Astwood and Hill impress Oakville
The Oakville Blue Devils have taken steps to bring in Jahquil Hill and Arnezha Astwood.
The Bermudian footballers were invited to train with the League1 Ontario champions during their recent trip to the island, with goalkeeper Hill also impressing during the visiting side’s 3-1 defeat by a Bermuda National Select at the National Stadium last Thursday.
Hill has been extended an offer to join the Blue Devils while Astwood has been invited to travel to Ontario and train with the club.
“They [Oakville] were very impressed with Jahquil and wanted to have another look at him in training and were again impressed,” said Dennis Brown, the co-founder and president of the Brazilian Football School and Robin Hood youth technical director.
“It’s up to him to make a decision. Arnezha equally impressed in the training session on Saturday morning and is in the process of arranging a date to go up and train with them for an extended period.
“This is a huge opportunity and could become a stepping stone for where these guys want to go in their careers because [Oakville] are connected to people all over the world.
“Hopefully they take advantage of what’s happening now because tomorrow may never come.”
Hill, 21, had fallen out of favour at English non-League side Rushall Olympic and has been in Bermuda since returning from international duty in the Caribbean last month.
Astwood, 16, scored twice on his Premier Division debut for Robin Hood this season.
The Blue Devils clinched their spot in the 2018 Canadian Championship after winning the League1 Ontario final last October.
This season will be the first time that they are entered into the Canadian Championship.
In 2017, the championship featured five clubs across three rounds, with Major League Soccer side Toronto FC winning the Voyageurs Cup and qualifying for Concacaf Champions League.
This year, the championship will feature seven teams.
The Blue Devils completed their two-match trip of the island with 2-1 win over a Premier Division All-Star Select in the Bermuda Triangle Cup at Goose Gosling Field on Sunday.
The visit served as a part of the visiting side’s preseason preparations while also helping prepare Bermuda for their Concacaf Nations League qualifying matches this year.
“It was an opportunity for all the players out there,” said Cal Blankendal, the former Bermuda Football Association first vice-president, who helped organise the tour.
“I saw opportunities for players in high school that played their first senior international game, players that have never played for Bermuda or may never who got to play and players that haven’t played in the national team for a number of years who got a chance to play.
“It’s a great opportunity for all players.”
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