Butterfield-Steede a happy Harrier
J’Nai Butterfield-Steede is among a number of young Bermudian footballers developing their skills at the non-League level in England.
The 21-year-old left Bermuda at the age of seven in pursuit of a professional career and has made steady strides during his first season for Kidderminster Harriers’ under-23 side.
“I’ve had a good season so far, playing with the under-23 side,” said Butterfield-Steede, the son of former PHC Zebras defender Gregory Steede.
The midfielder’s progress has not gone unnoticed by the Vanarama National League North side’s coaching staff, who have occasionally invited him to train with the first-team.
“I’m training with the first team from time to time, which I didn’t expect so soon,” said Butterfield-Steede, who has scored six goals for the under-23s this term. “I must be doing something right, so I just need to keep doing the right things.
“My main goal is to play in the first team regularly. We have a new [interim] manager [James Shan], so I need to keep playing consistently well and just wait for my chance.”
Butterfield-Steede has thrived despite being deployed as a midfielder rather than his preferred wingback role.
“I’m enjoying learning to play there and being in England for so many years I’ve adapted my style of play here,” added Butterfield-Steede, who previously spent time at Ilkeston.
Butterfield-Steede’s football journey has not been without setbacks.
“My biggest challenge was being released from Brackley Town,” he said. “I was only there for half a season and wasn’t really given a chance. However, I’ve always wanted to be professional and the amount of setbacks I’ve had along the way has made me more hungry.”
Butterfield-Steede has had brief spells at a handful of non-League clubs after being released by Brackley Town, as well as an unsuccessful trial for Queens Park Rangers’ under-23 team. However, his fortunes took a turn for the better after being recruited by Kidderminster at the season of the season.
“From the coaching staff to the players, everyone gets along at the club,” Butterfield-Steede added. “I’m encouraged with the direction the club is heading due to the new manager. It’s refreshing, all the players have clicked with him and the first team are starting to play well more consistently.”
A major source of inspiration for Butterfield-Steede has been the progress of Milan Butterfield, his compatriot and cousin, who has thrived for Kidderminster’s first team as a midfielder.
“Having Milan there shows there’s a pathway into the first team,” Butterfield-Steede added.
Knory Scott, the Bermuda Under-20 forward, is also part of the Kidderminster under-23 and first-team squads.
“I play more regularly with Knory Scott with the under-23s,” Butterfield-Steede said. “He’s now getting on the substitutes’ bench and getting chances. I just have to keep working hard.”
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