Manders set for new test
Taurean Manders, the Bermuda midfielder, is braced for a battle to force his way into the first team of Sholing, his new English club.
Manders had contemplated taking a break from the game after suffering relegation last season with Bashley, who dropped into the Southern Football Division One South & West, the same league as Sholing.
He has been training at the Hampshire-based semi-professional side for two weeks and admits he faces a difficult challenge to nail down a position in their starting line-up.
“It’s actually a pretty decent standard and there are some talented players and good teams in this league,” said Manders, who featured in a couple of pre-season games for Sholing.
“The team has been together for a while and have a big core of players that make up the team. I will have to fight to get into the team, which is a position I haven’t really experienced before.
“But it’s a new challenge that I’m looking forward to.”
The former North Village utility player has gained plenty of experiences of overseas experience during his career, having played the majority of his football in North America in several different leagues.
The 28-year-old started at Bradenton Academicals in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League before moving to Canadian Soccer League, where he played for Capital City FC and York Region Shooters.
He then moved to Caribbean outfit Antigua Barracuda in the USL Pro but was played out of position as a right winger for the majority of the season, with his team suffering the ignominy of losing every match.
Manders’s family have been living in Southampton for a number of years, where his cricketing brother Tre Manders attends a sports academy.
Several Bermuda players have made the move to non-League football in the UK in recent years.
Tahj Bell, the Bermuda goalkeeper, plays for Hitchen Town in the league above Sholing, while Lejuan Simmons and Rai Simons are in the first-team squad at Ilkeston. who play the Northern League Premier Division.
Ilkeston forged an official partnership with the Bermuda Hogges last year.
Sholing, who are seventeenth in the table, having taken five points from six games, are away at Merthyr Town next Saturday.
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