Lightbourne gives youth a chance
Bermuda coach Kyle Lightbourne will have seven members of the Under-20 national team in a National Select squad of 19 for tomorrow’s opening match in the Elite Men’s Cup against the Oakville Blue Devils at the National Sports Centre, which kicks off at 8pm.
The squad consists mainly of local-based players, along with the youth players, some still in high school like goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt, Keishon Bean, D’Andre Wainwright and Jahkeylo Burgess. The match will assist both the Bermuda senior and under-20 men’s teams in their preparation for this year’s Concacaf Nations League and Under-20 Concacaf Championships.
PHC have the bulk of the players — nine — while college pair Aaron Spencer and Jarye Bean, of X-Roads, will both get their first taste of senior national team action. The semi-professional Blue Devils are the Ontario League 1 Champions of 2017 and will continue their preseason preparations with the two matches in Bermuda before their season starts a week later.
They are due to arrive in Bermuda today and will play their second match on Sunday afternoon at the Goose Gosling Field at 3pm against the BFA Premier League All-Star Select. That team will be coached by Scott Morton, of Premier Division champions PHC Zebras, who will be assisted by Kwame Steede, of Dandy Town Hornets, and Robert Lee, of promoted Paget Lions.
“Preparation is going good, Oakville arrive tomorrow [today] and will be training immediately, so they are serious about this two match series,” said Cal Blankendal of Bermuda Sports Management Group, who are hosting the tour. “This will be the final preparation prior to the start of their 20-18 season and they are looking for good competition and they want to go back with the proper results so they can start their season off on a high note. There is a lot of talk in the community about persons planning to attend the match and we ask that they come out to support the national team and also the Premier League All-Star players.”
Blankendal added: “It is not only a two-match series but is about developing the elite players in the under-20 and national team. There are maybe three youngsters just coming up in the Premier League and now have an opportunity to play at a higher level.
“It is all about developing Bermuda’s players through a partnership with the Bermuda Football Association, the Bermuda Sports Management Group and Bermuda’s Brazilian Football School. All we need now is for the fans to come out into the stands.
“The Blue Devils are wearing blue but this time we will wear red which is our home colours, so make us feel at home by wearing red. Lets prepare now for the Concacaf Nations League. Kyle Lightbourne will be using this match to bring in some new players and giving others an opportunity for a final show before the big matches start.
“Oakville are the defending champions and are also in the Canadian Open Cup and some players are hoping to get picked up by an MLS team or an even higher ranked team around the world.”
The Premier Select squad will feature 20 players from the top six teams in the Premier Division and the two promoted sides in the First Divisions. PHC, who won four trophies, have five players selected while runners-up Robin Hood have four players and Dandy Town three players. BAA and Paget will each have one player representing them.
National Select Jahquil Hill, Quinaceo Hunt, Casey Castle, Donte Brangman, Marco Warren, Jaylon Bather, Na’eem Griffith, Keishon Bean, Cecoy Robinson, Lejuan Simmons, Daren Usher, D’Andre Wainwright, Osagi Bascome, Aaron Spencer, Jarye Bean, Jahkeylo Burgess, Jenico Sealey, Jalun Hassell, Tehvan Tyrell.
All-Star Select Shaquille Trott, Kadeem Abraham, Marquel Waldron, Jaheim Iris, Idrees Sharrieff (PHC); Antoine Russell, Chris Caisey, Shakir Smith, Dale Eve (Robin Hood); Damon Ming, Ernest Trott, Angelo Simmons (Dandy Town), Pierre Smith, Demetre Daniels (North Village); Cashun Brangman, Juma Mouchette (Devonshire Cougars); Justin Corday, Jaz Ratteray Smith (Somerset Trojans); Ian Simmons (BAA), Julian Carpenter (Paget).
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