Elkinson adds depth to Bascome’s defence
Kilian Elkinson has returned to Bermuda to boost their World Cup qualifying campaign and will be pushing for a start in their first leg second-round tie against Guatemala on Friday.
Elkinson, 25, has spent the past ten years in Canada, where he had a stint at Toronto FC and is presently playing for the University of Toronto.
The Bermuda-born defender, who played for PHC Zebras and North Village’s junior teams, has ventured further up the field for his university side, scoring 11 goals in ten games last season as a striker.
However, he will be challenging for the left back berth with Jalen Harvey in Friday’s match in Guatemala City, having impressed in that position against Puerto Rico in last week’s friendly at the National Stadium.
“The coach [Andrew Bascome] wants me in defence, to stay tucked in and tight and do my defensive work,” Elkinson said.
“But as soon as we get the ball to go high, provide width, and create some chances going forward.”
Elkinson delivered a sound defensive display in his Bermuda debut against Puerto Rico, while also offering glimpses of his attacking instincts.
He said he had relished playing in front of a sizeable home crowd for the first time.
“It’s an honour, and I was really proud to go out there,” he said.
“It’s really great to be back here; the coach is great, the fans are great — it’s a great experience.
“I didn’t ever expect to play in front of a crowd like this back home. I thought we did well overall, we played some really good football at times. Unfortunately it was quite windy, so maybe we were struggling to connect with some passes.
“We played some solid football and had a good defensive performance, so it’s promising going into the Guatemala game.”
During his time at university, Elkinson has claimed the OAU East Division Most Valuable Player, made first team all-Canadian, as well as being selected to Canada’s Interuniversity team, which will compete in the Summer Universiade in South Korea next month.
“When I was younger I was a striker, I liked scoring goals,” Elkinson said. “That’s really the toughest task and what most good players do, and that’s always what I liked doing.
“I think in Bermuda someone said when I was kid, ‘he’s left-footed, put him at left back’. I’m more of a technical player at left back, and they liked the attacking element you can add to a defensive position.
“At university they decided it would be better to push me closer to the goal, to be more offensive and create attacking opportunities.
“I played left midfield, but I was always asking my coach to play me as a striker. Finally he did, and I did well there.”
Bascome heaped praise on Elkinson after his encouraging start to international football.
“Kilian is a good player,” Bascome said. “You put Kilian on the field and you don’t have to worry about him.
“He does his job and keeps it simple. He’s a very disciplined footballer.”
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