Bean out of Grenada games
Goalkeepers: Stefan Dill (UK), Detre Bell (UK), Nathan Trott (BAA).
Defenders: William White (University of Alabama), Jarreau Hayward (St George’s), Terrance Webb (Dandy Town), Tyrell Burgess (North Village), Jalen Harvey (Depaul, US), Jahnai Raynor (PHC), Donte Leverock (UK), Dominique Williams (Devonshire Cougars), Jaylon Bather (Robin Hood) — Dante Brangman (East Tennessee State).
Midfielders: Drewonde Bascome (Devonshire Cougars), Cecoy Robinson (PHC), Mauriq Hill (Clemson College), Tre Ming (Thomas College), Taurean Manders (Sholing, UK), Marco Warren (US).
Forwards: Antwan Russell (Robin Hood), Zeiko Lewis (Boston College), Casey Castle (Hamilton Parish), Lejuan Simmons (Ilkeston), Justin Donawa (Dartmouth College), Jahnazae Swan (Dandy Town), Rai Simons (Ilkeston).
Keishen Bean, the North Village midfielder, has been ruled out for Bermuda’s two friendly matches this weekend and may also be doubtful for the two first round World Cup qualifying matches against Bahamas later this month.
Bean picked up a hamstring injury in Monday’s league defeat to Robin Hood, though he played the entire 90 minutes. His absence will be a blow to Andrew Bascome, the national coach, who saw him as possibly the captain for the two games against Grenada, though the squad is big enough that the national coach has plenty of options for the two matches.
“Keishen has been very committed to training, fantastic, and I’ve really been impressed by the commitment he showed since the Island Games,” Bascome said. “And he’s a clever player. Another I’m impressed with is Mauriq Hill of Hamilton Parish, who has good character and understands his role.”
Performances in the two friendlies will go a long way to helping Bascome decide on his team for the Bahamas matches, when he hopes to have overseas professionals such as Nahki Wells, Reggie Lambe, Jonte Smith, Rai Simons and goalkeepers Dale Eve and Freddie Hall back.
Bascome revealed that Wells could be handed the captaincy for the Bahamas matches, though the Huddersfield striker is presently sidelined with a shoulder injury that has kept him out of his team’s last two matches.
In the absence of the professionals this weekend, the squad will contain some university players with goalkeepers Detre Bell and Stefan Dill back for the matches along with the likes of Marco Warren, Zeiko Lewis, Jalen Harvey, Stefan Dill and Justin Donawa. At just 15, Dandy Town’s Jahnazae Swan is the youngest member of the squad while goalkeeper Nathan Trott of BAA is just 16. Bell, Swan and Trott were all in the Bermuda Under-18 squad that recently played in Florida.
The senior squad has been picked with the future in mind, with the bulk of the players under the age of 25. It is hoped that they will remain together for the 2016 Digicel Caribbean Cup and 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
“Maybe it’s time we get together collectively as coaches and say ‘this is the type of football we want to play’, ‘this is the type of behaviour we’re going to accept or not accept’. The tactics might be different but we should be able to identify our type of football, a player who has come out of our programme, a player with good character, good technique and who makes good decisions.”
The Bermuda coach has told his squad that he expects them to take the friendlies as seriously as any competitive game, and wants them to take the opportunity to show they deserve a place along side the likes of Wells, Lambe and Smith in the team that plays the Bahamas.
“The professional players are playing in a whole different environment and it is a whole different mindset, and what we have to do is show the professional players in these two games that we do have the right stuff, we do have the right commitment and we are prepared to be organised, which will inspire them to want to be a part of the team,” Bascome said.
Bascome has been working with a training squad of 25 players and is hoping to use as many of those players as possible for the Grenada matches.
“At least get them on the pitch at some point, but I’ll tell you I’m going out to win, or at least not lose,” he said.
“Every player will be important, even the players on the bench because they give you another option.”
Tomorrow’s match starts at 8.30pm at the National Sports Centre, with Sunday’s game kicking off at 3pm.
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