Smith back in contention

Jonté Smith has made himself available for Bermuda’s crucial Concacaf Nations League qualifying match away to the Dominican Republic next March.

The Lewes striker missed the national team’s 1-0 upset over a heavily fancied El Salvador at the National Stadium last month through personal reasons and is now chomping at the bit to rejoin Kyle Lightbourne’s squad who remain in contention for a spot at next year’s Gold Cup.

“I am available for the next Nations League match,” Smith said.

Bermuda’s dream of competing at the Gold Cup next year in the United States received a boost after Nahki Wells’s second-half strike earned the island a famous victory over El Salvador.

“The win against El Salvador was a great result for the country,” Smith added. “It was a result that we know we needed and the team gave everything they had to get that result.

“I do wish that I could have been a part of the squad that got that result, but circumstances prevented me from being available to do so.”

Bermuda are seventh in the Concacaf Nations League standings and in a strong position with two wins from three games. The top ten teams advance to the Gold Cup, a competition the island has never previously reached.

“The expectation at this point is to qualify for the Gold Cup,” Smith said. “That’s what we’re aiming for and with the right result in the next match we can achieve that.

“I believe it’s in our hands. It’s up to us to deliver the performance.”

Bermuda will face the Dominican Republic at the Pan Americano Stadium on March 24.

Meanwhile, Smith scored his eleventh goal of the season in Lewes’s 5-0 rout of lowly Bostik League Premier Division rivals Brightlingsea Regent at the Dripping Pan on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old player headed in the home side’s fifth goal from close range on the stroke of half-time.

Lewes’s dominant display catapulted them to the top of the table for the first time in more than a decade on goal-difference over Dorking Wanderers.

“The season so far at Lewes has been better than I think anyone expected of us,” Smith said.

“We’ve exceeded the expectations of everyone and we know we have the capabilities to continue our consistency in our performances this year.”

Smith and his team-mates will look to extend their fine form of late during tomorrow’s home league fixture against Margate.

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Published Dec 14, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 13, 2018 at 10:56 pm)

Smith back in contention

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