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Hill rules himself out of Barbados friendly

Staying put: Hill will remain in England with Rushall Olympic rather than return for Bermuda's friendly at home to Barbados

Jahquil Hill has ruled himself out of Bermuda’s international friendly against Barbados at the National Stadium next weekend.

The Rushall Olympic goalkeeper had been among a trio of overseas-based players confirmed for the match. However, Hill has since had a change of heart and will now remain with his English non-League club to focus on furthering his career instead.

“It was a big decision to be honest and I really wanted to come back and play,” he said.

“I always love playing for my country and taking my opportunity. But there’s a new manager at Rushall and I’m playing and thought if I go back anything can happen in those five days. I decided that since it’s just a friendly I would stay here. I thought hard and made the decision to stay because I need to focus on myself at the moment.

“I feel comfortable here and have been playing decent football. It’s also been a while since I have had a secure club.”

Hill, who played for Bermuda at the Concacaf Caribbean Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica in February, took part in a trial in Germany with Sky Bet Championship side Brentford FC last month, which led to him being recruited by Rushall.

“I was with the [Brentford] under-23s and first team and had a trial and they recommended me to numerous clubs and someone put my name to Rushall Olympic,” said Hill, who has previously played for Ilkeston and Stafford Rangers.

“I’ve been playing well there and so they asked me to stay. I’m enjoying my football here and hopefully I can work hard to be better and go further.”

Hill has made three appearances for Rushall, who play in the Evo-Stik Premier League, including a 1-1 draw away to Mickleover Sports, whose scorer was none other than Bermuda under-20 team-mate Tevahn Tyrell.

“I’m never going to hear the end of this,” Hill said. “He’s always going to have this one on me and it wasn’t even like it was a good goal. It was a tap-in basically but I did save another shot from him, which frustrated him.”

Hill, who made a string of fine late saves late on, was named man of the match and included in the Final Whistle Team of the Week.

“It was my first time and an honour to receive this recognition and a surprise,” Hill said.

Hill is the second Bermuda goalkeeper to feature for Rushall in recent weeks, with Dale Eve making his debut in Rushall’s 4-0 defeat away to Altrincham on October 7.