Zebras dominate top awards
Like they did on the field, PHC Zebras dominated at the Bermuda Football Association awards last night at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, with midfielder Marco Warren voted the Premier Division’s Most Valuable Player.
Scott Morton was voted Coach of the Year after leading the team to four trophies in a single season for the first time since 1989-90 when they were the first team to achieve that feat. Defender Daren Usher won the Young Player of the Year award, while teenager Quinaceo Hunt, also of PHC, was voted the Goalkeeper of the Year.
Warren, 24, had another outstanding season for the Zebras after his “breakout” season last year. He was the leading goalscorer early in this campaign and maintained his form to help PHC win the league for a tenth time, as well as the Charity Cup, Dudley Eve Trophy and Friendship Trophy, a haul of 49 titles overall for the club since the league were merged.
“I’m really happy to win this trophy even though we didn’t get a shot at the last one,” said Warren, referring to the FA Cup which was won by Robin Hood after they knocked holders PHC out in the semi-finals.
“At the beginning of the season I wanted to shoulder more of the scoring load and be more aggressive as a scorer to help until the team get on our feet. I ended up with 20 goals and 20 assists for the season in all competitions.”
Warren praised his team-mates and coaches for their successful season. “I’m accepting the award by myself but it’s a team game, not just me,” he stressed.
“If my goalkeeper Quinaceo gets injured I couldn’t play in goal like him, right back like Daren [Usher] or a holding midfielder like Tre Ming.
“Everybody has a part to play and I was just trying to do mine. Last year’s FA final against North Village taught us how to win games and that was very important for this season.”
Warren, the son of former Boulevard and North Village midfielder Dwight “Payback” Warren, is now a key member of the Bermuda team and looking forward to the start of the Concacaf Nations League in September.
“I didn’t have a great game last night [against Oakville Blue Devils] but I’m definitely looking forward to the Nations League and just to play a big part in Bermuda football,” Warren said.
Father Dwight was nominated four times for the MVP award without winning it, but was there last night to see his son go one better.
“As a father I’m very proud of Marco, who was in college and then came back and had two seasons with PHC and won the Most Valuable Player,” he said. “It’s amazing and I’m very proud of him as a parent. He’s a very humble guy.
“When I playing for Boulevard I was nominated four times in a row but never won it. For him to come years later and win it, it does my heart good.”
Paget Lions, who were promoted along with BAA, also had a good night at the awards, with Dion Stovell, presently on tour with the Bermuda cricket team, winning the First Division MVP award, while Robert Lee was named Coach of the Year. Tahjae Welch, of Paget, was voted the Young Player of the Year and Jason Smith the First Division’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
Jaylon Bather, of Robin Hood, was named the Premier Division’s Defensive Player of the Year, while Tyrell Burgess, the BAA captain, was the First Division’s top defender.
Leading goalscorer in the Premier Division was Antwan Russell, of Robin Hood, although he suggested in his speech, that team-mate Lejuan Simmons might have scored more goals, based on calculations within the club.
Donovan Thompson, of St George’s, was the First Division’s leading scorer with 23 league goals.
Martin Wyer was named Referee of the Year, while Tashun Simons, named on the Fifa list this season, was the Young Referee of the Year and Jalun Hassell the Youth Referee of the Year.
Former West Bromwich Albion striker, Jason Roberts, who is now the Concacaf Director of Development, was the guest speaker at the awards. Roberts is the nephew of former striker Cyrille Regis.
Five football “Legends” were also recognised, including former Devonshire Colts and Bermuda captain Lorenzo Symonds, the late Carlyle Crockwell, a former top referee who died in 2015, former PHC and Bermuda defender Johnny Nusum and former goalkeepers Dennis Wainwright and Lew Simmons.
As well, five Order of Merit Awards were presented for long and dedicated service to football.
The awardees were Duane Dickinson, who is involved with national teams, sponsors Appleby and Llewellyn Wainwright, a North Village stalwart who still watches games in his mid-80s.
Also recognised was Doronda Smith, a long-time executive member of PHC and a former president, and Saleem Talbot who has played a key role in the development of X-Roads, who played in the Premier Division for the first time this season.
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