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Todd plays down Village’s title chances

Richard Todd, the new North Village coach, has assembled an enviable squad for the upcoming Premier Division season after picking up several impressive summer signings.

Todd has attracted some of the Island's top players to Bernard Park, with Keston Lewis joining from relegated Flanagan's Onions, Shayne Hollis switching from Hamilton Parish, and Drewonde Bascome making the short move from Devonshire Cougars.

The new captures have added depth to already strong squad, although Todd, the former Bermuda Football Association National Academy technical director, has called for patience during his first season at the club while the new players settle in.

Other signings include Bermuda Under-18 defenders Zenawi Bowen and Azende Furbert from Hamilton Parish and Dandy Town, and goalkeeper Nathan Trott from BAA, while goalkeeper Troy Hall and Rakeem DeShields have both left the club, reportedly to join PHC.

“I've heard many people saying ‘North Village are the favourites' but my reminder to them is you have a new coach coming in, new players to be integrated and there's a difference between having good players and being a good team,” Todd said.

“That's the challenge for us right now, pulling everybody together, so from those aspects I would say the Dandy Towns, Somersets and PHCs are the pre-season favourites because they are pretty established teams.

“There is promise with the talent pool that we have but it's going to take some time. I just want the players and fans to be patient, but having said that I do understand that there is a degree of pressure that comes with coaching a club like Village.”

Other clubs had shown interest in Todd, who has been out of club coaching since leaving St George's three years ago, but he said the opportunity to join Village, his boyhood club, was too good an opportunity to turn down.

“I wanted to make sure of their visions and goals and that they had the resources to meet those goals,” he said.

“Village was the best fit at the right time; it's a big programme and I think I was interested in them several years back before I went to St George's as coach.

“It's good to be back involved at the club level in terms of preparing a team week in, week out, which is a significant difference.

“But it is also a challenge as well because you're back into the club atmosphere and the challenges that go along with that.”

Todd will have Irving Romaine as his assistant coach, with former Village stalwart Joe Trott performing the role of a technical adviser.

“We have a strong group of players and would like to play free-flowing, attacking football, but I think it's important to establish a little more steel to the side in terms of defending,” said Todd, who has replaced Ralph Bean Jr at the helm.

“Last year, Village were one of the worst teams in the league in terms of goals conceded and had one of the worst home records.

“Certainly Village will want to be back among the top four, qualifying for the Dudley Eve competition and putting ourselves in position where we can challenge for honours.”

Village finished seventh in the top flight last season, four points above the relegation zone.

Dampening expectations: Todd, left, alongside Stephen Coddington, the North Village president

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Published August 19, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 19, 2015 at 10:25 am)

Todd plays down Village’s title chances

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