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Lambe to lead fresh-faced Bermuda

Photograph by Lawrence TrottProud Bermudian: Lambe performs a training drill as coach Bascome looks on at the Clyde Best Centre of Excellence. Bermuda travel to Grenada tomorrow where they will play two matches next week

Coach Andrew Bascome has drafted some new faces into his Bermuda squad for their two friendly matches away to Grenada next week.

Bascome, returning to the helm after missing the past two matches, has named several newcomers in his squad of 19 along with a number of England-based player such as Reggie Lambe, of Carlisle United, who has been handed the captain’s armband.

The other overseas-based players include Jahquil Hill, Roger Lee, Danté Leverock and Osagi Bascome.

Ian Coke, the Boulevard striker — who won the Premier Division Most Valuable Player award last season, has been given the nod along with Devonshire Colts striker Eli Smith, North Village goalkeeper Detre Bell and defenders Jordan Darrell, of St George’s Colts, and PHC Zebras’ Daren Usher.

The team leaves tomorrow before their matches against Grenada next Thursday and Saturday. The first match will be a training game before the teams meet on June 10 in an international fixture at the Grenada National Stadium.

Bermuda previously met Grenada at home in 2015 and drew 2-2. Bermuda’s goals came from Rai Simons, the Chesterfield striker — who is presently injured — and former PHC defender Jahnai Raynor.

In second match Bermuda won 2-0 with goals from Antwan Russell, the Robin Hood forward, and former PHC winger Casey Castle.

Bermuda will stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a two-day training camp before continuing on to Grenada. Bascome will be assisted by Kyle Lightbourne, who took charge for the recent matches against Canada and the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.

“It should be exciting; it’s our off-season so that may have a bearing on the team’s performances because we haven’t had any competitive games,” said Lightbourne, who also coaches the Bermuda Under-20 side.

“It’s been a good turnout from the players in training, the nucleus of them have shown the commitment.”

Winger Lambe will captain the team, after showing an eagerness to be involved despite a long season for Carlisle who lost in the Sky Bet League Two play-offs to Exeter City last month.

“We have a lot of time for Reggie, he has always showed the commitment to play for Bermuda,” Lightbourne said.

“Some other players would have liked to have been involved but it wasn’t the right time for them. Coach Bascome has done a lot of work with them, working on the system we’re looking to play.”

One notable player not included in the squad is striker Nahki Wells. Lightbourne was among several Bermudians who travelled to Wembley to watch Wells’s Huddersfield Town beat Reading in a 4-3 penalty shoot-out in the Championship play-off final on Monday.

Lightbourne attended the match with Paul Scope, his former Bermuda assistant coach, and Bobby Emmett, the Hood general secretary.

It is understood Ray Jones, the Devonshire Colts coach and Bermuda cricketers Malachi Jones and Oronde Bascome also attended the game.

“I went over for the FA Cup final [Arsenal against Chelsea] but I also watched Nahki’s game, which tied in quite nicely,” Lightbourne added.

“That’s the third time for Nahki playing there; it must feel like his second home.

“I was pretty close to where they presented the trophy. I was shouting out to Nahki but there was so much noise. I think he probably knew there were quite a few Bermudians in attendance.”