BFA tight-lipped after late squad changes
Mystery surrounds the reasons behind three last-minute changes to the Bermuda squad before departure en route to Costa Rica for the Concacaf Under-20 Championship.
Bermuda made three changes to the original squad submitted to tournament organiser, with North Village pair Azende Furbert and Rai Sampson, and Dandy Town's Jahtino Richardson-Martin being replaced with Somerset Eagles' Nathan Rego, Jahnazae Swan, of Dandy Town, and Village's Zenawi Bowen.
Mark Wade, the Bermuda Football Association president, declined to explain the reasons behind the late changes.
“From our perspective we withdrew three players, the reasons for that are an internal matter and we don't comment on that,” Wade said.
Sampson featured in Village's 1-0 home victory over Flanagan's Onions in the Premier Division last weekend, while Furbert was not included in the squad.
Richardson-Martin started in Town's 2-2 home draw with Boulevard before being substituted in the 80th minute.
“My take on the changes is this team has progressed from the first round and again in the Caribbean Cup finals with a total of 29 players, so we have more than enough cover,” Wade added.
“There is more than enough quality in the team and they have proven that over the two rounds.
“They have advanced to the Concacaf Championship and so they have earned their place there.
“It's up to them to now perform on the field and I think they stand a chance.
“We have quite a few players who have experience off our shores, which bodes well for us.”
Bermuda's squad boasts 14 players who are based overseas in England and the United States. They will join up with the rest of their team-mates in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where coach Kyle Lightbourne will hold a training camp, including two practice matches.
Among the overseas players are Bristol City forward Osagi Bascome and Walsall midfielder Kacy-Milan Butterfield, who captained the team at the Caribbean Under-20 Championship in Curaçao last October.
Jahquill Hill, David Jones and Tehvan Tyrell play for English non-League side Ilkeston. Goalkeeper Hill, Bascome and forward Oneko Lowe all made their senior team debuts during Bermuda's home friendly against Canada, while Mikiel Thomas and Jahkari Furbert were unused substitutes.
Bermuda are making their debut at the Concacaf Under-20 Championship. Four spots at the Under-20 World Cup are up for grabs, with Bermuda pitted in group C along with Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
The top two teams will advance to the classification stage, where six teams are drawn into two groups of three.
Bermuda begin their campaign on Sunday against Trinidad & Tobago, whom they beat 2-1 in the third-place play-off match at the Caribbean finals, before facing El Salvador on February 22 and Costa Rica three days later.
All matches will be held at the Estádio Nacional and the Estádio Ricardo Saprissa in San José.
Bermuda qualified for the Concacaf Under-20 Championship after finishing runners-up in their group in Curaçao. They reached the semi-finals, where they lost 3-0 to Haiti before beating Trinidad in the third-place play-off.