Ilkeston ban comes at bad time for Bather
Jaylon Bather will miss Ilkeston's next three games after receiving a red card for violent conduct in his team's 1-0 win at home to Barwell in the FA Cup third qualifying round.
The 23-year-old defender was making only his third appearance for Ilkeston after becoming the latest in a line of Bermudian players to join the English non-League side.
He was dismissed in the 89th minute after confronting Blair Anderson following a robust challenge and appeared to lean on the midfielder, who was booked for his part in the incident.
Bather was involved in pre-season games for Ilkeston and was expected to start their Evo-Stik Northern Premier campaign, but hold-ups with his international clearance delayed his debut for longer than expected.
Paul Scope, who forged the Bermuda-Ilkeston connection, admits Bather's sending off has come at a bad time for the Bermuda player. He is yet to play in front of a home crowd and will now miss the club's next two matches at the New Manor Ground.
“Jaylon has done terrific and unfortunately he got sent off in their cup victory,” Scope said. “By all accounts he had a really good game and was a bit harshly sent off.
“The coach [Paul Holland] said perhaps a little bit of inexperience crept in. Apparently Jaylon had a really bad tackle on him and reacted to it.
“It's tough because it's a three-match suspension and two of those are at home. It's a long season, though, and they play lots of games. So far the manager has been pleased with him.”
Another Bermudian involved in the first-team squad is David Jones Jr, who scored a hat-trick for Ilkeston Under-21s in their recent 7-0 win away to Borrowash Victoria.
The 19-year-old signed a new year one-year contract at Ilkeston along with fellow Bermudian Tevahn Tyrell in April.
Tyrell, a former Robin Hood forward, has returned to Ilkeston after a loan spell at nearby Heanor Town in the Midland League Premier Division.
“David has had a start and a couple of substitute appearances for the first team and is very much part of the squad,” Scope said.
“He's played as a lone striker, although I think his best position is as a wing back. But he's powerful and quick enough to play in that position at this level.
“Tevhan has come back full of confidence from his loan. He returned to England after the summer with an ankle injury from his excursions with the Bermuda Under-20 side and never really got going in pre-season.
“He's well thought of at the club and certainly has something about him.
“He's a good finisher and reminds me a bit of a young Shaun Goater.” Bermudians Paul Douglas, Enrique Russell and J'Nai Butterfield-Steede are also playing for the club's Academy team.
Russell, whose father Tokia — a former Bermuda defender — died in a road accident in June, is presently on international duty with the Bermuda Under-17 side in Trinidad and Tobago.
The 16-year-old striker is the great-grandson of Bermudian football legend Earl “Townsey” Russell and nephew of former Ilkeston player Antwan Russell.
“Enrique had a two-week trial for Ilkeston and they were very keen to keep him,” Scope said.
All of the players live together in an apartment partially funded by Scope, the former Bermuda assistant coach and Bermuda Hogges owner.
Also living with the players is Jahnai Raynor, a 30-year-old former Bermuda and PHC Zebras defender, who is gaining coaching experience at Ilkeston while studying for his badges.
“Jahnai is about to take his coaching qualifications and he's been assisting with the youth team and has been on a few first-team trips as well,” Scope added.
“He's been my ‘house captain', if you like, as there are seven of them in the house and he's obviously the oldest.
“I'm actually looking at getting another house from the same landlord so we can take another three or four players.
“There's plenty of demand with parents contacting me all the time about sending players over there.
“I'm trying to be very selective to make sure the players have good behaviour, the right temperament for surviving away from home, as well as talent.”
Ilkeston are bottom of the table, having played five fewer games than some teams after being suspended by the league just days before the start of the season.
The club were punished for what the league said were a breach of rules and regulations and a failure to pay football creditors.
Ilkeston claimed they had been “aggressively pursued” having been poised to secure a payout after former player Che Adams's £2 million move from Sky Bet League One side Sheffield United to Championship outfit Birmingham City.