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National team set to name Island Games squad

National Academy director Richard Todd believes national team coaches have a tough task on their hands in selecting the Island Games team that will represent Bermuda.

Todd, along with coach Andrew Bascome and assistant Dennis Brown will meet today to thrash out a squad of local players that will begin training in the coming weeks in preparation for the competition that will be held on local soil.

The Island Games is scheduled to take place July 13 to 19 and includes countries worldwide competing in various sports.

Trimming the squad from the 36 players that were originally selected to try out to half that number will be a daunting task, but Todd is confident a solid selection will take place.

Bascome and Brown identified the initial list of local-based players they are keen to evaluate over the next few months.

“There is a lot of talent, both with the local contingent and the overseas players, but we have to formulate our local base before we can look at the foreign players,” said Todd.

“Obviously the overseas players are either based in an academy, university or at a club so we will assess them and their availability after we select our local pool.

“The training squad will be confirmed tomorrow (Wednesday) with the coaching staff and in the coming weeks players will be identified. We have deadlines to meet as the competition gets closer, of course we have to find out about the overseas guys relatively soon and may not be able to play due to preseason with their respective clubs.”

Once announced and training, the coaching staff will then cast their eye to the international contingent that could possibly suit up for Bermuda.

Top players such as Nahki Wells, Jonte Smith, Dale Eve, Freddy Hall, Khano Smith, Taurean Manders and others will be in contention for the Games, with countries allowed to include professionals in their squad. Their availability will be confirmed before naming the final squad early this summer.

The coaching staff reserve the right to invite additional players into the training pool following the conclusion of the trial matches including overseas-based players at schools and academies.

Coach Bascome previously stated that he was particularly interested in running the rule over players who had not previously been involved in the national set-up, including the younger players coming into the squad.

“We have a good balance of senior players and younger players coming through the academy and you need to have the youthfulness of the youngster in the team to give them a chance to perform and show their talent,” said Todd.

“Coach Bascome is pleased with what he has seen, the players are taking in his instructions so it will be a very interesting conversation about what players will form the basis of the side. This is a good build up for the next World Cup qualifiers and we can start to turn the page in terms of the national team

“We have a list of all our overseas pros, at the moment I know Khano is more into his coaching than playing but well look at him and see how far in he is to playing, but we also have Nahki, Taurean, Freddy, Reggie and so forth.

“What we will do is see their availability for the time that the Games are on and we will go from there. We would like to have our strongest team available.”

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Published February 06, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 05, 2013 at 7:32 pm)

National team set to name Island Games squad

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