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Parish eager to face former coach

Former Parish coach Smith, left

Playing against their former coach Kieshon Smith should provide Hamilton Parish’s players with extra incentive against Somerset Trojans in tomorrow’s Dudley Eve Trophy group match at Bernard Park.

Cymande Davis, the Parish assistant coach who is in charge of the team in Phillip Burgess’s absence, hopes a victory will get some momentum going after Monday’s opening loss to PHC Zebras at St John’s Field. Both Parish and Devonshire Cougars will be eliminated if they fail to win.

“I think a few of the players are up for it, I’ve been hearing some talk [about Smith] but I don’t get involved in that,” Davis said. “I’m just trying to make sure we’re prepared for Sunday. I want to get a result to give the guys confidence going into the season. It’s been an open book for everybody, new faces, new people in charge and we had to settle them down a little bit.”

Tomorrow’s matches were originally scheduled for today but they clashed with the Gombey Extravaganza at the nearby WER Joell Tennis Stadium, forcing the Bermuda Football Association’s Competitions Committee and Executive Council to switch the matches.

Dandy Town, the Dudley Eve Trophy holders, will play Cougars in a group B match at 3pm, while Trojans will meet Parish in a group A game at 5pm.

“Our priority is to get the team together, there was a big exodus so now we’re trying to mix it with the older guys and the younger guys,” Davis said.

“This week we had a very good training session from everybody, we’ve got a small squad so we’re pretty much going to need everyone. Not a lot of guys are known so it’s a nice ‘quiet’ squad.”

As well as the players who departed such as Shayne Hollis, Zenawi Bowe, Calin Maybury, Coolridge Durham, Angelo Cannonier, Casey Castle and Ijahmon Mallory, Parish will also be missing captain Chris Caisey who is nursing an injury.

Ernest Signor, formerly of Dandy Town and St George’s Colts, is a new signing who will bring some experience to the defence.

“A few of our senior players weren’t there and one or two of our youngsters, so the guys who filled in did a very good job,” said Davis of the 1-0 defeat to Zebras.

“I’m upbeat this week, I wouldn’t say the loss didn’t mean anything, but I got a lot out of the game in that they showed me they can play.

“Chris got a knock in training a couple of weeks ago and I’m going to rest him until the start of the [league] season. He’s the captain so we definitely need him back.”

Parish were involved in the title race last season before fading late in the campaign and finishing fifth as Trojans went on to clinch the title.

They will be giving exposure to some of their youngsters this season as they try to match last term’s accomplishments.

“I think Phillip has done a good job with the young players coming through,” Davis said. “Some of them are just starting to come out and there’s a lot more faces that we haven’t seen, with a few involved in cricket.

“I feel we’ll be ready for the first league game of the season [against Devonshire Colts].

“I know from previously playing in this tournament that you have to win the first game, so now we’re on the back foot and still have to win if we want to go through.”