the squad to appreciate just how completely different away games are to a Footes Lane experience.
Using the Chipstead game as an example, you’re up at 5 o’clock, up to the airport and onto the red-eye. We’re in England by 8 o’clock, we’re eating at half eight and then we’re not getting on the coach till half ten. If it’s an early kick-off then we’re finished by around half two, and not getting the flight back till quarter to eight, so there’s a lot of time spent not doing what we’re actually over there to do. The upside of that though is tremendous, because there’s a lot of time spent together as a squad. You get all the games and the singing on the coach, the Nandos and the Wagamamas, and just a general bunch of laughs, which is so important for team bonding and getting that strong team spirit.
Talking about team bonding, Ben Acey’s performance when singing Adele was quite an eye-opener, and it’s great he got into the spirit of it. As a way of welcoming him into the squad it’s not something we’ll ever forget, that’s for sure!
On a serious note though, Ben Acey is only 17, and at the time we’re talking he has been involved in all three games this season so far. He’s just playing and enjoying himself, which is great to see. When he started training at the beginning of the season, we really pushed him to get him up to speed, and I think all that hard work that he’s put in has started to show. He’s coming along, he’s not looking out of place, he’s not being physically bullied, and he understands the roles and all the tactical side that we’ve had to do. He’s certainly pushing and showing that he’s got the potential to be an important player for us in the years to come.