Manager Tony Vance 'the heartbeat' of Guernsey FC, says club director

Guernsey FC director Nic Legg says no manager cares more about their club than Green Lions boss Tony Vance cares about the island side.

Vance has been at the helm since the club was formed in 2011, guiding them to back-to-back promotions in their first two seasons of existence.

The club has remained in the eighth tier since, and seen players such as Alex Scott exit to play professionally.

"He [Vance] really is the heartbeat of the football club," Legg said.

"You'll never find a manager who cares more about his football club and the decisions he makes are not just for the tea, but for the people," Legg added to BBC Radio Guernsey's Sport Matters podcast.

"He really gets to know and care for his players.

"I always try and say to the fans 'if you don't agree with the decisions trust me, there's always a good reason for them', and have faith in Tony and Steve and all the coaches.

"Other football clubs, when we've lost seven or eight in a row, they'd be gone. But we are so lucky that after 13 years Tony still has the passion, drive and hunger, because it's not easy."

Vance's time in charge of the club outlasts all but two of the managers in the top five tiers of English football.

Such is his standing in the local game that he was also in caretaker charge of the Guernsey FA's representative side for 18 months, until last November, leading the side into their home Island Games campaign and two Muratti Vase defeats to arch-rivals Jersey.

Legg says while Vance has no plans to step down - especially with the club planning to move into a new £10m ground - he will be tough to replace when the time does come.

"I'm confident that when Tony does decide to step down as manager that would be because he's given a good shift, he'll certainly want to take us into the new facility and see how far he can push us there.

"But when he deicides the time is right for him it's going to be a massive hole to fill.

"You'll never get another Tony in, but I think the really important thing is we've seen the support Colin Fallaize gave Tony for the whole journey, and he's stepped aside this season because he's given it his all and Steve Sharman's been there since the start.

"We've had Kevin Gilligan come in this season, he's been fantastic, now he might be somebody come the time where Tony wants to step down where he wants to get involved, but what I think we'll find is we might look at someone who's currently playing.

"We've got so many people involved in the football club that really understand what it means to be involved in Guernsey FC and I think that's a crucial thing.

"I don't think you could bring in someone from the outside because nobody really understands the challenges of being Guernsey FC manager, or being an island manager."