Darlington manager praises Bermuda pair
Alun Armstrong, the Darlington manager, says he is impressed by the progress that Bermudian pair Osagi Bascome and Justin Donawa have made since joining the Vanarama National League North club.
Bascome has thrived playing as a central midfielder while Donawa has also made an impact, despite primarily coming off the bench as a substitute in the early stages of the season.
“I think they have surprised a lot of people with how they’ve adapted and what I like about them is that they’ve taken on instructions really well,” Armstrong told the Northern Echo.
“Osagi was already here from last season and people didn’t really know what he was like. I needed to have a look at him in training and he was really good, but it was a case of getting him to play the way we want in matches.
“He has taken that on board. It has taken him time to adapt to not playing at a slow pace, and he enjoys keeping the ball, but all I ask him to do is to try and move it forward instead of backwards, and I mean passing it, not lumping it.
“He’s been a nice little link between the back-four and the midfield and surprised quite a few people.
“He’s only a young kid, that’s what people have got to remember. Same with Justin.”
Armstrong says what strikes him most about Carifta Games gold medal-winner Donawa is his “raw pace”.
“I knew what Justin had when he came, he had raw pace and he is improving all the time in training,” he added. “It’s the end product we’re working on, you cannot buy or teach that pace he has, it’s about getting him to use it as often as he can.”
Bascome and Donawa featured in Darlington’s 2-0 league at home to Southport in their club’s previous outing and are expected to be included in Armstrong’s squad for today’s trip to Altrincham.
The pair were also members of Bermuda’s squad that competed at this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup and have earned another call-up to international duty for the upcoming Concacaf Nations League A Group B fixtures against Panama and Mexico.
“Justin and Osagi will miss Blyth and Gloucester, which we have known was going to happen,” Armstrong said. “There’s another call-up in October as well.”
Bermuda will play home and away fixtures against Mexico and Panama who both qualified for the World Cup in Russia last year.
Kyle Lightbourne’s team will host Panama in their tournament opener at the National Sports Centre on September 5 before making the trip to the Central American country for the away fixture on September 8.
The home and away fixtures against Mexico will take place October 7 to 15. League A is split into four pools of three with the winner of each advancing to the semi-finals. The bottom team in each pool will be relegated to League B.
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