Stick to game plan and we can thrive, says Robinson
Cecoy Robinson, the Bermuda Under-17 coach, says his players are champing at the bit to compete at the Concacaf Under-17 Championship in Bradenton, Florida, next month
The PHC Zebras and Bermuda forward has been putting his players through their paces in preparation for the regional tournament, which will be staged at the IMG Academy campus from May 1 to 16.
“The players are all definitely up for it,” Robinson said. “They are all hungry and ready to play, so it’s just a matter of everybody sticking together and getting the job done.”
The bulk of Bermuda’s squad is based in England and United States, among them the likes of Arnezha Astwood, Jai Bean, Nahje Smith and Seke Spence.
“We actually have quite a few players that are abroad and are doing well,” Robinson added.
“Obviously, it’s a bit difficult not having the majority of the players on island so we’ve worked with what we can. It’s just been a matter of taking advantage of those moments when we have the overseas-based players on island and making sure we get to see as many of them as we can.
“A lot of players have come back on holiday over the last two weeks so we have been able to work with them and it has been really good having the majority back on island.”
Bermuda have been pitted in group E with Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and defending champions Mexico.
Robinson’s team will begin their campaign against Trinidad before facing Mexico and Jamaica in their remaining matches.
The top three teams in the group will advance to the knockout stage.
“We definitely have good confidence that we will be able to get out of the group,” Robinson said. “It’s just a matter of sticking to our game plan and trying to execute on the day. Football is played on the pitch and these boys are up for it.”
Group F includes the United States, Canada, Guatemala and Barbados, with Honduras, Haiti, El Salvador and Guayana making up group G and Costa Rica, Panama, Surinam and Curaçao in group H.
There is plenty at stake for the participating nations as the semi-finalists will automatically qualify for the Under-17 World Cup to be held in Brazil in from September 17 to October 8.
The top three finishers in each of the groups will join the winners of groups A, B, C and D from the qualifiers — Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe and Puerto Rico — in the round of 16.
Mexico won their third straight Under-17 Championship and seventh overall after beating United States 5-4 on penalties in the final of the previous tournament held in Panama in 2017.
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