Ryan-Zico Black and Dave Merris named new Guernsey joint managers

Dave Merris (left) and Ryan-Zico Black will hope to end Guernsey’s winless run in Muratti Vase finals that stretches back to 2017

Experienced Guernsey FC players Dave Merris and Ryan-Zico Black have been appointed as joint managers of the island’s representative side.

They replace Tony Vance, who had taken charge of the representative side in a caretaker role after Chris Tardif’s resignation in 2022.

Hosts Guernsey were knocked out of this summer’s Island Games at the group stages.

They lost 2-1 to Jersey in the final of the Muratti Vase in May.

The new management team have experience of football at higher levels in England and beyond – Black was capped by Northern Ireland at under-21 level and has played for the likes of Lancaster City, Morecambe and Northwich Victoria.

The 42-year-old midfielder has played more than 200 times for Guernsey FC and has been part of the club side’s set-up since it was formed in 2011.

Merris, 43, played more than 300 games for the likes of York City, Harrogate Town and Guiseley before moving to the island during the 2021-22 season, where he coached local side Belgrave Wanderers.

He joined Guernsey FC last season and has made 37 appearances for the Isthmian League South Central side.

“We are both delighted to accept the opportunity to be joint managers of the Guernsey Senior Men’s team,” the pair said in a statement.

“During our careers we have both played in Muratti matches and Islands Games tournaments, and now we relish this new challenge to ensure Guernsey football is successful, starting this season.”

Their appointment comes at a time when Guernsey’s representative side has suffered a series of poor results.

They were surprisingly knocked out of their home Island Games in July and have not beaten rivals Jersey in the Muratti since 2017.

After May’s Muratti loss Vance, who will now focus on managing Guernsey FC, called for the structure of Guernsey football to change after the island had been ‘overtaken’ by Jersey.

“Having both played professional football andnon-league football during our careers, the transition into management is one we have both been looking forward to,” the pair added.

“We believe that in combing our experiences and skills sets, we have a great opportunity to benefit Guernsey football now and for many years to come.

“With a lot of good young players coming through, and experienced players at both Guernsey FC and Priaulx level, the future looks bright and we are excited to begin working with everyone.”


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