Smith urges Hot Peppers to make the most of gentle start
Hamilton Parish coach Keishon Smith has backed his newly-promoted side to make a flying start to the Premier Division season — starting with a win over Somerset Trojans at home this weekend.
The Hot Peppers have strengthened the squad that won the First Division last season with the signings of experienced centre half Ijahmon Mallory from Trojans and midfielder Lorenzo Simmons, formerly of Dandy Town.
And Smith, who previously coached Devonshire Colts in the top-flight, is confident his side are primed to pit their wits against the Island's cream of the crop.
“We have had a good preseason and we're set and ready to go after the work we've put in over the past two years to get back here,” he said.
“I'm personally anxious to get on with things. Being back in top-flight, competing against the best teams on the island, is great for us and we want to test our wits against the best players in Bermuda.”
Following Sunday's game against Trojans at Wellington Oval, Parish host Wolves, then travel to St John's Field to face Hornets before welcoming Flanagan's Onions to the East End.
Like Parish, Smith believes Wolves, Trojans and Onions will have also set themselves a survival target, and will be hoping his team can take advantage of their relatively gentle start to the season.
“We have a manageable start to the season in regards to the season we play and it will shape up our season and how we will go about things,” he said.
“I was hoping that we could get to play a few of the teams that will have the same ambitions as us, which is survival, so to play the teams we do early is good for us.
“The Dandy Town match will be a measuring stick on how far of the top teams we are.
“If we can get a few wins at the start than it would be good plateau for whatever we can accomplish.
“I was very stringent in who I wanted to bring into the side, and to keep our key players is an added bonus.”
Parish take on Trojans at Wellington Oval at 3pm on Sunday.