Manders relishing new challenge at Barracuda
Bermuda midfielder Taurean Manders is braced for a challenging debut season at his new club Antigua Barracuda in the United Soccer Leagues Pro League.
Manders recently signed for the Caribbean side after leaving York Region Shooters due to concerns the Canadian Soccer League (CSL) wasn’t moving in the right direction.
The 26-year-old, who previously spent a season at CSL side Capital City, said he jumped at the chance to join Barracuda as soon as he discovered they were interested in him.
“I was on the verge of going back to Canada until I got the call that (Barracuda) were interested in me,” said former the North Village utility man.
“It was a quick turnover and within a few days of the initial call I had the papers to sign.
“I joined up with the team after their first game and have played two games in the league, starting one.”
Barracuda, who formed in 2010 and play in the third tier of the American soccer pyramid, have struggled so far this season, losing their opening five league matches.
They did, however, show signs of improvement during the first round of the CFU Club Championships in Trinidad, where they lost 3-1 to Caledonia AIA before drawing 0-0 with W Connection.
“I’ve only just returned from Trinidad playing in the CFU Club Championship. It wasn't the best (trip) in regards to results but the team looked better than the first few games of the season,” said Manders, whose brother Tre is a national team cricketer.
“It has been a tough start but we have a young team and mostly guys from Antigua.”
Manders, who is based in the US as Barracuda are having to play their entire season on the road, has been deployed as an attacking midfielder by coach Fernando Abraham — a role he performed during his younger days.
“All Barracuda’s games are away this season so that’s a lot of travelling. I may see Antigua two or three times this season for about a week each time,” added Manders.
“For the most part we are in the US; it’s a little different but it’s a good experience for me.
“I’m playing as an attacking midfielder at the moment which is not unfamiliar territory for me — I have played there growing up.
“But we need to sharpen up the midfield a bit, so we will see what happens.”
Manders said he hopes to represent Bermuda at the NatWest Island Games on home soil this summer.
“There has been some communication with the BFA on the Island Games; it looks positive so we’ll see how things develop. I should be available.”