Lessons learned in England thrashing
OUTPLAYED, outclassed and overwhelmed, Bermuda's national football team again exposed their deficiencies on Tuesday night and highlighted the gulf that exists between local and overseas sides.
England C, a team made up of non-league fifth/sixth tier players, taught a few lessons in the 6-1 thrashing.
Bermuda continues to produce talent in abundance but together rarely do they gel as a team.
That could be for a number of reasons.
Even under the umbrella of the Hogges, they get little time playing together.
Coach Andrew Bascome is afforded only a few weeks, sometimes less, to map out a game plan and assess which players are best utilised in their various positions.
With half of the team playing in the pro or semi-pro ranks abroad and skipper John Barry Nusum a retired pro, there might have been high hopes that this Bermuda squad could at least hold their own, perhaps beat the visitors — even without Nahki Wells who watched from the sidelines rather than risk injury before returning to Bradford City for pre-season training. City wouldn’t have released him anyway.
Would Wells have made much of a difference? Probably not given the Island team's leaky defence.
Undoubtedly he would have provided much-needed spark up front, but not enough to alter the final result significantly.
Cutting the deficit to just one goal before half-time, the local team capitulated once Forest Green Rovers’ James Norwood grabbed the first of his three goals.
It’s worth noting this was the first time that England C had ever played together as a unit.
While the game attracted a crowd of some 2,000, not for the first time home ground advantage counted for little.
It's strange that Bermuda often perform better overseas — victories over powerful sides such as El Salvador and Trinidad emphasised that point.
Now with Hogges folded — at least they've withdrawn from the US league in which they were competing — Bermuda won’t get much of a chance to rebound from Tuesday's defeat in their next international, whenever that may be.
Precious few friendlies here or overseas, and a dearth of competitive matches have done nothing to improve their world ranking, currently 164 (although it has been far worse).
However, even without a few of their overseas players on show, they should still start as favourites in next month's Island Games which will feature just four other islands, none of them known for their footballing prowess.
After that, football fans here will have to be content following the careers of Wells, Jonte Smith, Dale Eve and others who still have aspirations of making it in the big time.
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ELBOW BEACH might be Bermuda's largest and busiest sports 'field'.
It might be also the dirtiest.
Up until earlier this week the volleyball players, touch rugby players, beach football players, kite surfers, windsurfers, swimmers and everybody else who uses this prime piece of real estate, had to skip around everything left behind by an army of litterbugs.
The sole trash bin was overloaded — bottles, wrappers and plastic containers spewing across the sand — a mountain of rubbish had piled up some 50 yards from the public entrance, untouched for more than three months, and the beach hadn't been raked for more than six months.
I’ve had the 'pleasure' of walking/jogging across the sand a few times each week.
Why nothing has been done to clean up this mess remains a mystery? Why are there not more bins and why aren’t they emptied more often?
We spend millions of dollars attempting to attract tourists to our beaches but we can't spend a few hundred dollars to keep them clean.