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Jonte ‘leading by example’ says coach

Bermuda coach Andrew Bascome has praised ‘workaholic’ Jonte Smith for leading by example in training and hopes he has inspired his team-mates to match his level of commitment.

The Crawley Town striker is expected to make his national team debut in their friendly against England C a select team of top non-league players at the National Sports Centre.

Smith, 18, made a handful of substitute appearances for League One side Crawley last season.

He also banged in 24 goals, including two hat-tricks, in 19 games during a prolific loan spell at Ryman Premier League side Metropolitan Police.

And Bascome, who will take charge of his first national team game on home soil, believes Smith has the right attitude to make the most of his undoubted talent.

“Jonte Smith has been fantastic and really raised the bar in training, both on and off the pitch,” said the former Robin Hood coach.

“He’s hard working, goes about his business, never gives up and has an excellent touch.

“When we do the physical work he’s always pushing himself and is very attentive and takes criticism well.

“Jonte’s a very good character and I wish him well for his future endeavours.”

Bermuda’s domestic players have for too long relied on talent to get them by, according to Bascome, who wants to see his team marry hard work and commitment to their natural gifts.

“Talent alone is not enough,” said Bascome, “it’s also about hard work and commitment.

“We have to realise in this country that talent is only enough to get us by from Sunday to Sunday. It’s not enough in the bigger scheme of things it’s not enough against a team like England C.”

Bascome is braced for a stern test against England C and has urged his team to keep their discipline, especially when they are not in possession of the ball.

“There’s not going to be as much ball turnover as when we play domestically and that will be something new for some of our guys,” he said.

“I think one of the biggest challenges will be how we stay disciplined when we don’t have possession.

“We’re going to have to stay organised, keep the distance between the lines, have good positive communication and make good use of the ball.”

Bermuda will use the match to prepare for next month’s NatWest Island Games a competition they are red-hot favourites to win.

Bascome added: “I feel the players are responding well and tonight will be a good test to see just how well they have been taking in the information.

“It will be good to see how we adapt against a higher level team.

“Having the Island Games around the corner should keep the players focused and motivate them to keep training hard.

“I know they want to represent the country well.”

Bermuda's Jonte Smith

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Published June 04, 2013 at 9:12 am (Updated June 04, 2013 at 9:12 am)

Jonte ‘leading by example’ says coach

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