Bean revelling in return to Village
Keishen Bean had settled back into familiar surroundings at North Village and enjoying his football again after a season at BAA.
Going back to Bernard Park was an easy decision for the veteran striker, after BAA withdrew from the league in the summer when 23 players sought transfers a couple of months after Kenny Thompson’s return to Village as coach was confirmed.
Thirteen of those players followed Thompson to Village, including Bean, his godson.
“I joke with the boys a lot. I tell them that somebody had to go over to BAA to get Kenny, so I might have been the sacrificial lamb,” Bean said.
Some Village fans were left disgruntled when hearing of Bean’s move to BAA last season, especially after he netted 19 goals in the league to help them finish sixth in their first season back to the top flight. Village missed their former captain’s goals as they ended the season in eighth place and failed to qualify for the Dudley Eve Trophy.
Things are starting to change, however, with Village leading the Premier Division standings and unbeaten after seven games. Bean has netted five goals this campaign, including last weekend’s only goal in the game against Southampton Rangers, a penalty.
“At this point, we’re taking it a game at a time, but with the squad we have, and obviously the coach we have, we are in a position to win some games and hopefully some cups,” said the 32-year-old.
“Right now, I think it’s a good moment for North Village, even the youth programme is flourishing and having an effect on the whole club because it’s a feel-good factor.”
Thompson is influencing the youngsters at the club just like he has been an influence on Bean over the years.
“I followed Kenny up to Somerset Eagles for a season and followed him over to BAA for a season,” Bean said of Thompson, whose first stint at Village was back in 1997 when he was the football director.
“Kenny was actually the one who brought me to North Village initially and that’s where I stayed, although he eventually moved on.
“For us to reunite at North Village is really making me have a really good season. It was an easy choice for me. I love North Village and obviously love Kenny Thompson. He brings a certain level of professionalism for one thing.
“He was a coach in the 1990s as well and made a point that he feels even better as a coach now. Randy Spence was the head coach last year and now he’s the assistant to Kenny, so that’s a lot of experience. With the amount of experience that we have around the club there is no reason why we shouldn’t be fighting for all the honours.”
Bean, who missed out on the MVP award in the last two season to PHC players, is back enjoying his football, but conceded he no longer has aspirations of playing for his country.
“The last two seasons I have come up short in the MVP, I lost to Marco Warren and last year I lost to Tre Ming This year I’m pushing for that, giving it my all,” added Bean.
“As for the national team, I’ve put that behind me mainly because I have two children now to keep me very busy. But I like where Bermuda is right now with a coach like Kyle Lightbourne who I had a lot of experience with at the Bermuda Hogges.
“I feel those guys are heading in a direction where us older guys can allow those guys to flourish.
“I miss playing against teams like El Salvador and Guatemala, but if you really love your team you have to have enough humility to step aside.”
Bean captained the team in his last match for Bermuda, against French Guiana in March 2016 when Bermuda won 2-1 at the National Sports Centre in a Caribbean Cup second round match. In the return match in late May, he was unavailable and Reggie Lambe captained the team.
“It was very clear that I had made a contribution and Lightbourne respected that,” Bean stated.
Tomorrow, Village take on X-Roads in a Friendship Trophy preliminary tie, with the winners away to Southampton Rangers in the quarter-finals next weekend.
In the other match, Devonshire Cougars go up against neighbours Boulevard. Vance Brown, the Cougars coach, is not taking anything for granted despite Boulevard’s ten-game losing run.
“We’re looking forward to it, it is going to be a tough match and my guys are ready,” Brown stated.
“It’s 11 versus 11 on the day.They’ve picked up a few new players I’ve heard, so I’m expecting a good game.”
Cougars sit in the mid-table in the league with their best chance of silverware probably coming in one of the cup competitions.
“We’re just going to try to win every game that we can and see what comes out of it at the end of the season,” Brown added.
“I think if results had gone another way, we could be even closer to the top than what we are. But we’re not far off. We have a game in hand (Robin Hood) and hopefully if we can get positive results in our next two league matches it could put us right into the thick of things.”
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