2021/22 Season | Summary

FC Isle of Man’s maiden season in English football had gone very well, perhaps even better than a lot of people expected. The Ravens are an ambitious club, with hopes of reaching the EFL in just over a decade. Promotion in 2020/21 elevated them to the North West Counties League Premier Division, the EFL dream was now 5 promotions away.

With the club now established, the summer of 2021 was a lot calmer than the previous one. The logistics of running the club were firmly in place, a lot of lessons had been learned along the way and the Isle of Man public seemed to be growing to the club. The club saw season ticket sales grow and no grumblings were made of the £2 increase to the matchday entrance fee for this season.

First team manager Chris Bass obviously had a quieter summer this time around, not needing to hastily assemble a team from the Isle of Man domestic amateur leagues. He was happy with his squad that had won promotion the previous season and had the added luxury of picking the best from the U18 squad that had been in place for a whole year now.

Bass did suffer one inconvenience over the summer months and it concerned last season’s Young Player of the Season, striker Akeem Smith. Akeem, a non-islander who was brought in to address a shortfall in striker options, had an irreconcilable falling out with his manager concerning his supposed unwillingness to strengthen the squad. Akeem refused to discuss a new contract and departed the club and the island under a cloud, deciding to look for a new club on mainland England.

Greg Furlong-Kirkpatrick became the first FC Isle of Man player to transfer to a club on the English mainland, joining Almondsbury of the Western League Division 1.

Chris Bass had difficult discussions with keeper Edwin Tepperik, right back Stephen Grimes and left back Zach Lattie where he informed them they were surplus to requirements for the coming season. All 3 returned to the Isle of Man amateur leagues and were wished well for the future.

21 year old striker James Sunderland landed at Douglas Airport on a hot early July sunny day for a pre-season trial with The Ravens. Sunderland, a former trainee at AFC Halifax in his teenage years, had been out of the semi-pro game for 2 years but you couldn’t tell given his high level of performance in the pre-season friendlies where he yielded a return of 3 goals in 5 games. He signed on the dotted line on 17th July 2021.

“If we can at least score goals and be competitive it will provide opportunities for the young lads elsewhere in the team,” Chris Bass told the Isle of Man Courier after James Sunderland’s transfer was announced to the local press.

Youth recruitment and the FC Isle of Man U18 team was important to the club. Chairman Carl Pope appointed Niall Shaw, 32, as the club’s first U18 manager, taking the burden away from 1st team manager Chris Bass and his backroom team. Tony Semple (assistant manager) and Sean Wallace (coach) were also given jobs in the youth setup. Sam Ashman was also appointed Head of Youth Development.

With a year under their belt in the U18 squad, Walter Whyte (centre-back) and Walter Magee (right midfield) were invited to train with Bass’ 1st team having made their senior debuts the previous season aged just 15. Right back Loric Tshibuabua (16) was also felt to be one of the stand out U18 players and also promoted to the seniors. With the club competing in 5 competitions this year (NWCL Premier Division, FA Cup, FA Vase, NWCL Challenge Cup and NWCL Div 1 Champions Cup), it was felt youth would certainly get it’s opportunity.

So, a new division and some new adventures for the supporters of FC Isle of Man to have. The North West Counties League Premier Division contained some famous non-league names old and new. Burscough, the smallest club to ever win the FA Trophy back in 2003 and Northwich Victoria were the recognisable names.

The headline makers were more interested in Bury AFC, the phoenix club of fallen Football League outfit Bury FC.

Like FC Isle of Man, Bury AFC entered the football pyramid in the North West Counties regional divisions in 2020/21 and, just like The Ravens, won promotion to the Premier Division at the 1st attempt. The fans and so-called experts predicted AFC Bury would win the sole available promotion spot on offer from the North West Counties League Premier Division this coming season. The Ravens, on the other hand, were touted for a relegation fight, Chris Bass liked a challenge.

For the second successive year, Ravens fans boarded EasyJet flights to Manchester Airport on the opening weekend of the season. Ivy Gardens, Congleton, Cheshire to be precise was the final destination where FC Isle of Man were taking on Congleton Town.

FC Isle of Man hadn’t lost a league game since December 2020 and had every right to go into the game with confidence. Of course there was intrigue as to how The Ravens would cope with football at a higher level.

Manager Chris Bass named a familiar looking team, 7 of the starting XI actually played in the first game last season too. New striker James Sunderland made his debut with the fans hopeful he was just as good as good, if not better than Akeem Smith.

Sunderland had a debut to remember. The 21 year old striker held the ball up midway in the Congleton half and played the ball back to midfielder Ainsley Campbell before making a darting run down the channel. Campbell carried the ball before sliding a pass through to Sunderland now on the edge of the Congleton and unmarked. Sunderland planted a low shot into the bottom corner and ran to the Ravens fans congregated in the small metal stand. This looked like the start of a beautiful friendship between Sunderland and FC Isle of Man. Bass was delighted with the immediate impact of his one and only new signing over the summer.

JAMES SUNDERLAND SCORES HIS 1ST GOAL FOR FC ISLE OF MAN

Matt Furness, the giant 6’7″ centre-back scored on the opening day for the second successive season, unsurprisingly a header at the far post from an Ollie Patrick free-kick in the first attack of the second period. The big lad was unchallengable in the air some times and there were hopes he would reach double figures in goals again this season.

So, the Ravens had a 2-0 lead but complacency set in and a series of errors nearly allowed Congleton Town to take the 3 points. The game finished 2-2.

For all those saying FC Isle of Man were relegation fodder, they may have been reconsidering their assessments after just 4 games when the Ravens hit top of the league, smashing 1874 Northwich 6-0 at The Bowl.

The Raven’s 19 match unbeaten league run, dating back to December of the previous season ended with a disappointing 3-0 reverse at Winsford just 3 days later, but August was all about the club’s first foray into the FA Cup, the world’s most famous cup competition.

This is what the chairman had been dreaming of when FC Isle of Man was conceived. The prestige of the world’s most famous competition was not lost on the Isle of Man public as a record attendance of 1,276 turned out at the Bowl for the fixture against Amesbury, 13th of the Wessex Premier League. Tin foil fa cup’s, painted faces and fancy dress, it was a carnival atmosphere. Amesbury had Ash Nzala up top, a hungry looking in-form striker with 6 goals in his last 4 games. Nzala was given the perfect opportunity after Ainsley Campbell shoved Amesbury defender Sam Holden in the box whilst jostling to reach a corner after just 4 minutes, Nzala placed his spot kick into the bottom corner.

Despite the big home crowd, The Ravens took a good while to get going and for a while it looked this momentous event was going sour. Trailling at the break, it looked like stage fright had gotten to The Ravens.

Thankfully, the FC Isle of Man of recent weeks returned for the 2nd half. In the 65th minute Ainsley Campbell redeemed himself with a chipped ball over the top for the pacey Brian Esperance to run onto, the Dutchman made no mistake from 6 yards out.

With just 6 minutes of normal time left to play Lincoln Nicholls showed glimpses of his form from last season with a beautifully executed angled ball into the box for James Sunderland. Showing his clinical side, Sunderland blasted his shot into the roof of the net, giving The Bowl reason to get on it’s feet. The comeback was complete and route into the Preliminary Round was finally secured.

Crawley Down Gatwick were convincingly beaten 8-0 in the Preliminary Round. A record win for The Ravens. James Sunderland scoring 4 during the game in just 15 minutes, deadly stuff from the Yorkshireman.. He was settling in just nicely in the Isle of Man, the fans loved him already and were taking him in as an adopted islander by virtue of his perfomances on the pitch alone. Ainsley Campbell scored the goal of the game, his 1st for the club, a 20 yard volley, was he finally showing his promise, Bass had stuck by him for the opening games of the season.

AINSLEY CAMPBELL SHOOTING AND SCORING FROM DISTANCE AT CRAWLEY DOWN GATWICK

7 days later Newark visited The Bowl in 1st Qualifying Round. This was going to be a test for the Ravens, facing opposition from a higher division for the first time in this season’s competition. The Isle of Man public offered their support to the club knowing a win could pave the way for an exciting big draw in the next round. Rock bottom of the Northern Premier League Div 1 East without a win other than in the FA Cup, Newark were there for the taking.

At 1-0 up, Esperance’s dancing feet in the Newark penalty box drew a foul and a subsequent red card for defender Liam King. The penalty was too good for the Newark keeper and there was no way back for the Highwaymen. The tie finished 3-1 and for the 2nd time in just 3 weeks, the attendance record at The Bowl had been broken with 1,958 enjoying The Ravens’ passage through to the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round.

As soon as the draw for the 2nd Qualifying Round was made on the Monday morning there was a buzz about Isle of Man knowing they faced a trip to Boston United of the Vanarama North. It was probably as big a draw they could possibly have got at this stage of the competition. Boston of course were a former Football League club just 10 years ago. This was going to be the toughest game in the club’s history no doubt.

Shops in high streets all around the island displayed good luck messages to the players and home made banners along with black and red coloured ribbons were tied to fences and railings the island over.

3 divisions seperated the clubs and of course, Boston’s players were full time professionals. Nobody realistically expected an FC Isle of Man win but the supporters were going to enjoy their weekend in Lincolnshire in any case. 176 Ravens fans, the biggest ever travelling contingent so far in the history of FC Isle of Man away-days, made the trip.

The Ravens had the best preparation going into this match, nabbing a record 10-0 win in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup over Leytham in midweek. Confidence couldn’t have been higher after a performance like that. Forget the pace of strikers Brian Esperance and James Sunderland, the Boston defenders were well covered in that department, collective team confidence was probably Fc Isle of Man’s best weapon in their limited armoury.

Boston’s Jakemans Community Stadium was a splendid facility, barely 12 months old and easily the best ground Ravens fans had experienced so far in this adventure.

Chris Bass and his assistant Aaron Appleton patrolled the technical area in the 1st half, barking instructions to their side as they tried to get the lads to focus as much as possible. They were up against players who played football for a living, every ounce of concentration was required.

The Ravens were like dogs and battled for everything in that 1st half. Chances were hard to come by for both sides and Bass was delighted to come in at the break at 0-0.

It had been tough for FC Isle of Man, focusing on defending rather than risking attack. Something would have to give in the 2nd half, this couldn’t be sustained for 120 minutes and then hope for a penalty shootout.

In the 60th minute, a ball over the top of Isle of Man’s left back Lee McNeil released Boston’s Ian Parker into space down the right flank. Keeper Jason Davidson was caught in 2 minds and Parker deftly lifted the bouncing ball over Davidson who was now around the penalty spot. Parker’s shot seemed in slow motion but dipped enough at the last minute to creep in under the bar. Boston had the lead, it was going to be tough for FC Isle of Man now.

With the game in danger of fizzling out for the away side, FC Isle of Man right midfielder Kenneth Mohammed, subbed on in the 77th minute, took the game to Boston in the 89th minute with no fear and nothing to lose at this late stage. He ran towards the heart of the back-pedalling Boston defence, beating 2 yellow shirts in the process. The FC Isle of Man bench all got on to their feet, the fans had a ‘hold on a minute!’ moment. With 1 man left to beat, Mohammed showed the defender just a little too much of the ball and covering midfielder Joe Berks slid in and knocked the ball away from Mohammed’s feet. Some of the bench began to sit down but the rebound of the tackle was loose and didn’t look like it would have the legs to reach Boston’s keeper stood poised on the 6 yard line. There was just only 3 outfield players within reach of the ball that could do something about this, 2 of those were Boston defenders, the other was Ravens striker Brian Esperance. In that split second, Esperance made the decision to gamble, that decision paid off, it was the right call. The Dutch striker got his toe to the ball just millimetres before it was safely in the hands of keeper. The net rippled and this was dreamland ‘magic of the cup’ ecstasy territory. Time stood still for those FC Isle of Man fans back at home listening on the wireless as the commentator couldn’t get his words out quick enough. The 176 fans behind the goal at the far end of the ground cheered and celebrated like they had never celebrated before. All 11 outfield Isle of Man players, fuelled now by pure adrenaline, ran the length of the pitch to their supporters. It was a scene of joy, if only it could have been bottled up.

BRIAN ESPERANCE, AGAINST ALL ODDS, GETS A LATE EQUALISER FOR THE RAVENS AT BOSTON UNITED

Football can be a cruel game at times. Boston United carved FC Isle of Man open with their next attack on the counter in the 92nd minute. A fluid piece of play saw Boston’s Morgan Roberts clean through and he slid the ball on the floor past a desperate Jordan Davidson who was left grasping at thin air.

The referee blew up for time seconds after the restart and the FA Cup adventure was over for the Ravens just like that. The moment of joy may have been short lived but it happened all the same. Isle of Man FC’s first ever adventure in the World’s oldest cup competition was over, but what an adventure. The lads did themselves proud. Despite the loss, the boys were given a heores reception by the Ravens fans situated in the away terrace like they had won. Lifelong memories had been made.

Bass told the Isle of Man Courier, “To be in the game for so long as a contest was amazing.”

FC Isle of Man were back in cup action 7 days later, this time in Gornal in the deep depths of the West Midlands. Black Country Rangers were the opposition in the FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round. The event was anti-climactic.

The boys couldn’t rise to the extraordinary levels shown in Boston the previous week. It was a great game though, topsy-turvy, finishing 3-3 and going all the way to a penalty shoot-out, the first in Isle of Man FC history. Unfortunately, it was a shoot-out to forget. Brian Esperance, the club’s regular spot-kick specialist, set the tone stepping up for the opening penalty, only for his weak shot to be at a good height for the keeper and saved.

BRIAN ESPERANCE PUTS HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS AFTER HIS PENALTY SHOOTOUT MISS

Ollie Patrick, who had been so good in dead ball situations all season long, missed the 5th spot kick for the Ravens, Black Country Rangers had netted all of theirs and disappointingly the Ravens went out of the competition.

It was reported to be quite a quiet and downbeat plane journey home. The last couple of games looked to have affected morale and `Bass had a job to get the boys fired up for the everyday business of the North West Counties League Premier Division with Ashton Athletic the next opponents.

With the high of the exciting FA Cup run now gone and the disappointing exit in the FA Vase by the cruel lottery of a penalty shoot-out still being felt, it was no surprise that Bass struggled to lift the spirits of his team.

The club suffered it’s worst ever run of form in it’s short history as feeble defeats to Ashton Athletic, Bootle and Hanley Town at the beginning of November 2021 followed. The promotion feel good bubble had well and truly burst.

The confidence was gone and it was the younger players who were feeling it most. Lee McNeil, last season’s bright spark was struggling at left back. Paul Main, the 17 year old winger known for his marauding runs up and down the left flank had lost his effectiveness. Lincoln Nicholls in the centre of midfield, creator of 14 goals last term had only registered 1 assist all season. Was it confidence or were they not ready or good enough for the North West Counties League Premier. It was a call for manager Chris Bass to make.

FC Isle of Man were mid table, the league leaders were 11 points ahead and it looked like the season was over in a competitive sense by November.

The Non-League Paper were in attendance at Bury AFC’s Stainton Park on 10th December 2021 as FC Isle of Man travelled to take on the current league leaders. This was the game the story makers had wanted to see, the 2 new young ambitious clubs facing off against each other, albeit, Bury AFC were top of the league and 9 points ahead of The Ravens.

The ‘phoenix’ club formed following the demise of Bury FC from the Football League, Bury AFC were the pre-season favourites for the title. With a large fanbase, Bury AFC had made Stainton Park (shared with Radcliffe Borough FC) a tough and intimidating place to come to.

FC Isle of Man at this point were 9 points behind Bury and Bury had only lost 1 game all season. Manager Chris Bass knew this would be the acid test for alot of his players. This was the benchmark, Bury were unbeaten dating back to September. Defeat today and any feint hopes of an immediate promotion would be rubbed away for sure.

Nearly 800 fans were present as the game kicked off and for the first time in their history, FC Isle of Man fans were outnumbered by opposition supporters. The Bury lot were a vocal and passionate set of supporters, which is what you’d expect given their history.

The Ravens started on the front foot with Brian Esperance testing Bury keeper Joe Walker in the 1st minute. Efforts from Ollie Patrick and Kenneth Mohammed followed in the opening 20 minutes without Bury landing a punch on FC Isle of Man. Bass must have pleased with how his Ravens had started.

On 22 minutes, Ollie Patrick demanded the ball from Lee McNeil taking a throw-in deep in Bury’s half. Patrick lofted a high cross to the far post which was met by James Sunderland. Sunderland headed the ball downwards and into the net. Amazingly his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions, and it wasn’t even Christmas yet. It was a deserved lead, nobody could argue that. The Ravens fans in the faded blue plastic seats behind the goal rushed to the breeze block wall at the foot of the stand to congratulate Sunderland.

JAMES SUNDERLAND JUMPS TO HEAD HOME FOR HIS 32ND GOAL OF THE SEASON

Unfortunately, FC Isle of Man’s early pressure on Bury had just been like poking a wasp’s nest with a stick and the home side began to assert themselves. Despite all of Bury’s possession however, the Ravens managed to soak it up, for now.

For reasons only known to himself, FC Isle of Man’s 17 year old right midfielder Kenneth Mohammed made a 2-footed lunge on Bury no.3 Matty Makinson on the halfway line as the half-time break approached. Chris Bass put his arms in the air in disbelief. Makinson was going nowhere, at best a pass down the line or inside to a marked central midfielder. As you can expect, the vocal home crowd made their feelings known, the Bury bench was on it’s feet, the referee had no option. Bye-bye Mohammed.

The atmosphere in Stainton Park became even more partizan and Bury AFC were visibly spurred on by their fans. You had to fear for Isle of Man’s young players, particularly the teenagers Lee McNeil, Walter Whyte, Lincoln Nicholls, Paul Main and Jordan Davidson, it was sink or swim time for them.

Ravens boss Chris Bass was in deep discussion with his assistant, he was clearly hoping his side hung on until half-time and then he would re-organise them with a ‘plan b’.

In the final minute of the half, Bury had a free-kick which was aimed at 6’6″ defender Jere Antilla in the crowded penalty box. Young Lincoln Nichols at 5’7″ was never going to win the challenge and decided to shove Antilla away from the ball. It was as clear as day and the referee, for the 2nd time this afternoon, had another straight forward decision to make. Lewis Duberry smashed the spot-kick straight down the middle, it was all square now. Surely there was only going to be 1 winner now and there was, Bury AFC. Full-time 1-2.

PWDLFAPTSGD
1Bury AFC19126130154215
2Bootle19125236224114
3Vauxhall Motors1913064133398
4Whitchurch Allport19113539263613
5Kidsgrove Athletic1911173329344
6Congleton Town189454031319
7FC ISLE OF MAN1993745313014
North West Counties League Premier Division table 11.12.21

The league campaign had reached the halfway stage. FC Isle of Man had done okay considering most tipped them for relegation. Bury AFC were looking strong and looking like powering on for the title. Scoring goals had not been a problem for the Ravens, the highest scorers in the league. It didn’t take a ‘Guardiola’’ to work out Bass needed to address the concession of goals to improve his team’s performance.

Central midfielder Jason White signed for FC Isle of Man on 1st January 2022 and went straight into starting XI later that day for the game with 1874 Northwich. At 31, it was hoped his experience would aid Bass’s side in the second half of the season, they were still in with a shout, just 6 points behind leaders Whitchurch Allport, it was tight at the top. He had a reputation as a good ball-winner, one who snuffles out attacks and gives the ball to his more creative colleagues, just what Bass’ side needed. Lacking match fitness, White strained his thigh after just 46 minutes of action, The new signing faced a month and a half on the sidelines.

Improved form by the Ravens and stutterings by the top teams during December and January surprisingly brought FC Isle of Man back into contention. 6 points separated them from league leaders Whitchurch Allport.

Further reinforcements were brought in for the closing stages of the season. Right back Isaac Currie, who had played at Vanarama North level last season with Guiseley, was a coup in the eyes of Bass, offering defensive stability and a bit of pace. To compliment him, Alex Davies, a 26 year old winger, fast and tricky, was an upgrade on the under performing former club captain Mikey Keogh and the hot and cold Kenneth Mohammed.

A dramatic huge win against last season’s old foes Vauxhall Motors on 5th February 2022 re-energised FC Isle of Man. Jason White returned from his injury to play in this one and looked impressive. Isaac Currie looked solid too. It was a game with goals galore, 3-3 in the 90th minute against good quality opposition. Even though Bass looked to have sold his soul to non-islanders recently, going against everything this club stood for, it was pleasing to see Douglas born striker Nicky ‘one-of-our-own’ Foulkes score a dramatic winner in the 94th minute. The season was back on, the leading pack was in touching distance.

NICKY FOULKES WHEELS AWAY AFTER THE DRAMATIC STOPPAGE TIME WINNER OVER VAUXHALL MOTORS

Further good results in the following games against Whitchurch Allport, Avro and Northwich Victoria. really put the Ravens amongst the pigeons for the title. Chris Bass felt this was an opportunity for the club and made moves to address the problem left midfield position. Paul Main, 17, was not good enough at this stage of his career for this level. Alex Redman and Matti Niskanen , the more experienced lads, also couldn’t quite cut it. Alimamy Kalie-Freeman at 16 from the youth team, had certainly shown promise with a couple of spectacular goals, but was too young to be a consistent force just yet.

As the FC Isle of Man fans gathered at The Bowl before the home game with Barnoldswick Town, the matchday programme listed Akim Samms as the Ravens no.11 in left midfield. In the pre-match warm-up, the fans watched their new athletic looking midfielder limber up and looking sharp in the sprint drills with intrigue. ‘Where did Bass find this guy?’ A former Burnley trainee, he had spent time with Macclesfield Town and more recently Mossley from the division above.

It took Samms just 11 minutes to make his mark, combining well with recent signing Alex Davies and getting on the end of his cross for 1-0. In all it was a great 4-2 win for The Ravens. New right-back Isaac Currie had his best game for the club so far. During the game Striker James Sunderland scored his 38th goal of the season, breaking Brian Esperance’s record of 37 from the previous season. The starting XI was suddenly looking confident, match fit and getting into their stride. The win over Barnoldswick Town put The Ravens just 3 points behind leaders Whitchurch with only 6 games to go.

As March turned into April, Whitchurch were the first side to lose their bottle, dropping points to 1874 Northwich and losing to strugglers Winsford. Vauxhall Motors lost their way too with defeats in 3 out of 4 games in March, a shocking month for them. 3 straight victories for The Ravens and points dropped by Bury AFC and Bootle saw FC Isle of Man begin to take control of the league.

With just 2 games to go, it looked like 2 wins in their next 2 games would seal the deal for The Ravens. A 3-3 draw with Lower Breck, despite leading 3-1 going into the final 15 minutes put paid to any premature celebrations in the penultimate weekend. Positive results for rivals Bury AFC and Bootle meant it was going to the wire.

As the final few weeks of the season played out, all at FC Isle of Man kept a glance of the fixture list and wondered whether the final game listed would be key. That fixture inevitably was, Bury AFC (h).

The fixture computer had gone and done it again. The final game of the season brought Bury AFC to The Bowl and the season was turned basically into a play-off final of sorts. It was a high stakes game, a ‘winner could take all’ scenario, but Bootle who had been going about their business quiet and efficiently were well in the mix too. It all came down to this:

  • FC Isle of Man would win the league with a victory over Bury AFC.
  • Bootle would win the league if they won their fixture with Vauxhall Motors and FC Isle of Man failed to beat Bury AFC.
  • Bury AFC would win the league if they beat FC Isle of Man and Bootle failed to beat Vauxhall Motors.
PWDLFAPTSGD
1FC ISLE OF MAN37217996567040
2Bootle371912668516917
3Bury AFC371814556336823
North West Counties League Premier Division table 23.4.22

The Non-League Paper ran a double page spread preview on the fixture, turning it into a soap opera of sorts with some Piers Morgan style unashamedly direct questioning of the 2 managers involved.

Bury AFC manager Andy Welsh was quoted on his assessment on FC Isle of Man’s star striker, “Brian Esperance? He’s not been that good, certainly not compared to some other players in the league.”

Chris Bass didn’t want to get drawn into a war of words and simply said, “It’s not appropriate to discuss my feelings right now.”

Local media went crazy for the game, chairman Carl Pope, a regular now for interviews, getting his face around and spreading the word of FC Isle of Man island wide. The hype worked and for the first time in the history of FC Isle of Man, a regular league fixture attracted a crowd of over 1,000.

In the 15th minute it looked like the title would be coming to the Isle of Man. Isaac Currie attacking down the right flank delivered a perfect precision cross to the heart of the danger-zone in the Bury AFC box. Brian Esperance was on hand to side-foot from 6 yards for one of the easiest finishes of the season. The perfect start for the Ravens.

The 900 or so FC Isle of Man supporters were hoping for their side to take control, perhaps get another goal and kill off the game early doors. This was not to be, the opponents were the formidable Bury AFC and they were not going down without a fight.

6 unchallenged probing passes from Bury AFC punished FC Isle of Man in the 52nd minute. They worked the ball into the box very finely indeed before MacDevitt unleashed a shot which bounced of Matt Furness’ right shin. The rebound fell to Brad Lynch 12 yards out whose low shot caught keeper Jordan Davidson wrong-footed and the net rippled shortly afterwards. 1-1 and a league title in the balance.

BURY AFC CELEBRATE LYNCH’S EQUALISING GOAL

The final half an hour was tense and full-blooded, both sides competing at full pelt and ultimately cancelling out the other. Thanks to the digital age and social media, everybody inside The Bowl was well aware that Bootle were winning 2-0 at Vauxhall Motors and as things stood, it was Bootle who were going to be champions. Bury AFC were in need of a miracle if they wanted the title, FC Isle of Man just needed one more goal, one more chance even, get the ball to Esperance or Sunderland they have 80+ goals between them this season. Things were getting desperate.

The game fizzled out, The Ravens only managing to rack up yellow cards (5 in total) rather than goals before the final whistle blew. Bootle were the North West Counties League Premier Division champions for 2021/22 and claimed the sole promotion spot. They couldn’t have believed their luck surely. The FC Isle of Man players were on their backs. Manager Chris Bass went round the pitch to get them on their feet, the supporters needed thanking for their incredible support for the season. A downbeat ‘lap of honour’ took place at The Bowl.

It hurt more for FC Isle of Man, they had control of their destiny but failed to make it pay. Let’s not forget, most tipped the Ravens for relegation this year and here they were as runners-up. Bury AFC could not have done anything about the outcome, victory for them would still have seen Bootle promoted, they seemed more accepting of their fate. They say it’s the hope that hurts you in the end, a missed opportunity for FC Isle of Man, no doubt.

The Ravens had chance to soften the blow of cruelly missing out on promotion with the consolation prize of the North West Counties League Division 1 Champions Cup, also against Bury AFC on 14th May 2022.

This oddly scheduled one-off game competition pitted last season’s winners of the NWCL North (Bury AFC) against last season’s winners of the NWCL South (FC Isle of Man). What it was going to prove was anyone’s guess, but both clubs had fairly new and empty trophy cabinets that needed filling up and everyone likes winning a trophy no matter how significant.

Bass told the Isle of Man Courier, “I think it’s a nice event to have, it’s a little different and something for the fans to enjoy.”

The game managed to capture the imagination and another strong turnout of over 1,000 fans turned out at The Bowl with Bury AFC bringing almost 500 fans with them and a noisy lot they were too.

The fans were treated to another competitive and full blooded fixture between these rivals on a glorious sunny Douglas afternoon. However, the home fans at The Bowl were left largely frustrated with The Ravens just managing just the 1 shot on target all afternoon. Bury AFC nicked the tie with a goal in first half stoppage time.

It was pleasing to see the majority of the 1,000 plus crowd stay after the final whistle for the trophy presentation to Bury AFC, no matter how painful it was to see Bury’s captain John Hunt lift the silver cup and the celebrations that followed.

BURY AFC LIFT THE NORTH WEST COUNTIES LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION CHAMPIONS CUP AT THE BOWL, A PAINFUL MOMENT

Despite the double downcast end to the season, both at the hands of Bury AFC, the club did manage to announce some positive news on 15th May 2022.

With excellent finances in place, chairman Carl Pope unveiled plans of a new training complex for the FC Isle of Man youth team in Douglas. At a cost of £136,000, the complex would take 3 months to construct and be ready for the first batch of young Ravens in October 2022.

In terms of support, stature and income, FC Isle of Man and Bury AFC were the big boys in this league by a mile. The upcoming 2022/23 season promised to be another shootout between these 2 fledgling ambitious clubs.

2021/22 SQUAD

(IN ORDER OF APPEARANCES)

JORDAN DAVIDSON | Goalkeeper

BORN | Wishaw (Scotland) | DOB | 20.09.2003 (18 years old)

Jordan has lived on the island since he was a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for St.Georges. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 4th November 2020 against Stockport Town. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21. Kept the most clean sheets in the entire North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Firmly Chris Bass’s no.1. Was busier than he would have liked this season but still saved the team more often than not. Ever-present in the side.

APPS | 49 | AV.RAT | 6.84 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 0


JAMES SUNDERLAND | Striker (Centre)

BORN | Huddersfield (England) | DOB | 28.04.2000 (22years old)

James Began his career in the FC Halifax academy but was unable to break into the 1st team and was released at the end of the 2018/19 season. After a couple of years away from football, signed for FC Isle of Man on 16th July 2021. Made his Ravens debut against Congleton Town in the North West Counties League Premier Division on 7th August 2021. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on his debut in a 2-2 draw. Finished the 2021/22 season as FC Isle of Man’s top scorer with 42 goals. Voted FC Isle of Man’s Supporters’ Young Player of the Season for 2021/22.

Young striker brought in to replace the departed Akeem Smith. Without doubt the find of the season, 42 goals speaks for itself. Formed an outstanding partnership with Brian Esperance. Ever-present all season long.

APPS | 49 | AV.RAT | 7.30 | ASSISTS | 4 | GOALS | 42


BRIAN ESPERANCE | Striker (Centre)

BORN | Slootdorp (Netherlands) | DOB | 22.09.1993 (28 years old)

Brian moved to the Isle of Man as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Rushen United. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his first Ravens goal on 19th August 2020 in the 4-2 win against Alsager. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21. Voted FC Isle of Man’s Supporters’ Player of the Year for 2020/21 and 2021/22. Top goalscorer in 2020/21 with 37 goals in all competitions. His goal against AFC Blackpool on, where he dribbled from his own half and unleashed a screamer was voted 2021/22 goal of the season.

Absolute fan favourite down at The Bowl, his name gets sung every week. Another majestic season, beating his record of 37 goals from last season.

APPS | 47 (1) | AV.RAT | 7.27 | ASSISTS | 12 | GOALS | 41


OLLIE PATRICK | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 22.11.1994 (27 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Douglas Athletic. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 3rd October 2020 against New Mills in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 27th October 2020 against Vauxhall Motors. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Chief set piece taker and proved to be deadly in dead ball situations. Playing to the strengths of the team, he created 24 goals this season and was one of the first names of Chris Bass’s teamsheet week-in-week-out.

APPS | 45 | AV.RAT | 7.05 | ASSISTS | 24 | GOALS | 4


MATT FURNESS | Defender (Right / Centre)

BORN | Shotts (Scotland) | DOB | 06.01.1995 (27 years old)

Matt has lived on the Isle of Man since he was a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur league for Douglas Royal. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored the club’s 1st ever goal in competitive football after just 3 minutes in the opening game of the season against AFC Wyhtenshawe Amateurs. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Once again, the tall defender reached double figures in goals, always a threat at set pieces. Another solid season.

APPS | 42 | AV.RAT | 7.11 | ASSISTS | 3 | GOALS | 11


ALEX MORRIS| Defender (Centre)

BORN | Wolverhampton (England) | DOB | 26.02.1994 (28 years old)

Began his career in the Wolverhampton Wanderers academy but was released in 2010 having not being able to break into the 1st team. Signed for Hednesford Town in the Northern Premier League where he remained for 5 seasons. Moved to nearby Chasetown before having spells at Romulus, Hinckley and Mickleover Sports. Most recently at Quorn in 2018/19 before being released. Signed for FC Isle of Man on 24th October 2020. Made his Ravens debut later that day in the 3-3 draw with St.Martins in the North West Counties League Division 1 South, becoming the first non-islander to play for the club. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 9th January 2021 in the 4-3 defeat at Golcar United in the North West Counties League 1st Division Challenge Cup. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Promoted to vice-captain at the start of the season due to his vocal presence on the pitch. Another solid showing from the dependable centre-back.

APPS | 39 | AV.RAT | 6.91 | ASSISTS | 4 | GOALS | 4


LEE MCNEIL | Defender / Wing Back / Attacking Midfielder (Left)

BORN | Kinlochbervie (Scotland) | DOB | 20.02.2004 (18 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Corinthians. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Despite doing so well last season, the young Scotsman found the jump up to the NWCL Premier a big one and lost his confidence as well as his no.3 shirt along the way.

APPS | 31 (1) | AV.RAT | 6.59 | ASSISTS | 4 | GOALS | 0


SVEN BENSMANN | Defender (Right / Centre)

BORN | Eggstedt (Germany) | DOB | 07.02.1997 (25 years old)

Sven moved to the Isle of Man as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for St.Georges. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2020 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his first Ravens goal on 12th September 2020 against Ellesmere Rangers. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Last season’s. ‘Mr.Reliable’ was found wanting on occasions and didn’t have as much impact as the previous season. Dropped to the bench following the late season arrival of Isaac Currie.

APPS | 29 (2) | AV.RAT | 6.73 | ASSISTS | 7 | GOALS | 0


KENNETH MOHAMMED | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Right)

BORN | Ota (Nigeria) | DOB | 27.05.2004 (17 years old)

Kenneth moved to the island as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Peel. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 12th December 2020 against Cammel Laird 1907. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Started the season well, was amongst the assists but didn’t do it enough to convince Bass he was his man for the long term. Reduced to the bench after the arrival of Alex Davies.

APPS | 20 (10) | AV.RAT | 6.98 | ASSISTS | 8 | GOALS | 3


ALEX DAVIES | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Right)

BORN | London (England) | DOB | 27.01.1996 (25 years old)

Alex began his career with Marine in the Northern Premier League in 2015/16. He moved to Skelmersdale in 2016/17 and remained at until leaving the club at the end of the 2020/21 season. Signed for FC Isle of Man on 18th January 2022. Made his Ravens debut on 22nd January 2022 against Burscough in the North West Counties League Premier Division. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 5th February 2022 in the 4-3 win at Vauxhall Motors.

Fast winger with a skill set suited the position. Hit the ground running after his arrival and created a few goals towards the end of the season.

APPS | 16 | AV.RAT | 6.75 | ASSISTS | 6 | GOALS | 2


AINSWORTH CAMPBELL | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Centre)

BORN |Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 30.11.2003 (18 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for DHSOB. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 11th August 2020 against Vauxhall Motors in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 11th September 2021 in the 8-0 win over Crawley Down Gatwick in the FA Cup Preliminary Round.

Bass had high hopes for the young midfielder and afforded him more of an opportunity this season to make his mark. Often anonymous in games although his first goal for the club was an absolute peach in the FA Cup.

APPS | 15 (5) | AV.RAT | 6.56 | ASSISTS | 5 | GOALS | 1


LINCOLN NICHOLLS | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 06.02.2004 (18 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Douglas Athletic. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his first Ravens goal on 17th October 2020 against West Didsbury & Chorlton. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Last season’s creative force who struggled to make such an impact this season. Found himself on the fringes following the signing of the more experienced Jason White.

APPS | 14 (12) | AV.RAT | 6.54 | ASSISTS | 3 | GOALS | 0


PAUL MAIN | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Left)

BORN | Cromdale (Scotland) | DOB | 24.10.2003 (18 years old)

Paul moved to the Isle of Man as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Peel. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2020 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his first Ravens goal on 12th September 2020 against Ellesmere Rangers. Became the 1st ever FC Isle of Man player to be sent off during a game on 12th September 2020 against Torrington in the FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Another youngster who struggled with the higher level of football this season and unable to reproduce his good form from the previous season.

APPS | 14 (2) | AV.RAT | 6.58 | ASSISTS | 1 | GOALS | 1


JASON WHITE | Midfielder / Striker (Centre)

BORN | Bishop Auckland (England) | DOB | 17.09.1990 (31 years old)

Jason began his career in the Middlesbrough academy but was released in 2009. Spent his entire career in the lower reaches of non-league. Signed for Tow Law Town in 2020/21 and moved to Penrith Town of the Northern Football League Division One later that season. Moved to FC Isle of Man on 1st January 2022 and made his Ravens debut later that day in the 1-1 draw with 1874 Northwich in the North West Counties League Premier Division. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 12th March 2022 in the 2-2 draw with Ashton Athletic.

Brought in for the second half of the season as an experienced head. FC Isle of Man’s oldest ever player at 31, steadied the ship in an inconsistent looking central midfield area.

APPS | 14 | AV.RAT | 6.67 | ASSISTS | 1 | GOALS | 1


ISAAC CURRIE | Defender / Wing Back (Right)

BORN | Nottingham (England) | DOB | 03.11.1995 (26 years old)

Isaac began his career in the Burton Albion academy but was released in 2015. Moved to the United States in 2017 and enjoyed spells with SC United Bantams, Reading United and Philadelphia Fury. He returned to England in 2019 and signed for Grantham Town in the Northern Premier League. After a loan spell with Ilkeston Town signed for Guiseley of the Vanarama North in 2020/21, making 15 appearances. Signed for FC Isle of Man whilst a free agent on 31st January 2022. Made his Ravens debut on 5th February 2022 in the 4-3 win over Vauxhall Motors in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Brought in to add quality to the defence, looks an upgrade on Sven Bennsman and quickly formed a telepathic partnership with winger Alex Davies down the right flank.

APPS | 13 | AV.RAT | 6.70 | ASSISTS | 5 | GOALS | 0


ALIMAMY KALIE-FREEMAN | Midfielder (Right / Left)

BORN |Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 24.12.2004 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team during the 2020/21 season. Made his Ravens debut on 28th September 2021 in the 10-0 win over Litherland REMYCA in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup 1st Round. He scored his 1st Ravens goal on his debut, an impressive left footed volley from just inside the penalty box.

The young bright spark of the season. Youth teamer Alimamy scored some spectacular goals but being so young could not be consistent enough to hold down a regular starting spot.

APPS | 12 (12) | AV.RAT | 6.82 | ASSISTS | 2 | GOALS | 7


SERSINIO BRAAFHEID | Defender / Wing Back (Left)

BORN | Streefkerf (Netherlands) | DOB | 25.09.2003 (18 years old)

Sersinio moved to the island as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Douglas Royal. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Like his left-back colleague Lee McNeil, struggled at the higher level this season forcing Chris Bass to look for non-island alternatives with Kane Bartholomew eventually brought in late-on.

APPS | 12 (9) | AV.RAT | 6.65 | ASSISTS | 3 | GOALS | 0


SHAUN ADAMS | Defender (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 29.06.2004 (18 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Ayre United. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 3rd April 2021 against Abbey Hulton United. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

With Bass giving playing-time to young Walter Whyte had to work hard to keep his place on the bench as the no.1 backup to Furness and Morris. As ever, did well when called upon.

APPS | 12 (2) | AV.RAT | 6.85 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 1


MATTI NISKENAN | Attacking Midfielder (Left)

BORN | Salo (Finland) | DOB | 11.09.1994 (27 years old)

Matti moved to the island as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Marown. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 6th February 2021 against New Mills in the North West Counties League Division 1 South. Scored his 1st Ravens goal on 22nd September 2021 in the 2-1 defeat to Vauxhall Motors in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

With youngster Paul Main struggling at a higher level this season, Bass brought Niskenan in for his chance to show his experience early on in the season. Failed to perform and placed on the transfer list at the end of the season.

APPS | 9 (2) | AV.RAT | 6.60 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 1


MIKEY KEOGH | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Right)

BORN | Ballinrobe (Ireland) | DOB | 18.08.1993 (28 years old)

Mikey has lived on the island since he was a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Laxey. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 22nd August 2020 against Abbey Hey and scored his 1st Ravens goal in that game, a 39th minute penalty. Was named club captain for the 2020/21 season. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Retained the captain’s armband and showed touches of class when used but unable to hit the heights of his golden spell of early last season. With Alex Davies arriving at The Bowl his position is under threat.

APPS | 8 (18) | AV.RAT | 6.90 | ASSISTS | 5 | GOALS | 7


AKIM SAMMS | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Left) / Striker (Centre)

BORN | London (England) | DOB | 22.12.2000 (21 years old)

Akim began his career in the Burnley academy before signing for Macclesfield Town in 2018. Without getting a game for Macclesfield signed for Mossley of the Northern Premier League Division One North West in 2019. Spent 2 seasons with Northallerton before signing for FC Isle of Man on 7th March 2022. Made his Ravens debut on 12th March 2022 against Barnoldswick Town and scored 11 minutes into his debut, the game finished 6-1.

Pacey winger brought in due to a lack of quality in this position all season long. Offered good running with the ball skills and made an impact in the late and ultimately failed push for the title

APPS | 8 | AV.RAT | 6.64 | ASSISTS | 1 | GOALS | 2


LORIC TSHIBUABUA | Defender / Wing Back (Right)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 27.10.2004 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team during the 2020/21 season. Made his Ravens debut on 21st August 2021 against 1874 Northwich in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Youth team right back promoted to the 1st team squad as back-up for Sven Bennsman. Did well but still has a lot to learn at this level.

APPS | 7 (4) | AV.RAT | 6.91 | ASSISTS | 4 | GOALS | 0


KANE BARTHOLOMEW | Defender / Wing Back (Left)

BORN | Wakefield (England) | DOB | 27.10.1999 (22 years old)

Kane began his career in the Scunthorpe United academy but failed to breakthrough and signed for Runcorn Town of the North West Counties League Premier Division in 2020/21. Was released by Runcorn Town mid-season on 22nd February 2022 after 25 league appearances but signed for FC Isle of Man just 1 month later on 22nd March 2022. Made his Ravens debut on 23rd March 2022 in the 2-1 win over Hanley Town in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Experienced left back with defensive pedigree brought in by Bass late on in the season to tighten up the defence in the crucial final games.

APPS | 6 | AV.RAT | 6.72 | ASSISTS | 2 | GOALS | 0


WALTER WHYTE | Defender (Centre)

BORN | Blairmont (Guyana) | DOB | 02.05.2005 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team for it’s inaugural season. Became the youngest ever player in FC Isle of Man history making his debut aged just 15 and 346 days old on 27th March 2021 against Cheadle Heath Nomads in the North West Counties League Division 1 South.

The young man was given plenty of opportunities to fill at the back early in the season, still plenty of development left to do to fulfill his potential.

APPS | 5 (13) | AV.RAT | 6.82 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 0


WESLEY MAGEE | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Right)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 01.05.2005 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 7th April 2021 against Cammell Laird in the North West Counties League Division 1 South.

Still very young with some developing left to do. Given a few more games this season but still hopefully one for the future.

APPS | 5 (3) | AV.RAT | 6.80 | ASSISTS | 3 | GOALS | 0


MATT OSMOND | Midfielder (Left / Centre)

BORN | Billingham (England) | DOB | 09.02.1993 (29 years old)

Matt began his career in the Carlisle United academy but was released in 2011. Signed for hometown side Billingham Synthonia in 2013 and remained there util 2017 when he moved to his other hometown side Billingham Town. Remained with Town until 2021 where he spent a productive season on loan at Cheadle. Signed for FC Isle of Man on 28th January 2022. Made his Ravens debut on 29th January 2022 in the 3-0 win over Warrington Rylands in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

One of Bass’s new signings to fix the left midfield problem. Did okay but still to convince many Ravens fans.

APPS | 4 (6) | AV.RAT | 6.71 | ASSISTS | 2 | GOALS | 0


NICKY FOULKES | Striker (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 19.05.2001 (20 years old)

A native islander who previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Marown. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his debut on 4th August 2021 in the club’s first ever game against AFC Wythenshawe Amateurs in the North West Counties League Division 1 South and scored twice during that game. Scored the first ever hattrick in FC Isle of Man history against Abbey Hey. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

Promising young striker unfortunate to have strikers of the calibre of Esperance and Sunderland (83 goals between them this season) in front of him in the starting XI. Used mainly late on in games to rest the other two. Scored a memorable stoppage time winner against Vauxhall Motors in a thrilling 4-3 win that put The Ravens back in the title race.

APPS | 2 (19) | AV.RAT | 6.94 | ASSISTS | 2 | GOALS | 6


ALEX REDMAN | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Left)

BORN | Denny (Ireland) | DOB | 24.03.1996 (26 years old)

Alex moved to the island as a child and previously played in the Isle of Man amateur leagues for Corinthians. Joined FC Isle of Man for it’s inaugural season. Made his Ravens debut on 19th August 2020 against Alsager Town in the North West Counties League Division 1 South and scored his 1st Ravens goal during that game. Won the North West Counties League Division 1 South in 2020/21.

One of a number of left midfielders at the club that doesn’t look good enough for the North West Counties League Premier Division.

APPS | 2 (16) | AV.RAT | 6.66 | ASSISTS | 2 | GOALS | 0


ANDY EVANS | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Centre)

BORN | Burnaby (Canada) | DOB | 23.01.2005 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team for the 2020/21 season. Made his Ravens debut on 26th October 2021 in the 4-0 win over AFC Blackpool in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup 2nd Round.

Youth teamer who was given a brief run-out to see how he did at senior level.

APPS | 1 (1) | AV.RAT | 6.35 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 0


IAN FURLONG | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 11.01.2005 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team for the 2020/21 season. Made his Ravens debut on 26th October 2021 in the 4-0 win over AFC Blackpool in the North West Counties League Challenge Cup 2nd Round.

Youth teamer who was given a brief run-out to see how he did at senior level.

APPS | 0 (1) | AV.RAT | 6.70 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 0


CRAIG WILSON | Midfielder / Attacking Midfielder (Left) / Striker (Centre)

BORN | Douglas (Isle of Man) | DOB | 12.10.2004 (17 years old)

A native islander who joined the FC Isle of Man youth team for the 2020/21 season. Made his Ravens debut on 24th August 2021 in the 3-0 defeat to Winsford in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Youth teamer who was given a brief run-out to see how he did at senior level.

APPS | 0 (1) | AV.RAT | 6.70 | ASSISTS | 0 | GOALS | 0