DeGraff back on national team duty

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Midfield general Sammy DeGraff has been recalled to the national squad for tonight’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Guyana at the National Sports Centre (NSC).

And the North Village player is delighted to be back in the national set-up where he hopes to repay coach Devarr Boyles for giving him another opportunity to represent his country at the highest level.

“I’m just waiting for the coach’s instructions and then carry them out to the best of my ability,” DeGraff said.

The Whitney Institute school teacher missed Bermuda’s inspiring home win against Trinidad last Friday because of his religious beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist.

“That was a huge win for us and I’m just thankful to God that we were able to get that win,” DeGraff said. “I thought the boys done really well and hopefully we can continue on in the next game.”

Bermuda are currently third in the four-team Concacaf Group B standings, six points behind unbeaten leaders Guyana with three matches remaining. Only the eventual group winners will advance to the next phase of World Cup qualifiers, meaning Bermuda still have some catching up to do if they are to keep their World Cup qualifying dream alive.

“We know that we have to win this game in order for us to get back into the thick of things trying to advance,” DeGraff said.

Bermuda lost their opening group matches against Trinidad (1-0) and Guyana (2-1) on the road last month to get their qualifying campaign off to a poor start.

But DeGraff said he felt he and his fellow team-mates deserved to come away with more to show for their efforts from both matches.

“I thought it was unfortunate that we didn’t get some type of result when we played both of the teams down there (Caribbean),” he added. “The way we played I felt at least we could‘ve got a better result.

“But that’s over now and we need to focus on our next game with Guyana. I think we have a good idea of what Guyana bring but they are going to be really confident because they beat us last time and have won all of their games.”

But having toppled the mighty Soca Warriors, DeGraff said Bermuda’s confidence will also be high going into tonight’s clash.

“I think we have a lot of confidence having beaten Trinidad and that may make Guyana pay more attention to this game that makes things really interesting,” he added.

DeGraff believes the 3,000 -plus crowd that turned up at the NSC last Friday played a huge factor in Bermuda’s win against Trinidad and he has urged the public to come out in throngs and throw their full support behind the Gombey Warriors.

“Hopefully the whole stadium gets full,” he said. “I think this was one of the biggest things that gave us a lift on Friday evening.”

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Published Oct 11, 2011 at 9:04 am (Updated Oct 11, 2011 at 9:02 am)

DeGraff back on national team duty

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