Village favourites to defend title

  • Photo by Glenn Tucker North Village celebrate winning the Friendship final at National Stadium April 10, 2011

    Photo by Glenn Tucker North Village celebrate winning the Friendship final at National Stadium April 10, 2011

  • Photo by Glenn Tucker Colts vs Village fianl game of Premire division 2011 at police a Field Sundaay March 27th

    Photo by Glenn Tucker Colts vs Village fianl game of Premire division 2011 at police a Field Sundaay March 27th


Boulevard

Finish last year: Seventh

Prediction: Ninth

Overview: Losing a whole team worth of players during the off-season won’t help a side that struggled last term in the top-flight. While survival may be their main objective again this season, it may be a tall task for them this time around.

Having loyal players and fans that will endure the season, good or bad, is always a plus, but this may be a campaign of rebuilding for Blazers and don’t be totally surprised if they are in the bottom two come the season’s end.

Another key factor will be whether the side have a full strength team every week.

Dandy Town

Finish last year: Third

Prediction: Third

Overview: Losing several players while gaining the same amount would render any side into a transitional period, but not Dandy Town. The side is swamped with quality and quantity, but the same questions remain of the team as have been around in past seasons.

While Raymond Beach is one of the best strikers in Bermuda, concerns remain where their goals will come from should he not have a consistent campaign. Because last season the club struggled to find a legitimate number two scoring threat.

Aljame Zuill could prove to be the foil Beach needs to relieve some of the pressure off his shoulders, but with new blood comes a request of patience in order to allow the team to gel.

The title may be out of reach before this can happen and total concentration from the start will be needed in order to see their title challenge all the way to the finish line.

Players in: Jacqui Simons (Boulevard), Showande Butterfield (Boulevard), K’Wonde Lathan (Boulevard), Aljame Zuill (D Cougars), Dano Outerbridge (St David’s), Anthony Rocker jr (S Rangers), Kyle Wade (D Colts), R Tyrrell (D Colts)

Devonshire Cougars

Finish last year: Fourth

Prediction: Runners-up

Overview: The former champions will be looking to get back their title after relinquishing it last year without much of a fight. Without any key players leaving, the side may be one of the most gelled teams in the league.

One key factor in this year from last term will be talisman Kwame Steede, who will hand over the coaching duties to new coach Dennis Brown, allowing the gifted midfielder to focus on his game and get back to his old ways of marshalling the midfield. Having all the ingredients that are capable of snatching the league title away from the champions, consistency will be an issue for Cougars who let silly points fall from their grasp last season, particularly at home.

Players in: Orlyn Williams (X-Roads)

North Village

Finish last year: First

Prediction: Champions

Overview: The overwhelming favourite to win the title this year, and taking their early season results into account, no one would argue against the Rams this time around. From defence to attack the side is loaded with talent and match winners that can make light work of any side on the Island. New boys Lashun Dill and Jason Davis will give the side another dimension.

The only team that can beat the champions will be the champions themselves, and with the current form of the team it seems highly unlikely that will happen. It will be interesting to see how they cope with being favourites in every competition they are involved in.

Players in: Jason Davis (Boulevard), Lashun Dill (D Town), Jahvon Washington (D Colts)

PHC

Finish last year: Second

Prediction: Sixth

Overview: The men from Warwick have had some abysmal performances early on in their season and will need to change their fortunes immediately if they are to be the same title contenders that took North Village to the last game of the season.

A new coach, a leaky defence that has shipped in 11 goals in two games and an attack that can’t get into a match early on, these are concerning times indeed for the Zebras faithful.

It won’t help that the club’s younger players are unavailable through school and overseas studies, so it’s up to the veterans to make a wholehearted effort to steady the ship.

Added strength to the most needed areas, goalkeeping and midfield, will help the side in the long run but it will be up the PHC to get themselves off to a good start, if not risk the wrath of their loyal supporters for inconsistent performances.

Players in: Shakir Smith (S Eagles), Thomas Brown (S Rangers), Kieran Evans (S Eagles), Jason Wade (D Colts), Marco Piper (D Colts)

Robin Hood

Finish last year: First Division runners-up

Prediction: Seventh

Overview: New boys to the Premier Division, Hood have all the components to battle against the big boys, but the side will need to pick games they think they are capable of winning instead of trying to get a result from each game.

Coach Andrew Bascome is no stranger to the big league and while he has assembled a squad ready for battle, it will be interesting to see how they get on with away trips to the bigger names in the division.

Bolstering their defence was an issue addressed in the off-season, picking up players with vital experience. Away dates against Southampton Rangers, Dandy Town, Devonshire Cougars, and North Village in successive weeks will show what the side are capable.

Players in: Damali Bell (Boulevard), Nelson Smith (Boulevard), Aaron Nelson (Boulevard), Cymande Davis (Boulevard), Daniel Andrade (S Eagles), Troy Durham (D Town), Akeem Wolffe (St David’s), Richard Simmons (D Colts)

Somerset Trojans

Finish last year: First Division champions

Prediction: Eighth

Overview: Last year’s First Division champions have suffered a loss before the season even started, with coach Dennis Brown joining Cougars.

Being such a focal point in the side for the past three years, Brown will be a huge loss having groomed the current side to where they are now, but the pieces have to be picked up and put back together.

With a youthful look to them, along with a few experienced players, Trojans should be good enough to survive, although it will be interesting to see how they get on if they fall behind early on and have to play catch up with those battling relegation.

Players in: Al-Rashid Ebbin (HPWC), Damon Swan (S Eagles)

Southampton Rangers

Finish last year: Sixth

Prediction: Fifth

Overview: A new look side with some good additions, their main objective will be their defence keeping them in close games, both home and on the road.

Last year saw Rangers play some good football one week and get thrashed the next, something coach Keith Jennings is conscious of as they narrowly avoided relegation.

Jason Smith will be pivotal in between the sticks, as his presence in the line-up seems to have a calming ease on the side.

With Jermaine Dill, Travis Wilkinson and Reggie Lowe in the midfield, along with new comer McQuinn Burch, the side is strong but another interesting question is how many goals will they get from their strikers this year considering they were few and far between last year.

Expect positive things out of a side that is on the up this year and could pull a few surprises along the way.

Players in: Jahmel Samuels (Boulevard), McQuinn Burch (D Colts), K Jones (S Rangers), Andre Russell (S Eagles)

St David’s

Finish last year: Eighth

Prediction: Tenth

Overview: The side will be favourites for relegation this year, and with a coach (Wayne Henry) who left the club after less than one month on the job, the season doesn’t look bright for the club.

Narrowly surviving the drop last year, this time may be too much, and with the newly promoted teams coming up and looking to stamp their name on the league, both Hood and Trojans will look to the Islanders as a source of points.

Players in: Mikkail Crockwell (D Town)

St George’s

Finish last year: Fifth

Prediction: Fourth

Overview: Coming off a hugely successful season in which they showed many why they belong in the top-flight, it may be a difficult feat to do the same trick twice, but you can’t count this side out.

With a frontline that can cause any defence in the league problems, it will be interesting to see how their defence makes out without Freddy Hall in goal.

While Eunico Trott has taken over the jersey from the Northampton Town man, they will certainly miss Hall’s splendid reflexes and extra know-how this term.

Coach Richard Todd will have his troops ready for battle week in, week out, and they should be good enough to show the same consistency they did last year.

Players in: Jamal Simmons (S Eagles), Zane Hendrickson (N Village), Shea Pitcher (St David’s)

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Published Sep 23, 2011 at 8:24 am (Updated Sep 23, 2011 at 8:22 am)

Village favourites to defend title

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