Bell and Waldron get chance to impress at English club Barnet
Tahj Bell and Marquel Waldron are currently being assessed by Barnet as part of a week-long training stint at the English League Two side.
Bermuda Hogges owner Paul Scope, a close friend of Barnets director of football Paul Fairclough, introduced the pair of Bermuda internationals to the London-based club last week.
Goalkeeper Bell had an extended trial at Bradford City last season on the recommendation of the clubs former winger Mark Ellis, who was responsible for taking Nahki Wells to Valley Parade.
Waldron, a utility defender, has little or no experience of English football but is a regular for both Hogges and Premier Division leaders PHC.
Im trying to get as many Bermudian players who have shown willing and have the right character to clubs like Barnet, said Scope, who recommended Reggie Lambe and Freddy Hall to Toronto FC.
Its really a chance for them to be assessed to see where they are in the English football pyramid. Of course, I can then use them as benchmarks for other Bermudian players.
To be fair, they have shown the most willingness to come over to the UK and I know the behaviour of both players is exemplary.
Scope has stressed to both players the importance of displaying a willingness to learn and that talent alone would not be enough.
At six foot four, Bells physical prowess will automatically catch the eye of English scouts, said Scope, who reckons Waldrons best chance of being picked up is at right back or as a defensive midfielder.
Tahj has physically got all the attributes; I think hes got a chance because England is kind of size obsessed — they always thought Damon Ming was too small, said Scope, who took Ming to Barnet several years ago, where he played a handful of reserve matches.
Ive said to Marquel that he is not big enough to be a centre back, or should I say meet the physical requirements of what managers and scouts look for in a centre back in England.
However, I think as a right back or a defensive midfielder he could be effective because hes neat and tidy and a great character and is very coachable.
Its not what you are when you first come here, its what you can become and Marquel could be that surprise package.
Both players were due to train with Barnet last week but those plans were temporarily shelved in the wake of Edgar Davids surprise arrival as a player/assistant coach.
Scope thought it best to wait for the hoopla surrounding Davids move to die-down and instead took Bell and Waldron to non-league Ilkeston to train for a week.
There was a big circus at Barnet after they signed Edgar Davids and it just wasnt the right week to introduce Marquel and Tahj, said the former national team assistant coach.
I drove them up to Derbyshire and set them up with a model club called Ilkeston FC, who are in the third tier of non-league football. Theyre a professional team; they pay money and have an academy system the envy of some pro clubs.
Theres a Bermuda connection as well because their recruitment officer, Nigel Harrop, lived in Bermuda for ten years and played some First Division and Commercial League football. Plus, their coach Kevin Wilson, whose assistant is former Spurs player Darren Caskey, played with Kyle Lightbourne at Walsall.
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