Coach Bascome makes it an open house
Newly appointed senior national football coach Andrew Bascome has cast his net wider in search of the best players to represent Bermuda at next months Digicel Caribbean Cup qualifiers in Haiti.
The former Bermuda and North Village midfielder has scheduled open training sessions to be held at BFA Field today and tomorrow (7pm) that will enable coaching staff the opportunity to run the rule over as many players as possible in the hope of unearthing any hidden talent.
The aim is to get people who want to play for the country and make everyone feel inclusive and a part of instead of just trying to pick players, he said. Sometimes when you pick players you end up picking personalities and Im sure theres a lot of other people out there that would like to be a part of and have something to offer.
Bascome said only dedicated players need apply.
Im not just going by talent . . . I am going by commitment and sacrifices, he stressed.
This weekends open training sessions at BFA Field will consist solely of matches.
We will put the players in a game and take names and on Sunday we will do the same, Bascome said. It wont take us long to assess the players.
We would like to have a training base of 25 players outside of the ones that are away because there are a lot of kids that are in school and the other ones who are professionals.
Among the players currently studying abroad are Zeiko Lewis and Tre Ming while Crawley Town striker Jonte Smith has made himself unavailable for selection.
It remains unclear whether professionals Reggie Lambe, Freddy Hall and Nahki Wells will make themselves available for Bermudas cup commitment.
Bermuda will compete in a group that includes St Martin (French), Puerto Rico and hosts Haiti, with only the eventual top two advancing to the next stage of the regional competition.
With very little time remaining before the national squads departure to the Caribbean, Bascome has drawn up an intense training schedule that will see his players train as many as five days a week in the final lead-up to the tournament.
The training regimen will see national squad players put through their paces every Monday, Wednesday and potentially Friday.
We are going to work around the club training sessions which are normally Tuesdays and Thursdays and use Saturdays and Sundays as well, Bascome said. Weekends I want to do some blackboard work with the players which is very important.
Earlier this week the highly decorated coach met with national squad players who openly expressed their willingness to put their best foot forward for their country.
The meeting was very encouraging because the guys that attended were very focused, Bascome said.
Assisting Bascome is former national squad team mate Dennis Brown and the current crop of national academy coaches.
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