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Bascome forced to make changes

Six new players have been drafted into the Bermuda squad for the team's trip to French Guiana for the rescheduled Caribbean Cup second-round match on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Dale Eve, striker Rai Simons, midfielder Kacy Milan Butterfield and defender Jaylon Bather are among the eight players not included in the 18-man squad, which leaves the island today.

Also not available are James Pace, Jahkari Furbert, Jabri Salaam and Quintonio Lema.

Jahquil Hill of English non-League club Ilkeston, will be the goalkeeper in the absence of Eve. Also called into the squad are college students Tre Ming, Justin Donawa, Jalen Harvey and Detre Bell along with Zenawi Bowen of North Village and Marco Warren of PHC.

Damon Ming, whose early goal gave Bermuda a 1-0 lead before the match was abandoned in the 41st minute because of flooding on June 1, is the most experienced member of the team, which will again to be captained by Reggie Lambe.

“Players have said they are unavailable, otherwise I wouldn't make six changes,” said Andrew Bascome, the Bermuda coach, who gets another chance to travel to French Guiana after falling ill during the team's stopover in Florida and was not able to travel with the team to French Guiana two weeks' ago.

“To come away with a 1-0 lead at the half, why would I make six changes?

“For some reason or other guys are unavailable, maybe they had things planned and didn't expect this [match] to roll over. They can't knock them.

“Reggie shows good leadership and has a good rapport with the players, quietly going about doing his business. I've been pleased with his leadership.”

Bascome is confident the team can carry on where they left off from the first match, with both teams having their fate in their own hands.

The winners hope to be one of the four best second-placed teams from group four to advance to the next round of the competition. Dominican Republic won the group after victories over Bermuda and French Guiana.

“There are no draws and I like the format because it encourages you to play attacking football,” Bascome said.

“When we knew the rules we always tried to condition ourselves to play attacking football.

“I took this job to coach a Bermuda team and every player who has the desire and talent to put on a Bermuda shirt, I must find a way, if he's good enough, to fit him into the system, so that when one comes out another comes in.

“It's nice to see that players are prepared to rise to the occasion, they have my utmost respect.”

Kyle Lightbourne, the assistant coach, is also unavailable for the trip because he will leave for Haiti on June 26 with the Bermuda Under-20 team, who will play World Cup qualifying matches against Cayman Islands, Haiti and Anguilla.

“Maurice [Lowe] is there and we work together and make collective decisions,” Bascome said.

The match will start at 4pm Bermuda time on Sunday.

Do-or-die clash: Bascome's Bermuda must beat French Guiana to advance in the Caribbean Cup (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published June 16, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 15, 2016 at 11:27 pm)

Bascome forced to make changes

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