Coke hopeful of making Games squad
Ian Coke hopes to be a light for those who play for the smaller clubs in Bermuda as he bids to be selected for Bermuda national team’s NatWest Island Games squad.
The Games, set to be held on local soil this summer, is the premier competition for small islands like Bermuda to showcase their talent.
Playing for a First Division side isn’t easy for any player looking to get into their national squad, but Coke’s performances haven’t gone unnoticed with the hierarchy of the Bermuda Football Association (BFA).
Coke, along with Shayne Hollis, helped Hamilton Parish win their third successive Shield title on New Year’s Day at the National Sports Centre (NSC), beating Somerset Eagles 1-0.
“Just being given this chance is great, not only for myself but also to those who play for smaller clubs on the Island to be acknowledged for our efforts so far in the season is great,” said Coke.
“When you get called up to play for your country and try to make the grade and put on your country’s colours it is an honour and it shows that hard work does pay off.”
Coke was one a slew of Bermudians who represented Cape Breton University in Canada including Keishen Bean, Seion Darrell and fellow Parish favourite Hollis.
The experience was good for the striker, with the physicality and harsh nature of the elements overseas being different from those locally.
With a squad of 36 local players fighting to gain a spot with the side, Coke believes there is enough talent on Island to win the Games.
“Being overseas has helped me in terms of being involved in a much more physical league, but I was motivated and again it shows that hard work pays off.
“This selection has a lot of talent, and coming with the rest of the team that can also be involved in terms of players still overseas and competition, everyone wants to be involved so it will be interesting to see who gets selected and how the process works out.”
The selection process continues next week at the BFA Field where the second of three trial matches will be hosted.