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Nusum aims to build on Hood success

Big shoes to fill: Nusum is excited about the challenge he faces at Hood

John Barry Nusum insists he is prepared and ready to take the helm of Premier Division champions Robin Hood.

The 36-year-old is stepping into the void that was left after Kyle Lightbourne, the former coach, quit at the end of last season after leading Hood to their first league title.

Nusum is no stranger to coaching in Bermuda, having won promotion with Wolves in 2011-12, and he believes that his previous experience in the dugout will aid him at Hood.

“I’m excited to coach again and to get back into it,” said Nusum, a former Bermuda striker.

“I always believe in myself and my past coaching experience will definitely help.”

Taking charge of the defending champions can be a daunting prospect in itself, but when you add in the fact that Lightbourne was Hood’s most successful coach, it paints a clearer picture of the challenge that Nusum is undertaking.

Lightbourne led Hood to the Friendship trophy in 2015 — the club’s first piece of major silverware — and then followed that up with victory in the FA Cup final in 2016.

After delivering the championship to the merry men, Lightbourne then shocked the football fraternity by announcing he was leaving Hood.

Lightbourne has said that he made his decision to step down midway through last season, and stated his reason as believing that he had gone “a little stale” and mentioned that he plans to devote more time to his coaching development with a view to completing the Uefa A licence.

Still, Nusum is not too bothered by the pressure of filling Lightbourne’s shoes.

“There is pressure on us, but it is good pressure,” he said. “We are coming from a position of strength as defending champions. I want to thank Kyle for what he has done [at Hood]. He did an excellent job, but I’m trying to build on it.”

Nusum played for Hood in the Corona League and under Lightbourne for both Bermuda and the now defunct Bermuda Hogges. As well as winning the First Division title at Wolves, Nusum clinched two Island Soccer League titles as coach of Arsenal. He also briefly served as a Bermuda assistant coach under Andrew Bascome.

Nusum is not in a hurry to make too many tactical changes to the team just yet, though.

“It’s too early to talk about tactics, but we want to play good football that the fans can enjoy watching.” he said.

Nusum plans to strengthen the team ahead of next season, although he would not reveal which signings he wants to make, at this stage.

“We do have a few players in mind, we are looking to strengthen,” he said.

Last season the race for the title was incredibly close, with Hood winning it on the final day of the season on goal difference over PHC Zebras.

Third-place North Village were just three points behind the top two and Nusum expects this season’s title race to be just as tight.

“I think some of the main contenders apart from ourselves will be PHC and North Village. PHC are always there in the mix,” Nusum said.

“PHC were close last season and they competed for everything [before winning the FA Cup]. Village have a young team and will be hungry.

“Another hungry young team is Devonshire Cougars. I’m also excited to see what [newly promoted] X-Roads Warriors will do.”