Fit-again Nusum ready to face Trini
John Barry Nusum has handed Bermuda a massive boost ahead of their World Cup qualifying showdown against Trinidad, declaring: “I’m fit and raring to go.”
Nusum was Trinidad’s chief tormentor when Bermuda shocked the Soca Warriors in their own backyard three years ago, scoring twice to leapfrog Shaun Goater as the Island’s top scorer in qualifiers.
The burly striker, who insists he has fully recovered from a long-term knee injury, is now ready to make a return to his happy hunting ground when the Gombey Warriors travel to Trinidad next month.
“I will always be available to represent my country if called upon.” said the former indoor soccer professional.
“I’m definitely interested so we will see what happens; I will be going training to see what’s going on.”
Nusum’s dressing room presence could be almost as important as his influence on the pitch, such is the esteem he is held in among his younger team-mates,.
Although he accepts he too will have to work hard for his starting place, regardless of his past achievements.
“It would be great to get back in the team, but at the same time I know there are a lot of younger guys that are hungry right now and want to be involved,” said the Wolves coach.
“Regardless of my name and so forth, I will still need to put in the work.”
Unsurprisingly, the 30-year-old has fond memories of Bermuda’s memorable 2-1 victory over Trinidad at the Marvin Lee Stadium in 2008, when he bruised and battered the Soca Warriors defenders to etch his name into the local football folklore.
Frustratingly for Nusum, he was carrying a hamstring injury in the return leg, which Bermuda lost 2-1, and was unable to repeat his heroics.
“Trinidad was a great time for all those involved we played well against them,” said Nusum.
“We all felt hard done by in the home leg, especially after they got the second goal, knowing the position we were in and that we’re heading to the next round.”
Nusum believes it’s of paramount importance the Bermuda Football Association names a new national team coach as soon as possible, with the Trinidad opener just a few weeks away.
“We’re on back foot in the sense that we haven’t named our coach or squad yet, but for the most part we have the necessary tools to go out and have a real go at getting to the next round,” he said.
“We shouldn’t feel inferior to anyone else in the group because we all start at the same position.”
n Former Trinidad captain and Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ledley (Skipper) Sedgley believes the Soca Warriors should have no trouble topping their preliminary qualifying group, which includes Bermuda, Barbados and Guyana.
“The fact Bermuda has beaten us in the past it would suggest for some reason they are not a very easy team for us to play as we may all think,” said 71-year-old Sedgley, who captained Trinidad during the 1970s.
“Barbados and Guyana on the other hand I would expect that their football would have improvedover the years just as we would expect our football to improve as well.
“But as I said the lack of friendly games and with the team not playing together is certainly going to have an impact on our performance.”
The highest-place team will advance to the third round of the qualifiers which will take place from June 8 to October 16, 2012. Should they progress, Bermuda would meet Mexico and Costa Rica in the next round.