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Boyles: I wasn't first choice coach

Devarr Boyles has admitted he wasn't even his own first choice to become the new head coach of the Bermuda national team.

Bermuda Hogges boss Maurice Lowe and Scott Morton had been the obvious choices, according to Boyles, but neither were available for the duration of the World Cup qualifiers due to work commitments.

With Lowe and Morton both ruled out, Boyles the National Academy's only full-time coach emerged as the most viable alternative to take charge.

“I wasn't the first option and the choice was really made along the lines of availability,” said Boyles, who is also the Bermuda Football Association's (BFA) youth director.

“The obvious candidates were Scott and Maurice who have both coached Bermuda Hogges. However, there's a strain from what their employers can support, and while I wouldn't say I got the job by default, I guess I then became an option.”

Boyles believed it was important for the hiring of the head coach to be an in-house appointment so to maintain continuity. However, he said the BFA had checked on the availability of several coaches to help out during the qualifiers including Dennis Brown who has been named as an assistant.

“The appointment was always going to be from within but we're still attracted to coaches outside the National Academy because we need to more staff,” said Boyles, who formerly coached Dandy Town and Cougars.

“Anyone who comes in, though, would still have to agree on the structure already in place, follow through with our syllabus and ever-evolving game style. Hopefully more people will become attracted to what we're trying to do. We've polled several local coaches with World Cup experience but most of them have a lot on their plates with their club commitments and jobs.

"We could go through Richard Todd, Kenny Thompson and Shaun Goater, but they all have lots of responsibilities."

While Boyles is aware his appointment has raised some eyebrows, he is more than confident in his coaching ability and is excited about the challenge ahead.

“Some people don't like the bus we're riding on, some people don't like the conductor, some people have a seat on the bus but want a seat further forward I get all that,” he said. “But it's a spot I'm enjoying and I'm looking forward to this.”

Boyles may have already settled on his provisional squad for the opening two qualifiers but he insists places could still be up for grabs for the later games.

“There are still some players on the fence who we are looking at,” said Boyles. “Certain players may be out of the squad for the September matches but then there's the October games, the November games.”

As part of a cost-cutting exercise, the BFA are trying to switch their second qualifier, a home match against Guyana on September 6, to an away game. That would enable them to head straight to Guyana from Trinidad, their Caribbean neighbours, who Bermuda play next Friday. “It's not etched in stone yet, but we're working through all of the logistics of switching the Guyana game from home to away,” Boyles said.

“It's close but it's not quite there. A lot depends on the availability of stadiums and hotels; we also have to check on availability of our players.

“Hopefully it all comes together. It could see us play three successive away games, which will be tough, but then we'll finish with three homes games. Our aim is to still be in the competition after the first two games.”

Trinidad warmed up for their match against Bermuda with a 3-0 win over India at home on Sunday.

Devarr Boyles ¬ Photo by Mark Tatem

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Published August 23, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 23, 2011 at 9:54 am)

Boyles: I wasn't first choice coach

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