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Village at full strength for CFU Club campaign

Shaun Goater will have his strongest squad available when North Village venture into the unknown for the club’s maiden CFU Club Championships campaign.

The Rams leave for Cayman Islands on Friday where they will play first round Group One games against George Town Sports Club and Elite Sports Club at the TE McField Playing Field.

Goater, Village’s head coach, believes his team couldn’t be in any better shape ahead of the region’s premier club tournament, having won their last four games, including a 5-2 thrashing of Premier Division champions Dandy Town.

“It was important for us to head into the competition full of confidence,” said Goater, whose side earned the right to play in the tournament by winning last season’s Premier Division.

“We earmarked the Dandy Town game as a big game for us and that victory has certainly given us a lot of confidence.

“We only found out about our CFU fixtures before the Dandy Town match and we knew that match would be a good test.

“Then we dealt with Somerset Trojans in a convincing way and we’re pleased to be going to Cayman Islands in the best possible form.”

Village have been boosted the availability of Canada-based college student Keishen Bean, who has plenty of experience of playing overseas both for the national team and Bermuda Hogges.

Also included in the squad will be promising youngsters Jahquan Smith-DeShields and Dakai Grant, while the only notable absentee is rookie defender Justin Sousa because of school commitments.

“Our experienced players have travelled away many times as international players and, although they will be representing North Village, ultimately we’re representing Bermuda,” said Goater.

“I’m sure they will speak to our younger guys and tell them what to expect those sorts of stories will be told while we’re travelling there.

“We have young guys like Dakai Grant and Jahquan DeShields travelling I’m sure they will be positive and excited about the whole thing. Hopefully the players can stay relaxed and don’t tense up on the big occasion.”

Should Village advance to the next stage as group winners or the best runners-up, they would meet Puerto Rico Islanders and Trinidad’s Caledonia and Elite Sports Club.

While Goater believes the Cayman teams might have the slight edge thanks to home advantage, he is confident the mouth-watering possibilities ahead will inspire in his charges.

“It could be a very exciting journey for the guys if we manage to get through this road. The only downside is that we are playing two Cayman sides who will have their supporters behind them; however, we expect the game to officiated right as the officials will be from other Islands,” he said.

“Once it become known the league champions could enter this competition I made it a goal for us to achieve.

“The club have never been in this competition and I never had the opportunity to travel with Village during my early days. Having got this far the aim is to try and take it to the next round. There’s a lot of football to be played and we need to earn the right to advance.”

Village, who celebrated their 55th anniversary this year, are the third club to represent Bermuda in the Caribbean in recent years after Dandy Town and Devonshire Cougars.

Rams take on George Town Sports Club on Sunday and Elite Sports Club on March 28.

(Photo by Glenn Tucker) North Village?s Keishan

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Published March 20, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 20, 2012 at 9:10 am)

Village at full strength for CFU Club campaign

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