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Under-19s ‘good enough’ to reach World Cup

Interim head coach Irving Romaine has high expectations for Bermuda at next month’s Under-19 World Cup regional qualifiers in Canada.

The former senior national squad skipper believes that the selectors have assembled a solid nucleus of players capable of securing the sole qualifying spot up for grabs for next year’s Under-19 competition in United Arab Emirates.

Bermuda will face off with regional powerhouses Canada and USA in a round-robin tournament which will see the eventual winners advance.

“For me the expectation is definitely high and I would like to see them win the tournament,” he said. “Dealing with USA and Canada will always be a tough bid because they are the so-called big guns of the Americas. But we should fare well with the team that we have.”

Despite his players’ tenders years, Romaine says Bermuda’s squad is very experienced.

“It’s definitely a mature team because you have several players that have already played a lot of senior cricket in their young years,” he said.

Among the most seasoned players in the squad are Tre Manders, Kamau Leverock, Onias Bascome and Delray Ralwins who are currently based in the UK.

“It’s always a plus having guys that have been learning their trade overseas,” Romaine said. “Hopefully they will come back and have a good tournament and help carry some of the younger guys in the squad.”

Bermuda will be led in Toronto by Somerset all-rounder Joshua Gilbert who Romaine reckons is the ideal man for the job.

“Joshua is a very good choice for captain because he’s a natural born leader,” added Romaine, who captained Bermuda at the 2007 ICC World Cup in the West Indies. “He is very mature beyond his years so he’s a good choice as a leader.”

Romaine believes Gilbert’s vast experience playing Associate cricket at youth levels will be a huge asset at next month’s tournament to be held at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Toronto.

“Joshua knows a lot of the players from attending the Americas camps as well as playing for so long at the Under-19 level and Under-15 levels. He’s basically grown up against his opposition so he has a good understanding of what’s going on.”

Romaine, who was handed the reins of the team after Head Coach Clevie Wade became unavailable for the upcoming tour, feels privileged to have been given the opportunity to coach his country.

“Its definitely an honour to coach your country and always a pleasure to help my country in any way,” he said. “Coaching and dealing with the youth is definitely one of the things I enjoy doing.”

Romaine is familiar with his players, many whom he has taught as a schoolteacher.

“Having taught most of these guys and knowing them has helped a lot,” he said. “I already have the respect from them so it’s basically been a matter of just getting down to business since I came in.”

Romaine reckons the key to success will hinge largely on his players’ mental approach.

“I’m basically working on the players’ attitudes to get them ready for international cricket,” he said. “Clevie and coach Moore (former National Coach David Moore) laid the ground work so now it’s getting them working on a game plan and getting their mindset prepared to play a tough mental game.”

Interim Bermuda Under 19 Head Coach Irving Romaine and team skipper Joshua Gilbert pictured together during a practise session at the National Sports Centre earlier this week (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published June 21, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm)

Under-19s ‘good enough’ to reach World Cup

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