Bermuda foursome join IMG Academy
Four of Bermuda’s most promising players will represent the IMG Academy Bradenton in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League this season.
Casey Castle, Drewonde Bascome, Jaylen Harvey and Tre Ming will further their development at the Florida-based team, who have forged strong links with the Bermuda Football Association during the last few years.
The IMG Academy visited the Island over the Easter weekend when their under-14, under-15 and under-16 boys’ teams and under-14 girls’ side played against the BFA National Academy and club teams.
All four players have experienced the PDL level while playing for the Bermuda Hogges, who pulled out of the league before the start of the 2013 season because of financial difficulties.
Paul Scope, the Bermuda Hogges owner, has helped secure funding to assist the four players with their dietary requirements during their time at the IMG Academy.
Bascome, a Devonshire Cougars forward, Ming, a PHC Zebras midfielder, and Harvey, a BAA Wanderers midfielder, represented Bermuda at last summer’s NatWest Island Games. Castle, a PHC winger, played for the national team at the Digicel Caribbean Cup in Cayman Islands in 2008.
The IMG Academy who play in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference, start their season against SW Florida Adrenaline at home on Tuesday, May 20.
Mark Wade, the BFA player development committee chairman, said that the Association remained committed to providing opportunities for the Island’s talented young players. “The BFA and IMG have established a memorandum of understanding and through the partnership another opportunity for Bermuda players to continue their development has risen,” Wade said. “One of the objectives of the BFA is to continuously provide opportunities like this for our Bermudian players, male and female, to aid in their individual development and the future development of the Bermuda national teams.”
Wade added: “This collaboration with the BFA underlines the commitment of the Bermuda Hogges, and Paul Scope, to continue to aid the development of Bermuda’s players seeking to advance to the professional ranks, while also helping benefit our national team.”
Richard Todd, the Bermuda National Academy director, said that in absence of the Hogges, it was important for the top Island-based players to continue to experience an overseas league.
“We fully expect that the players selected for this opportunity will set a good standard both on and off the field, which will enable others to be considered in the future,” Todd said.
“We will continue to collaborate with IMG on initiatives to benefit the Bermuda National Academy players and teams.
“Discussions have begun on the men’s senior national team being invited into the annual MLS pre-season friendlies held at IMG.”
Scott Dean, the IMG director of soccer, said he was excited to have four of Bermuda’s top youngsters join their ranks for the new season.
“This just further strengthens the great working relationship between the IMG and the BFA,” he said.
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