Guernsey’s officials have been rolling out the red carpet for two of the Ryman League club’s most unlikely fans, brothers who started following their progress from down under after being inspired by hit computer game Football Manager!
Australians Nicholas Geurts, 24, and his brother Anthony made a flying visit to the Channel Islands to see the club’s 4-1 win over Walton Casuals at Footes Lane in Ryman South.
The siblings are travelling around Europe to see their favourite football teams in action and pencilled in the chance to see the Green Lions in the flesh after taking charge of their fortunes in the hit game from their home in the town of Cobram in Victoria, situated about 250 miles north of the state’s capital Melbourne. As a real life boss, Vance will be happy their success was only virtual after the pair guided his side from Ryman South to winning the Champions League!
After seeing Vance’s side win their second game on the spin with goals from Dave Rihoy, Ross Allen, Marc McGrath and Craig Young, Nicholas, pictured right, explained how it all started for the brothers after buying a Guernsey shirt and scarf as a souvenir.
He told GuernseyFC.com: “A few years ago I downloaded an editor pack on Football Manager which allows you to manage teams down to the 10th level of English football. I went looking for a club that was a bit different from the rest and found Guernsey – being an island way off the coast, it was perfect.
“I started managing them and had a lot of success with promotions early on, with Ross Allen banging in 40 goals a season! I kept going until I won the Champions League, which took about 15 seasons!
“My brother and I are on a European tour to see all the clubs we follow. He supports Eastleigh [a former non-league club of ex-GFC president and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier] so we went there too as well as the Manchester derby.
“We are going to see Everton, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Roma, Ajax and Salzburg. So while we were in Europe we thought we’d take the opportunity to come over to Guernsey to see the real thing.”
He added: “It’s still a lot of the same players that were on the game when I started, which is rare this far down. We really enjoyed the experience and it was great to see them win in an exciting match so we picked a great night to visit. It was literally a one-night visit to the island. We’ve been following the team’s progress in real life and will continue to follow them.”