An FA representative squad visited the Falkland Islands on a goodwill trip this month

Monday 12 Nov 2018
England C manager Paul Fairclough took an FA representative team to the Falkland Islands in November

An FA Representative X1 recently returned from a 16,000 mile goodwill visit to the Falkland Islands.

The squad of 16 players, led by England C manager Paul Fairclough and joined by Mick Payne and Steve Johnson of the RNFA played two fixtures, winning 3-1 against the Falklands Islands team and defeating a British Forces South Atlantic Islands side by 3-2.

In addition to the two games, the squad also had a busy schedule of events, attending a reception with his excellency the Governor Nigel Phillips CBE on Friday 9 November at the Government House for the team, the Falkland Islands team and local politicians.

They also attended a reception hosted by the Commander of British Forces South Atlantic Islands at Mount Pleasant military base.

The squad led training sessions in the three island schools during their visit, engaging with children, their parents and teachers with each child on the island receiving a variety of small gifts from The FA.

In addition, Fairclough led a coaching session at the Mount Pleasant military base for military coaches.

The team attended the service of remembrance and joined the parade through Port Stanley, where Fairclough laid a wreath on behalf of the FA at the war memorial.

"It was a memorable visit," said Laurence Jones, head of the National League System. 

"The warmth of the welcome and appreciation from everyone on the island was humbling. The Islands embraced us into their community and hopefully a legacy of the visit will see the game grow and develop with new facilities being provided and qualified coaches."

The players were fantastic ambassadors for the FA and the two matches were both very exciting and watched by the two largest crowds ever to watch football matches in the Islands.

Fairclough added: "While the football matches resulted in victories performed at a high technical level, it was the overall impact on the community and our travelling squad that had the most profound effect.

"The young squad, with an average age of 21, have had an experience that money cannot buy.

"Throughout the short stay, their development as young people was evident to see by all. The Football Association has left a profound legacy on the Islands that will never be forgotten."

By FA Staff